Elizabeth Closs Traugott

Elizabeth Closs Traugott
Stanford University | SU · Department of Linguistics

PhD

About

176
Publications
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Introduction
Additional affiliations
September 1966 - present
Stanford University
Position
  • Professor of Linguistics and English Emerita

Publications

Publications (176)
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive linguistics seeks to account for “a speaker’s knowledge of the full range of linguistic conventions” (LANGACKER, 1987; also GOLDBERG, 2006). It is surprising therefore that little attention has been paid in cognitive linguistics to the linguistic conventions called “discourse markers” (SCHIFFRIN, 1987) or “pragmatic markers” (FRASER, 2009...
Article
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Discourse management markers (DMMs) that “signal a meta-comment on the structure of the discourse” (Fraser 2009) are widely attested in historical data. Most discourse management markers (e.g. and, anyway, by the way, but, now, then) meet well-known criteria for pragmatic markers such as multifunctionality, opacity, optionality, (inter)subjectivity...
Article
The aim of this paper is to suggest that pragmatic markers of stance-to-text should be an area of inquiry in stance studies and thought of as a subset of grammatical stance markers. Stance-to-text markers are metalinguistic discourse management markers (Fraser, 2009) that are used to comment on the speaker/writer's view of the coherence, given cert...
Article
De Smet et al. (2018) propose that when functionally similar constructions come to overlap, analogical attraction may occur. So may differentiation, but this process involves attraction to other subnetworks and is both “accidental” and “exceptional”. I argue that differentiation plays a considerably more significant role than De Smet et al. allow....
Article
The paper addresses the emergence and development of the Chinese correlative comparative construction (CrCC) from the perspective of constructionalization. Most previous historical studies of the CrCC take a grammaticalization approach (e.g., Long 2013), focusing mainly on morphosyntax alone rather than investigating syntax and semantics in an inte...
Chapter
Patterns of form and meaning pairings are an important topic in synchronic work on construction grammar, cf. discussion of syntactic patterns (Michaelis 2006) and morphological word-formation patterns (Booij 2010). From a historical perspective, the question arises how patterns come into being (Bybee 2010; Traugott and Trousdale 2013). I explore su...
Article
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This paper investigates the development of the copula shì construction in Chinese from the perspective of diachronic construction grammar (Traugott & Trousdale 2013). In prior work the development has been conceptualized in a grammaticalization framework, with focus on the individual expression shì, rather than on its development in the context of...
Article
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The emphasis of this paper is on cognitively-oriented strands of research developed in the last two decades, and on language-internal evidence for pragmatic factors that by hypothesis enable change. Work is highlighted in which pragmatic inferencing is analyzed in context. Contexts are understood to include not only the local clause but also comple...
Article
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Mittwoch et al. (2002:779) list by the way, incidentally, and parenthetically as clause adjuncts that in contemporary English “signal the informational status of their clause” and “indicate a change of topic or digression, generally suggesting that the new information is less important”. This supports Pons and Estellés's (2009) argument that “digre...
Chapter
Variation, Versatility and Change in Sociolinguistics and Creole Studies - by John Russell Rickford January 2019
Article
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The hypothesis that “invited inferences” are factors in change and challenges to it are reviewed. In light of recent work on historical construction grammar and interactional discourse analysis, I suggest that at least three types of inferences play a role in interactional contexts: local inferences associated with specific expressions; discourse s...
Article
A standard definition of grammaticalization is that it is the process whereby lexemes or lexical items become grammatical.¹ Yet the equally standard examples of the process, such as body part terms becoming adpositions (e.g., by (X's) side), or motion verbs becoming auxiliaries (e.g., be going to > “future” gonna), typically involve not bare lexeme...
Article
Assuming that the Uniformitarian Principle refers to processes of production and perception, I argue that it remains invaluable for work on language in the last five thousand years or so, the period of linguistic historical record. In this article I show that some proposals about the development of ‘insubordination’ (Evans 2007), particularly those...
Chapter
Semantic change is the subfield of historical linguistics that investigates changes in sense. In 1892, the German philosopher Gottlob Frege argued that, although they refer to the same person, Jocasta and Oedipus’s mother, are not equivalent because they cannot be substituted for each other in some contexts; they have different “senses” or “values....
Chapter
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Among changes in the Middle English period that involve pragmatics, two stand out in particular because of their significant effects on the later history of English. One was the shift from information-structure-oriented word order in Old English to “syntacticized” order in Middle English; this in turn led, at the end of the period, to new strategie...
Chapter
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Selected topics in research on semantic change are discussed with focus on work based in Cognitive Linguistics and neo-Gricean pragmatics. Recent work on metaphor and metonymy, grammaticalization, subjectification, and collostructional analysis are highlighted and shown to provide theoretical underpinnings for some traditional taxonomies of semanti...
