Features in reanalysis and grammaticalization

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This chapter discusses this volume’s contributions by Roberts, De Smet, and Denison because they cover a wide range of explanations of gradience and gradual change. These three approaches can be accounted for in a similar way and I offer an account of gradual change using a Feature Economy Principle. This view is slightly different from that in Roberts’ chapter but contributes to the spirit of his chapter in seeing language variation as determined by feature variation. I then provide some new data on the grammaticalization of for that adds to De Smet’s data and that fits with a view of gradual change as feature economy. Finally, I suggest that the cases discussed by Denison as non-structural are really structural and again fit in a framework of Feature Economy.


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