This book is the first of the two-volume collection of papers on formulaic
language. The collection is among the first ones in the field. The book
draws attention to the ritualized, repetitive side of language, which to
some estimates make up over 50% of spoken and written text. While in the
linguistic literature, the creative and innovative aspects of language have
been amply highlighted, conventionalized, pre-fabricated, 'off-the-shelf'
expressions have been paid less attention - an imbalance that this book
attempts to remedy. The first of the two volumes addresses the very concept
of formulaic language and provides studies that explore the grammatical and
semantic properties of formulae, their stylistic distribution within
languages, and their evolution in the course of language history. Since
most of the papers are readily accessible to readers with only basic
familiarity with linguistics, besides being a resource in linguistic
research, the book may be used in courses on discourse structure,
pragmatics, semantics, language acquisition, and syntax, as well as being a
resource in linguistic research.