This paper addresses the issue of the historical development of for fear (that) in English – a prepositional subordinator ushering in fi nite clauses of purpose in which negation is inherently coded, i.e. the content of the subordinate clause is negated by the complementiser which does not contain a negative particle in itself. The rise of this construction is studied within the theory of grammaticalization and it turns out to be a regular case of grammaticalization following the mechanisms of grammaticalization such as desemanticisation, extension and decategorialisation.
The author states that there are in our vocabulary three, and only three, classes of semantic units: a) predicates, i.e. generic concepts – the result of our conceptualization of the world; they represent more than 90% of the vocabulary; b) operators of reference – a small, almost closed set bounding predicates to their concrete denotates; c) proper names, which are by defi nition referentially bound and are object of research of a specialized linguistic discipline. Thus, the main tasks of our grammar are (1) to defi ne and to describe the scope of the grammaticalization in the language in question and (2) to present the semantic classification of predicates, the description of their – bound and/or free – functioning in the text included.
The paper presents the results of diachronic analysis of independent grammatical morphemes which function in the grammatical systems of Chadic languages. The following markers are being considered: genitive-linking morpheme, subject and object markers, copula, focus marker. Etymologically, the markers are traced back to Chadic (and Afroasiatic) system of determiners identified by the three phonological elements, namely *n, *t, and *k which have their vestiges in contemporary systems. It is claimed that what is a retention on phonological ground, contributes to innovation processes on the grammatical level.
This article is a description and comparison of Polish and Arabic taboo-based intensifiers in terms of both the semantic domains from which they are derived and their level of desemanticization. For this objective, four domains were selected: (1) death, (2) religion, God, and demons, (3) sexuality, and (4) family. Within those domains an array of linguistic forms were analysed with the aim of examining to what extent they retained traces of the original meaning. Another question to elucidate is whether the transition from one category to another in the process of semantically-driven grammaticalization is accompanied by the loss of the taboo element of these lexemes.
On the basis of corpus-derived data, the present paper examines the collocational patterns of the singular and the plural forms of a pair of etymologically and semantically related quantifying nouns (QNs), namely English heap and its Polish equivalent kupa ‘heap’. The primary aim is to determine their respective levels of numeralization, operationalized as the frequency of co-occurrence with animate and abstract N2-collocates in purely quantificational uses, in an attempt to establish whether, and to what extent, the addition of the plurality morpheme bears on the grammaticalization of a nominal of this kind into an indefinite quantifier. Following the observations arrived at by Brems (2003, 2011), the hypothesis is that pluralization should yield a facilitating effect on the numeralization of nouns referring to large quantities by amplifying their inherent scalar implications. The results demonstrate that whereas heaps indeed exhibits a higher percentage of such numeralized uses than heap, kupy ‘heaps’ has turned out to be grammaticalized in the quantifying function to a markedly lesser degree than kupa ‘heap’. It is argued that this apparently aberrant behaviour of kupy ‘heaps’ can nonetheless be elucidated in terms of the specificity of numeralization in Polish, since at its advanced, morphosyntactic stage, the process in question affects solely the singular (accusative) forms of QNs.
Against the usual assumption that Arabic grammatical operators based on reflexes of šay derive from the Arabic word for ‘thing’ šayʔ, it is argued here that indefinite quantifiers and partitives instead derive from an existential particle šay that is present in some spoken Arabic dialects of the Arabian Gulf, Om an, and the Yemen. The ambiguity of the existential particle in constructions in which it sets off items in a series lends itself to its reanalysis as a quantifier, and its ambiguity as a quantifier motivates its reanalysis as a partitive. This is consistent with grammaticalization theory, whereby lexical forms give rise to grammatical forms, which themselves give rise to even more grammatical forms. Yet, existential šay likely did not arise from a lexical form. Instead, it is either a borrowing from Modern South Arabian or it is an inherited Semitic feature, ultimately deriving from an attention-focusing demonstrative. Either way, the grammaticalization of a quantitative šī/šē/šay cannot have proceeded directly from word ‘thing’. To the contrary, the word šayʔ meaning ‘thing’ can easily derive from an indefinite quantifier or partitive šay, in a process of degrammaticalization.