Abstract

This article studies the relationship between prosody and desemanticization in grammaticalization processes by means of a well-described phenomenon, the grammaticalization of ‘type’ nouns (type, kind, sort) in present-day English. To this end, 1,155 tokens of the three nouns, retrieved from the ICE-GB corpus, were semantically classified and prosodically analyzed. Our main result is that different synchronically coexisting prosodic patterns correspond to different degrees of grammaticalization. This result provides evidence that desemanticization and erosion proceed hand in hand. Their parallel development is attributed to the demands of iconicity rather than to frequency effects.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 911-946
Launched on MUSE
2016-12-20
Open Access
No
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