Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This paper critically explores the question of what it means for a construction to be grammatical. The paper engages with some of the observations made in the grammaticalization literature, that elements in grammatical constructions undergo morphologization, and aims to show that grammatical status and morphologization need not be aligned. A number of parameters along which the grammatical status of a multiword expression can vary are proposed and data illustrating different aspects of these parameters are discussed in detail. The data are used to argue that grammatical status is complex and multifaceted and linked not only to the formal properties of a construction, but also to its semantics and the relationship it has with other grammatical forms (e.g. inflected forms) in a given language.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Ackerman, Farrell & Gregory Stump
    2004 Paradigms and periphrastic expressions. In Louisa Sadler & Andrew Spencer (eds.), Projecting morphology [Stanford Studies in Morphology and the Lexicon], 111–157. Stanford, California: CSLI Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Aronoff, Mark & Mark Lindsay
    2015 Partial organization in languages: la langue est un système où la plupart se tient. In Sandra Augendre , Graziella Couasnon-Torlois , Déborah Lebon , Clément Michard , Gilles Boyé & Fabio Montermini (eds.), Proceedings of the Décembrettes 8th International Conference on Morphology, CNRS & Université Toulouse.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Askedal, John Ole
    2008 ‘Degrammaticalization’ versus typology. In Thórhallur Eythórsson (ed.), Grammatical change and linguistic theory: The Rosendal papers, 45–77. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/la.113.03ask
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.113.03ask [Google Scholar]
  4. Avgustinova, Tania
    1994 On Bulgarian verbal clitics. Journal of Slavic Linguistics2.29–47.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Banova, Savelina
    2005Bălgarskijat glagol: praktičesko pomagalo. Sofia: Sofijski universitet “Kliment Oxridski”, Departament za ezikovo obučenie -ICS, Izdatelstvo D-r Ivan Bogorov.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bonami, Olivier
    2015 Periphrasis as collocation. Morphology25(1). 63–110. doi: 10.1007/s11525‑015‑9254‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11525-015-9254-3 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bonami, Olivier & Pollet Samvellian
    2015 The diversity of inflectional periphrasis in Persian. Journal of Linguistics51(2). 327–382. doi: 10.1017/S0022226714000243
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226714000243 [Google Scholar]
  8. Bonami, Olivier & Gert Webelhuth
    2013 The phrase-structural diversity of periphrasis: A lexicalist account. InPeriphrasis: The role of syntax and morphology in paradigms, 141–167. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Börjars, Kersti , Nigel Vincent & Carol Chapman
    1997 Paradigms, periphrases and pronominal inflection. In Geert Booij & Jaap van Marle (eds.), Yearbook of morphology 1996, 155–180. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. doi: 10.1007/978‑94‑017‑3718‑0_10
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-3718-0_10 [Google Scholar]
  10. Boye, Kasper & Peter Harder
    2012 A usage-based theory of grammatical status and grammaticalization. Language88(1). 1–44. doi: 10.1353/lan.2012.0020
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2012.0020 [Google Scholar]
  11. Brinton, Laurel J. & Elizabeth Closs Traugott
    2005Lexicalization and language change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511615962
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511615962 [Google Scholar]
  12. Brown, Dunstan , Marina Chumakina , Greville Corbett , Gergana Popova & Andrew Spencer
    2002 Defining ‘periphrasis’: Key notions. Morphology233–275. doi: 10.1007/s11525‑012‑9201‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11525-012-9201-5 [Google Scholar]
  13. Čakărova, Krasimira
    2001 On the issue of the paradigmatic nature of some disputable analytical verbal structures in the Modern Bulgarian language or “boundary areas” in grammar. In10 godini burgaski svoboden universitet. jubilejna naučna konferencija s meždunarodno učastie “universitetât prez tretoto xiljadoletie”, vol. 4, 139–154. Burgas. Available atwww.belb.net/personal/chakyrova/Burgas01.htm (accessedJuly 7, 2009).
    [Google Scholar]
  14. 2009Imperativăt v săvremennija bălgarski ezik. Plovdiv: Izdatelstvo “Pigmalion”.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Corbett, Greville G. 2007 Canonical typology, suppletion, and possible words. Language83(1). 8–42. doi: 10.1353/lan.2007.0006
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2007.0006 [Google Scholar]
  16. 2011 The penumbra of morphosyntactic feature systems. Morphology21(2). 445–480. doi: 10.1007/s11525‑010‑9171‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11525-010-9171-4 [Google Scholar]
  17. 2012Features. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139206983
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139206983 [Google Scholar]
  18. Dahl, Östen
    2004The growth and maintenance of linguistic complexity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/slcs.71
    https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.71 [Google Scholar]
  19. Elliott, Elisabeth M.
    2004 Imam (‘have’) plus past passive participle in the Bulgarian Erkeč dialect. In Ronelle Alexander & Vladimir Zhobov (eds.), Revitalizing Bulgarian dialectology, vol. 2 University of California International and Area Studies Collection, University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Enfield, N. J.
