• Document: THE ROLE OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF DISCOURSE MARKERS IN A THEORY OF GRAMMATICALIZATION
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THE ROLE OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF DISCOURSE MARKERS IN A THEORY OF GRAMMATICALIZATION Elizabeth C. Traugott Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, CA 94305-2150, U.S.A. traugott@csli.stanford.edu Paper presented at ICHL XII, Manchester 1995 Version of 11/97 1. Introduction1 This paper concerns some interactions between syntax, pragmatics, and semantics exemplified by the development of the Discourse Markers indeed, in fact, besides, and what role they might play in a theory of grammaticalization, especially of the unidirectionality of grammaticalization. Nominal clines (nominal adposition > case) and verbal clines (main verb > tense, aspect, mood marker) are staples of grammaticalization theory. I will argue that a further cline: Clause- internal Adverbial > Sentence Adverbial > Discourse Particle (of which Discourse Markers are a subtype) should be added to the inventory. In some languages like English this cline involves increased syntactic freedom and scope, and therefore violates the principles of bonding and reduced scope frequently associated with grammaticalization. It nevertheless illustrates a cluster of other long-attested structural characteristics of early grammaticalization, specifically decategorialization, phonological reduction, and generalization; it also illustrates a number of more recently recognized characteristics, especially pragmatic strengthening and subjectification. I will suggest that these characteristics should be considered salient to grammaticalization, but decrease in syntactic freedom and scope should not Furthermore, I will argue that grammaticalization is the process whereby lexical material in highly constrained pragmatic and morphosyntactic contexts becomes grammatical, in other words that lexical material in specifiable syntactic functions comes to participate in the structural texture of the language, especially its morphosyntactic constructions. The mechanism that brings about particular instances of grammaticalization is local reanalysis. How we should think of this local reanalysis and its relation to analogy and extension has been the topic of much recent research (e.g. Hopper and Traugott 1993: Chap. 3, Roberts 1993, Tabor 1994, Harris and Campbell 1995: Chap. 4, Vincent 1997). My interest here is not in mechanisms but primarily in the processes--the interactions of syntax with semantics, of structure with use--that sow the seeds for reanalysis and analogy in the first place. "Grammaticalization is the process whereby lexical material in highly constrained pragmatic and morphosyntactic contexts becomes grammatical" is a unidirectional statement, in so far as it predicts that grammatical material will not become lexical. So are other formulations in different traditions from the functional one adopted here. For example, in his study of the history of the habere auxiliary in Romance within a GB framework, Roberts subsumes grammaticalization under optimization of grammars: Diachronic Reanalysis [of a lexical head as a functional head] is driven by the operation of the Least Effort Strategy in acquisition. There is a real sense then in which Diachronic Reanalysis leads to a local simplification in a grammar (Roberts 1993:251)). Indeed, unidirectionality in various forms has been one of the strongest hypotheses associated with grammaticalization theory. Like any good hypothesis, unidirectionality has been used as a gatekeeper to assess whether some change X is or is not a case of grammaticalization. Some 1 researchers would exclude the development of discourse markers (DMs) from grammaticalization in part because of it (and in some cases in part because they are not considered to be components of grammar). Like any good hypothesis, unidirectionality has also rightly been challenged. I will argue that there are not only compelling reasons to include the development of DMs in a theory of grammaticalization, but there are also compelling reasons to maintain a hypothesis of unidirectionality, albeit a richer and rather different one from the standard hypothesis. The structure of the paper is as follows. Section 2 outlines the relevant issues in unidirectionality, Section 3 defines DMs and illustrates their development, Section 4 evaluates the evidence from DMs for a theory of unidirectionality, and Section 5 discusses what they suggest for a definition of grammaticalization. 2. Unidirectionality The hypothesis of unidirectionality has a long history going back to Gabelentz and before. In 1912 Meillet wrote of grammaticalization as le passage d'un mot autonome au role d'élément grammatical "the passage of an autonomous word into the role of grammatical element" (Meillet 1912:131). Givón's slogan: "Today's morphology is yesterday's syntax" (Givón

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