Accueil > Cours et Séminaires > M. Ariel & J. Du Bois : Two courses on Pragmatics and Semantics

M. Ariel & J. Du Bois : Grammaticization : Functional Explanation for Grammar

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This course focuses on another facet of the pragmatics/grammar interface, the process of grammaticization (and semanticization).

Grammaticization : Functional Explanation for Grammar (July 9-13)

Mira Ariel & John W. DuBois

  • Introduction to grammaticization (MA)
    • Hopper & Traugott (1993/2003), Ch. 1 or Traugott & Dasher (2002), Ch. 1
    • Ariel (2009)
  • Reflexivization and the cycle of grammaticization (MA)
    • Ariel (2008), Ch. 6
    • Keenan (2002)
  • From accessibility to referent tracking : Distributed cognitive files (MA & JD)
    • Ariel (2001)
    • DuBois (1980)
  • Preferred Argument Structure and competing motivations in functional explanation (JD)
    • DuBois (2003)
    • DuBois (1985)
  • The grammaticization of argument structure (MA & JD)
    • Margetts & Austin (2007)

This course focuses on another facet of the pragmatics/grammar interface, the process of grammaticization (and semanticization). We argue for grammaticization as a foundational component of a pragmatically-informed theory of functional explanation for language. Grammaticization is seen as a process which is functionally motivated, largely in absolute (extralinguistic) terms, yet complex enough to incorporate some degree of arbitrariness. The theory is applied to specific topics beginning with the grammar of reflexives (lecture 2). The activation and tracking of referents in discourse is examined in light of accessibility theory and the concept of distributed cognition (lecture 3). Finally, the grammaticization of argument structure is analyzed as arising out of discourse patterns of preferred argument structure ; this is examined as a paradigm case of the theory of competing motivations (lectures 4 & 5).

Both courses are based on recent research by Ariel and DuBois ; each is designed to be self-contained, and can be taken independently of each other, or combined for additional scope of theoretical and empirical coverage.

See the available online material associated with the course.