Grammaticalization vs. LexicalizationThe Functional Discourse Grammar View

  1. María Jesús Pérez Quintero
Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses

ISSN: 0211-5913

Year of publication: 2013

Issue: 67

Pages: 97-121

Type: Article


Within the context of language change studies, grammaticalization has constituted the most flourishing topic. Having as the main tenet the principle of unidirectionality, a cline of categoriality has been put forward according to which all 'minor' parts of speech would have their origin in 'major' classes. In order to determine the class to which a certain linguistic category belongs to, studies on grammaticalization have commonly taken as a basis the traditional classification of parts of speech. In this paper it is argued that if the traditional classification of parts of speech were not taken for granted (as it is claimed it shouldn't be), a different account could be given for some cases of linguistic change often dealt with as cases of grammaticalization. In doing so, I aim at avoiding the biased practice of considering that any change towards a traditionally 'minor' class implies a process of grammaticalization. This position is illustrated by analyzing the formation of some English complex conjunctions, which will be described as a process of lexicalization. The implications of this analysis for Functional Discourse Grammar are finally considered.