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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton September 25, 2007

The origins of grammar in the verbalization of experience

  • William Croft EMAIL logo
From the journal Cognitive Linguistics


Why is there grammar? The verbalization of experience can provide an explanatory model of the function of grammatical categories and constructions. Chafe's model of verbalization provides a model of how the unanalyzed, unique whole of experience is broken up into parts that are categorized into types, that is, the lexical roots of an utterance. We add further processes to Chafe's model, because the speaker also must convert the types represented by the lexical roots back to the particulars of the experience, and put the parts back together into the original whole. These additional processes express the aspects of experience that become grammaticalized. A functional classification of grammatical categories and structures in terms of their role in verbalization is outlined.

*Contact address: MSC 03 2130 Linguistics, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131, USA.

Received: 2006-09-11
Revised: 2006-12-20
Published Online: 2007-09-25
Published in Print: 2007-09-19

© Walter de Gruyter

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