The contributions in this book shed new light on some central issues in grammaticalization theory such as the (uni-)directionality debate, the relation between grammaticalization and constructions, and the concept of multiple grammaticalization.
Evidence for grammaticalization in several domains of grammar is presented: adpositions, numeral classifiers, honorifics, agreement markers, applicatives, reciprocals, delexical verbs, auxiliaries, relative clauses, and discourse particles. The empirical investigations come from several languages, among them many understudied languages such as Nanafwe, Maltese, Manambu, Chibchan and Siouan languages.
This volume is a collection of 19 contributions from outstanding scholars in the field of functional-typological linguistics that address fundamental issues in the study of language, such as the nature of linguistic categories, the constitution of functional domains, and the form of cross-linguistic continua. Empirical data from individual languages and from typological samples are investigated in order to achieve generalizations about the properties of human grammar(s). Several grammatical phenomena are dealt with including tonal systems, person distinctions, modalities, reciprocity, complex predicates, grammatical relations, word order, clause linkage, and information structure.
The structure of the book illustrates the fundamental importance of the analytical distinction between the onomasiological and the semasiological approach to language and language diversity. Both perspectives are integrated in most papers with a dominant focus on either the former or the latter perspective.