Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Academic Paper

Title: Syntactic lexicalization as a new type of degrammaticalization
Author: David W. E. Willis
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Cambridge
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics
Subject Language: Bulgarian
Welsh, Middle
Abstract: Grammaticalization, the historical emergence of new items with grammatical function from earlier lexical items, is generally considered to be a unidirectional process. Much recent interest has, however, focused on degrammaticalization changes that run counter to this general direction. This article considers three cases of degrammaticalization from Bulgarian and Welsh, involving shifts from pronoun to noun, and from preposition to verb. These cases exhibit a common set of properties, such as the central role played by syntactic reanalysis and pragmatic inferencing, that justify viewing them as examples of a new type of degrammaticalization. Degrammaticalization via syntactic reanalysis appears to be cross-linguistically rare, because it is constrained by two factors: the requirement that the item undergoing degrammaticalization should have become grammatically or semantically isolated; and the requirement that it should match a possible morphological pattern for the lexical category that it is to join.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
Publication Info: Linguistics 45 (2007): 271–310
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page