The unidirectionality of grammaticalization in modern linguistics

The present article contains the results of study on unidirectionality of grammaticalization which is understood as a shift from lexical to grammatical signs. The research aims to find out and describe present approaches to the unidirectionality idea and identify the current tendency in attitudes towards this property of grammaticalization. The research methodology includes a content analysis of approaches to the unidirectionality issue, their generalization and analysis of some units questioning the unidirectionality of grammaticalization. The relevance of grammaticalization studies is due to a growing interest of Russian and foreign linguists in grammatical changes, current differences in identifying the main properties of such change as grammaticalization and terminological variation. The theoretical framework of this study is based on the research by T. Givón, Ch. Lehmann, T. Lindström, E. Traugott, B. Heine and other famous linguists working in the field of grammaticalization. It is noted that the issue of unidirectionality of grammaticalization is almost ignored in Russian linguistics where unidirectionality is often seen as an integral property of this process. The study results have shown the tendency to accepting the unidirectionality idea and a controversial nature of some examples used to overturn this idea. Such examples include English infinitival to, the verb to dare and the suffix -ish. It has been established that the terms ‘degrammaticalization’ and ‘lexicalization’ used to refer to processes opposite to grammaticalization can be considered reasonable depending on their understanding and the meaning of the term ‘grammaticalization’. This study is a part of a more extensive research aimed to describe and analyze the mechanisms of grammaticalization in Germanic languages. © 2021, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. All rights reserved.

Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования Российский университет дружбы народов (РУДН)
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  • 1 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN university), 6, Miklukho-Maklaya str, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 2 Russian State University of Tourism and Service, 99, Glavnaya str., Cherkizovo settlement, Moscow region141221, Russian Federation
Antigrammaticalization; Classification of degrammaticalization; Degrammaticalization; Grammaticalization; Lexicalization; Unidirectionality
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Chilingaryan K.P.
Вестник Российского университета дружбы народов. Серия: Теория языка. Семиотика. Семантика. Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования Российский университет дружбы народов (РУДН). Vol. 12. 2021. P. 196-218