Grammaticalization and lexicalization effects in participial morphology

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The study explores a particular functional shift (predication > modification) associated with a special participial form in Slavic, as attested in Old Czech. The purpose of the study is a close examination of the criteria that have been proposed as common manifestations of grammaticalization, in contradistinction to lexicalization, and the analysis leads to the conclusion that the observed categorial changes bear the features of grammaticalization. The partial transitions involved in the change are shown to depend on an intricate interaction between the morphosemantic structure of the participial form and certain recurring syntagmatic contexts in which it was used. These findings also argue for a Construction Grammar approach as a theoretically coherent basis for articulating plausible generalizations about complex diachronic shifts.


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