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Nonspecific Free Relatives and (Anti)grammaticalization in English and German

(2005) Folia Linguistica Historica. 26(1-2). p.45-69
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Abstract
One of the most contentious issues in historical syntax at the moment is the problem of directionality, in particular its theoretical status in the debate over grammaticalization. Grammaticalization is usually said to proceed unidirectionally from less grammatical to more grammatical. Under a recent proposal by Haspelmath (2004), genuine violations of this constraint are called "antigrammaticalization", and the rest "retraction". The present paper takes up this distinction with respect to the problem of clause-integration in complex sentence constructions in English and German, focusing on a potential example of antigrammaticalization, viz. the historical relationship between nonspecific free relatives and concessive conditionals. Concessive conditionals are always adjuncts and hence much more disintegrated than free relatives synchronically, but since there is also typological evidence which suggests that concessive conditionals are historically derived from free relatives, the development from one to the other could conceivably have involved a decrease of clause-integration rather the increase that one would expect under the unidirectionality constraint. Using present-day and historical data, the present paper argues that the historical link between free relatives and concessive conditionals in English and German does not in fact involve antigrammaticalization at all, and only a limited amount of retraction. The impression of antigrammaticalization arises partly because concessive conditionals have become partially dissociated from free relatives in a process which itself bears some hallmarks of grammaticalization and which, on a larger scale, can be seen as part of the formation of the prototype traditionally known as "hypotaxis".

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Chicago
Leuschner, Torsten. 2005. “Nonspecific Free Relatives and (Anti)grammaticalization in English and German.” Folia Linguistica Historica 26 (1-2): 45–69.
APA
Leuschner, T. (2005). Nonspecific Free Relatives and (Anti)grammaticalization in English and German. Folia Linguistica Historica, 26(1-2), 45–69.
Vancouver
1.
Leuschner T. Nonspecific Free Relatives and (Anti)grammaticalization in English and German. Folia Linguistica Historica. Berlin / New York: De Gruyter; 2005;26(1-2):45–69.
MLA
Leuschner, Torsten. “Nonspecific Free Relatives and (Anti)grammaticalization in English and German.” Folia Linguistica Historica 26.1-2 (2005): 45–69. Print.
@article{1090944,
  abstract     = {One of the most contentious issues in historical syntax at the moment is the problem of directionality, in particular its theoretical status in the debate over grammaticalization. Grammaticalization is usually said to proceed unidirectionally from less grammatical to more grammatical. Under a recent proposal by Haspelmath (2004), genuine violations of this constraint are called {\textacutedbl}antigrammaticalization{\textacutedbl}, and the rest {\textacutedbl}retraction{\textacutedbl}. The present paper takes up this distinction with respect to the problem of clause-integration in complex sentence constructions in English and German, focusing on a potential example of antigrammaticalization, viz. the historical relationship between nonspecific free relatives and concessive conditionals. Concessive conditionals are always adjuncts and hence much more disintegrated than free relatives synchronically, but since there is also typological evidence which suggests that concessive conditionals are historically derived from free relatives, the development from one to the other could conceivably have involved a decrease of clause-integration rather the increase that one would expect under the unidirectionality constraint. Using present-day and historical data, the present paper argues that the historical link between free relatives and concessive conditionals in English and German does not in fact involve antigrammaticalization at all, and only a limited amount of retraction. The impression of antigrammaticalization arises partly because concessive conditionals have become partially dissociated from free relatives in a process which itself bears some hallmarks of grammaticalization and which, on a larger scale, can be seen as part of the formation of the prototype traditionally known as {\textacutedbl}hypotaxis{\textacutedbl}.},
  author       = {Leuschner, Torsten},
  issn         = {1614-7316},
  journal      = {Folia Linguistica Historica},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1-2},
  pages        = {45--69},
  publisher    = {De Gruyter},
  title        = {Nonspecific Free Relatives and (Anti)grammaticalization in English and German},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2005},
}

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