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Article Dans Une Revue English Language and Linguistics Année : 2022

The grammaticalization of evidentiality in English

Eric Mélac

Résumé

This article argues that the data on English evidential markers indicate that evidentiality is not a grammatical category which is only applicable to some languages, but can be considered a universal semantic function that tends to trigger the grammaticalization of lexical forms. This study investigates five criteria that can help us locate linguistic forms on the lexicon–grammar continuum: reduction, desemanticization, backgrounding, decategorialization and paradigmatization. Although it has not reached the full maturity of so-called ‘evidential languages’, English provides evidence of the grammaticalization of evidentiality. Evidentiality is thus a relevant notion for English which substantially impacts the organization of the lexicon of the language, and the evolution of its grammar.

Domaines

Linguistique
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Dates et versions

hal-03940626 , version 1 (16-01-2023)

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Eric Mélac. The grammaticalization of evidentiality in English. English Language and Linguistics, 2022, 26 (2), pp.331-359. ⟨10.1017/S1360674321000101⟩. ⟨hal-03940626⟩

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