    2003Linguistic epidemiology: Semantics and grammar of language contact in mainland Southeast Asia. London and New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Franks, Steven
    2008 Clitic placement, prosody, and the Bulgarian verbal complex. Journal of Slavic Linguistics16(1). 91–137. doi: 10.1353/jsl.0.0011
    https://doi.org/10.1353/jsl.0.0011 [Google Scholar]
  22. Georgiev, Vladimir
    1976 Vâznikvane na novi složni glagolni formi sâs spomagatelen glagol ‘imam’. In Petâr Pašov & Ruselina Nicolova (eds.), Pomagalo po bălgarska morfologija. Glagol., 294–311. Sofia: Izdatelstvo “Nauka i izkustvo”. Abridged and reprinted from Izvestija na Instituta po bâlgarski ezik, vol. 5 1957.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Harris, A. C. & L. Campbell
    1995Historical syntax in cross-linguistic perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511620553
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620553 [Google Scholar]
  24. Heine, Bernd
    2003 Grammaticalization. In B. D. Joseph & R. D. Janda (eds.), The handbook of historical linguistics, 575–601. Oxford: Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9780470756393.ch18
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470756393.ch18 [Google Scholar]
  25. Joseph, Brian D
    2004 Rescuing traditional (historical) linguistics from grammaticalization ‘theory’. In Olga Fischer , Muriel Norde & Harry Perridon (eds.), Up and down the cline – the nature of grammaticalization, 45–71. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.59.04jos
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.59.04jos [Google Scholar]
  26. Kiparsky, Paul
    2004 Blocking and periphrasis in inflectional paradigms. In Geert Booij & Jaap van Marle (eds.), Yearbook of morphology, 113–135. Dordrecht: Springer.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Kramer, Christina E.
    2003Macedonian: A course for beginning and intermediate students, 2nd edn. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Lehmann, Christian
    2004 Theory and method in grammaticalization. Zeitschrift für Germanistische Linguistik32(2). 152–187. doi: 10.1515/zfgl.2004.32.2.152
    https://doi.org/10.1515/zfgl.2004.32.2.152 [Google Scholar]
  29. Maiden, Martin & Cecilia Robustelli
    2000A reference grammar of modern Italian. London: Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Manova, Stela
    2006 Paradigm linkage and Bulgarian verb inflection. Paper presented at the First Meeting of the Slavic Linguistics Society , September 2006, University of Indiana, Bloomington.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Migdalski, Krzysztof
    2006The syntax of compound tenses in Slavic. Utrecht: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics dissertation.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Mirčev, Kiril
    1976 Za sâčetanijata na glagol imam + minalo stradatelno pričastie v balgarski ezik. In Petâr Pašov & Ruselina Nicolova (eds.), Pomagalo po balgarska morfologija. Glagol., 565–567. Sofia: Izdatelstvo ‘Nauka i izkustvo’. First published in Balgarski ezik, vol. 23, no. 6, 1973.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Nicolova, Ruselina
    2008Bălgarska gramatika: Morfologija. Sofia: Universitetsko izdatelstvo “Sv. Kliment Oxridski”.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Pitsch, Hagen 2010 Complex verbs between syntax and morphology in Bulgarian. Russian Linguistics34(3). 307–329. doi: 10.1007/s11185‑010‑9059‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11185-010-9059-2 [Google Scholar]
  35. Popova, Gergana
    2010 Features in periphrastic constructions. In Anna Kibort & Greville G. Corbett (eds.), Features: Perspectives on a key notion in linguistics, 166–184. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577743.003.0007
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577743.003.0007 [Google Scholar]
  36. Popova, Gergana & Andrew Spencer
    2013 Relatedness in periphrasis: A paradigm-based perspective. In Marina Chumakina & Greville G. Corbett (eds.), Periphrasis: The role of syntax and morphology in paradigms, vol. 180 Proceedings of the British Academy, 191–225. Oxford University Press/British Academy.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Rudin, Catherine
    1986Aspects of Bulgarian syntax: Complementizers and WH constructions. Columbus, Ohio: Slavica Publishers, Inc.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Sadler, Louisa & Andrew Spencer
    2001 Syntax as an exponent of morphological features. In Geert Booij & Jaap van Marle (eds.), Yearbook of morphology 2000, 71–96. Dordrecht: Kluwer. doi: 10.1007/978‑94‑017‑3724‑1_4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-3724-1_4 [Google Scholar]
  39. Simov, Kiril & Sia Kolkovska
    2002 Interpretacija na da-konsktrukciite v oporna frazova gramatika, vol. Proceedings of the 6th National Slavistic Readings: Slavic studies at the beginning of the 21st century. Traditions and expectations . Sofia, 26–27 April 2002, Sofia.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Smirnickij, A. I.
