1932

Abstract

It is well established that meanings associated with linguistic expressions evolve in systematic ways across time. We have little precise understanding, though, of why and how this happens. We know even less about its implications for our models of grammar, communication, and cognition. This article reviews developments and results from grammaticalization, typology, and formal semantics/pragmatics that can be brought to bear on addressing the problem of semantic change. It deconstructs the notion of grammaticalization paths and offers a set of questions for systematic investigation, following which I contextualize the small body of literature at the intersection of formal semantics/pragmatics and language change. The approach I take is programmatic rather than survey oriented, given the emergent nature of the domain of investigation and the limited body of existing literature that pertains directly to the questions raised here.

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2015-01-14
2024-06-21
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