Presentation
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In this conference presentation, we compare two different possible explanations for the recent uses of utterance-final 'already' especially in imperative clauses, such as 'move those sheep already': as modal particle (even though English is commonly assumed not to have any) or as sense extension to irrealis contexts. We find both explanations equal...
Article
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My aim in this paper is to show that, in modified form, semantic connectivity maps of the kind developed in van der Auwera & Plungian (1998) and van der Auwera (2013) can be useful for showing the development over time of relationships among polysemous constructions. Since these maps pertain primarily to meaning and are intended as contributions to...
Article
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Much work on pragmatic markers in the history of English has been devoted to expressions used clause-initially at “left periphery”. By contrast, this study provides an account in broad outlines of the incremental development of pragmatic markers in clause-final “right periphery” position. Particular attention is paid to the rise of comment clauses,...
Article
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This paper addresses the emergence and development of the Chinese cleft construction, with particular attention to the period from Early Archaic Chinese through Late Medieval Chinese. Prototype copulas are typically of the form [NP SHI NP], are predicational or specificational, and cue information focus. We trace the gradual development over time o...
Article
In Early Modern English Dialogs: Spoken Interaction as Writing (2010), Jonathan Culpeper and Merja Kytö discuss the function and distribution of interjections such as Ah, Oh, and “pragmatic noise” such as Tush in Early Modern English, as represented in A Corpus of English Dialogs 1560–1760. Although they recognize trials as major sources of data cl...
Article
Full-text available
Several models of pragmatic markers in initial and final position “outside” the clause are presented, many of them suggesting a sharp divide between periphery “outside” the core clause, and periphery “inside” the core. Characteristics of pragmatic markers often considered to be prototypical are discussed, especially syntactic and prosodic detachabi...
Article
We present a constructionalization framework for thinking about the development of contentful (“lexical”) constructions over time. This framework incorporates and goes beyond earlier work on lexicalization, which largely focuses on reduction in the form of specific lexical items. A constructionalist perspective draws attention to meaning as well as...
Article
Full-text available
A construction grammar approach is presented to changes to language as a system that is both communicative and cognitive (Traugott and Trousdale 2013). Constructionalization is defined as the development of formnew-meaningnew pairs and constructional changes as changes to features of constructions. The approach requires focus on form and meaning eq...
Article
This chapter addresses Beeching and Detges' research question "What are the respective roles of LP and RP for the rise of polyphonous items?" and their hypothesis that LP and RP are asymmetric. It focuses on testing the hypothesis, that items at LP are likely to be subjective, those at RP intersubjective. Discussion is based on evidence from the de...
Book
Elizabeth Closs Traugott and Graeme Trousdale develop an approach to language change based on construction grammar. Construction grammar is a theory of signs construed at the level of the phrase, clause, and complex sentence. Until now it has been mainly synchronic. The authors use it to reconceptualize grammaticalization (the process by which verb...
Article
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König and Vezzosi (2004: 239) commented about work on grammaticalization that: 'Very rarely ... do we find detailed discussions of the onset contexts that set such a process into motion and the conditions that such contexts must meet'. However, understanding local context-derived inference is now a high priority in a number of areas of linguistics,...
Article
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Most instances of grammaticalization have been shown to arise in restrictive contexts (cf. Bybee et al. 1994). The persistence (Hopper 1991) of linguistic contexts raises theoretical and methodological issues for historical corpus research. What is the appropriate unit of linguistic context? How long do contexts remain relevant in the history of sp...
Article
Ways of identifying subjectification and especially intersubjectification are discussed using data from the history of English no doubt and surely . These adverbs arose out of non-modal expressions and were recruited for use as epistemic adverbs and metadiscursive markers. The data are shown not to support the hypothesis that expressions at left pe...
Article
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In this book Anna Wierzbicka develops the argument introduced in her English: Meaning and culture (2006) that '"verbal cues" (and especially certain keywords) define the conceptual world inhabited by speakers' of what she calls 'Anglo English' (1). These speakers are said to be 'ordinary people', although they inhabit an intellectual world in which...
Article
In this book Anna Wierzbicka develops the argument introduced in her English: Meaning and culture (2006) that '"verbal cues" (and especially certain keywords) define the conceptual world inhabited by speakers' of what she calls 'Anglo English' (1). These speakers are said to be 'ordinary people', although they inhabit an intellectual world in which...
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Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (1988), pp. 406-416
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Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (1986), pp. 539-550
