Storage as a way to grammaticalization

  • Jouni Rostila University of Tampere


This paper explores the possible contribution of various types of storage to grammaticalization processes, and the description of such processes by means of Construction Grammar(s) (CxG). The grammaticalization processes of French pas and certain complex adpositions in German and Finnish serve to illustrate that storage can background the literal meaning of elements like pas, thus enabling the constructions containing them to
grammaticalize. A further form of storage, the emergence of a productive template on the basis of high type frequency, may in turn stand behind their grammaticalization. Two further assumptions about language use are also exploited in the explanation of grammaticalization: the possibility of processing complex units holistically and a human urge to interpret recurring forms as signs. Since CxG is based on stored units, it can serve to explicate the role of storage in grammaticalization, while a grammaticalization perspective can help in uncovering the origin of different types of constructions assumed within CxG. The CxG analysis of the grammaticalization processes examined suggests that in terms of CxG, grammaticalization amounts to the emergence of partially schematic, complex constructions, while further grammaticalization deletes semantic constraints on their schematic parts.

How to Cite
RostilaJ. (2022). Storage as a way to grammaticalization. Constructions, 3.