Corpus Approaches to Grammaticalization in English
Grammaticalization is an important concept in general and typological linguistics and a prominent type of explanation in historical linguistics. For historical corpus linguists, grammaticalization theory provides a frame of orientation in their effort to analyze and systematize a fast-accumulating mass of data. Students of grammaticalization have become increasingly aware of the potential of existing corpora and established corpus-linguistic methodology for their work. This book continues and develops the dialogue between the two fields. All the contributions are based on extensive use of various electronic corpora. Relating corpus practices to recent theoretical concerns of grammaticalization studies they deal with grammaticalization and historical sociolinguistics, lexicalization and grammaticalization, layering, frequency, grammaticalization and dialects, degrammaticalization and grammaticalization in a contrastive perspective. The papers show that a synthesis of corpus methodology and grammaticalization studies leads to new and interesting insights about the mechanisms of language change and the communicative functions of language.