Semantic reanalysis in grammaticalization in Chinese

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In this study, the analysis of three processes of grammaticalization (verb > classifier, verb > auxiliary, and verb > preposition) provides evidence that semantic reanalysis is an independent mechanism of semantic change in grammaticalization (Gram) in Chinese. It will be argued that the traditional understanding of metaphoricalization (Meta) and metonymization (Meto) resides at the semantic and discourse/pragmatic levels, whereas semantic reanalysis depends on the position of a lexeme in a construction and its relationship to the surrounding context. As a result, semantic change in Gram in Chinese has emerged as a trifold system supported by three mechanisms: Meta, Meto, and semantic reanalysis.


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