    1959Morfologija anglijskogo jazyka. Moscow: Izkatel’stvo literatury na inostrannyx jazykax.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Smirnickij, Aleksandr I.
    1956 Analitičeskie formy. Voprosy jazykoznanija2. 41–52.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Spencer, Andrew
    2001 The paradigm-based model of morphosyntax. Transactions of the Philological Society99(2). 279–313. doi: 10.1111/1467‑968X.00083
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-968X.00083 [Google Scholar]
  43. 2003 Periphrastic paradigms in Bulgarian. In Uwe Junghanns & Luka Szucsich (eds.), Syntactic structures and morphological information, vol. 7 Interface Explorations, 249–282. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110904758.249
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110904758.249 [Google Scholar]
  44. 2012 Sentence negation and periphrasis. In Marina Chumakina & Greville G. Corbett (eds.), Periphrasis: The role of syntax and morphology in paradigms, vol. 180 Proceedings of the British Academy, 227–266. Oxford: Oxford University Press/British Academy. doi: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265253.003.0009
    https://doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197265253.003.0009 [Google Scholar]
  45. Spencer, Andrew & Anna Luís
    2012a The canonical clitic. In Dunstan Brown , Marina Chumakina & Greville G. Corbett (eds.), Canonical morphology and syntax, 123–150. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604326.003.0006
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604326.003.0006 [Google Scholar]
  46. Spencer, Andrew & Anna Luis
    2012bClitics: An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139033763
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139033763 [Google Scholar]
  47. Thornton, Anna M.
    2011 Overabundance (multiple forms realizing the same cell): A non-canonical phenomenon in Italian verb morphology. In Martin Maiden , John Charles Smith , Maria Goldback & Marc-Olivier Hinzelin (eds.), Morphological autonomy: Perspectives from romance inflectional morphology, 358–81. Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589982.003.0017
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589982.003.0017 [Google Scholar]
  48. 2012 Reduction and maintenance of overabundance. a case study on Italian verb paradigms. Word Structure5(2). 183–2017. doi: 10.3366/word.2012.0026
    https://doi.org/10.3366/word.2012.0026 [Google Scholar]
  49. Tomič, Olga Mišeska
    2004 The syntax of the Balkan Slavic future tenses. Lingua114(4). 517–542. doi: 10.1016/S0024‑3841(03)00071‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0024-3841(03)00071-8 [Google Scholar]
  50. 2012A grammar of Macedonian. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, Inc.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Traugott, Elizabeth Closs 2003 Constructions in grammaticalization. In Brian D. Joseph & Richard D. Janda (eds.), The handbook of historical linguistics, 624–647. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. doi: 10.1002/9780470756393.ch20
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470756393.ch20 [Google Scholar]
  52. 2011 Grammaticalization and mechanisms of change. In Heiko Narrog & Bernd Heine (eds.), The Oxford handbook of grammaticalization, 19–30. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199586783.013.0002
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199586783.013.0002 [Google Scholar]
  53. Traugott, Elizabeth Closs & Paul J. Hopper
    2003Grammaticalization, 2nd edn [Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139165525
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139165525 [Google Scholar]
  54. Trifonov, Ju
    1908 Značenie na složnite (opisatelni) bădešti vremena v novobălgarskija ezik. Periodičesko spisanie9(10). 1–40.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Trousdale, Graeme
    2012 Grammaticalization, constructions and the grammaticalization of constructions. In Kristin Davidse , Tine Breban , Lieselotte Brems & Tanja Mortelmans (eds.), Grammaticalization and language change: New reflections [Studies in Language Companion Series 130], 167–198. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/slcs.130.07tro
    https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.130.07tro [Google Scholar]
  56. Trousdale, Graeme & Elizabeth Closs Traugott
    2010 Preface. In Elizabeth Closs Traugott & Graeme Trousdale (eds.), Gradience, gradualness and grammaticalization, 1–18. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.90.03tro
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.90.03tro [Google Scholar]
  57. Vincent, Nigel & Kersti Börjars
    2010 Grammaticalization and models of language. InGradience, gradualness and grammaticalization, 279–299. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.90.14vin
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.90.14vin [Google Scholar]
  58. Wiemer, Björn
    2014 Quo Vadis grammaticalization theory? Why complex language change is like words. Folia Linguistica48(2). 425–467. doi: 10.1515/flin.2014.015
    https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.2014.015 [Google Scholar]
  59. Xaralampiev, Ivan
    2001Istoričeska gramatika na bâlgarskija ezik. Veliko Târnovo: Faber.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error