Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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The paper examines three directions of grammaticalization by subjectification. Using the general cline Grammar > Discourse and Discourse > Grammar or Grammar ↔ Discourse, Spanish shows three types of diachronic subjectification, going in three different directions: (1) Grammar > Grammar; (2) Grammar > Discourse; (3) Grammar > Discourse > and again Grammar. Directions 1 and 2 are well known; direction 3, as far as I know, is unknown in the literature about grammaticalization. (1) Initiates in the Grammar, at the textual-syntactic level, and continues to function in the Grammar, with a different distribution and different syntactic-semantic properties as regards its etymon. (2) Begins in the Grammar, cancels the syntactic and morphological capacities of the etymon, produces syntactic isolation and widening of scope and results in the creation of autonomous forms which work at the discourse level. (3) Begins in the Grammar, goes to the Discourse via the cancellation of the morphological and syntactic capacities of the objective form, widens its scope and results in an autonomous form. Once it has operated in the Discourse, it returns to the Grammar, narrowing its scope, taking a new grammatical role again, and paradigmatizing with other forms. The form preserves the subjective meaning of the second stage. The process in all cases is semantically the same: the speaker’s appraisals, points of view and attitudes about the event and his/her interaction with regard to the hearer find explicit codification in grammar, becoming a coded and highly-conventionalized meaning in the grammar of a language (Traugott 1995b, 1999), but the direction of the change is different in each case. Subjectification looks like a multi-dimensional process, not a unidirectional one.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): directionality; grammaticalization; historical syntax; Spanish; subjectification
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