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Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (1981), pp. 308-316
Article
‘Modality’ is defined as a semantic supercategory distinct from ‘modals’, which are structural expressions. Recent diachronic cross-linguistic work on both modality and modals is reviewed, with particular attention to the role of dynamic (‘ability’) modality in the rise of modal expressions. Since much research in the last decade has focused on non...
Article
Language is considered a defining property of humanity in ancient myths and in contemporary humanities disciplines such as philosophy and in linguistics. But there are competing views about what constitutes the capacity for language. One approach, known as the formal generative approach, regards the language capacity as autonomous from other cognit...
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Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (1982)
Article
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This paper examines a short-lived innovation, quotative all, in real and apparent time. We used a two-pronged method to trace the trajectory of all over the past two decades: (i) Quantitative analyses of the quotative system of young Californians from different decades; this reveals a startling crossover pattern: in 1990/1994, all predominates, but...
Article
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This volume is intended to address three questions: 1) How are we to understand the intersection between synchronic gradience and grammaticalization? 2) What insights does grammaticalization offer for assessing the validity of Aarts's (2007) claims regarding synchronic gradience, specifically that there is a significant distinction between subsecti...
Book
This volume, which emerged from a workshop at the "New Reflections on Grammaticalization 4" conference held at KU Leuven in July 2008, contains a collection of papers which investigate the relationship between synchronic gradience and the apparent gradualness of linguistic change, largely from the perspective of grammaticalization. In addition to v...
Article
Language is considered a defining property of humanity in ancient myths and in contemporary humanities disciplines such as philosophy and in linguistics. But there are competing views about what constitutes the capacity for language. One approach, known as the formal generative approach, regards the language capacity as autonomous from other cognit...
Article
Some questions are posed concerning issues to investigate when testing the hypothesis that semantic priming contributes to change, especially unidirectionality in change. They include extent of prior context, similarity of semantic primes, and univerbation effects. Ways in which priming could be used to test hypotheses about grammaticalization are...
Chapter
Some Theories about Structural and Semantic-Pragmatic Properties of GrammaticalizationSome Examples of GrammaticalizationImplications for a Theory of GrammaticalizationConclusion Notes
Chapter
The FieldFrom the Synchronic Perspective on PragmaticsFrom the Perspective of Language ChangeA Case Study: after all11Conclusion
Article
As the editors, Bas Aarts and April McMahon, point out in their introduction, while 'English language' and 'English language and linguistics' are administrative terms in Europe (less so in the US), 'English linguistics' is a widely practiced field of research. It is a highly influential, and often essential, component of general theoretical discuss...
Article
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I discuss three issues common to papers in the present issue of CatJL by Aijmer, Bazzanella et al., and Waltereit and Detges. One is modal uses of discourse markers and distinctions between discourse markers and modal particles. The second is evidence provided by the papers for diachronic changes that individual markers underwent; the distinction b...
Article
In this paper the importance of distinguishing synchronic (inter)subjectivity and diachronic (inter)subjectification is stressed. Questions are posed concerning the robustness of hypotheses about matches between semantic function and syntactic position at the left or right periphery of the clause in Japanese, the extent to which subtypes of (inter)...
Article
The concepts mismatch, type-shifting, and coercion are central to much recent work on cognitive linguistics. In a number of papers, Michaelis has investigated entity and event coercion (Michaelis 2003a, b, 2004 a, b). I address her question what conditions favor the diachronic development of shift constructions (Michaelis 2004a: 8) from the perspec...
Article
The structure and discourse correlates of left-dislocations are discussed and compared with those that have been identified in Present Day English. Significant factors in Old English are shown to be the animacy and quantificational status of the dislocated nominal; complexity is an additional factor. Several functions considered important in Presen...
Article
Elizabeth Closs Traugott is Professor of Linguistics and English, Stanford University, Emerita. Her book publications include A history of English syntax (1972), Linguistics for students of literature (with Mary L. Pratt; 1980), Regularity in semantic change (with Richard B. Dasher; 2002), and Grammaticalization (with Paul J. Hopper; 2nd ed., 2003)...
Article
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In this diachronic study, we shed light on the development of the functions and structural properties of Adverb all, and suggest that degree modifiers in general should be analyzed in similar terms. We show that the harmonic relationship between Adverb all and its head is best accounted for in terms of boundedness rather than gradability (see Kenne...
Article
Elly van Gelderen, Grammaticalization as economy. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 71. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2004. Pp. 320. ISBN 90 272 2795 0 (Eur.), 1 58811 552 6 (US) - - Volume 10 Issue 1 - Elizabeth Closs Traugott
Article
In this interview, Elizabeth Closs Traugott, the world's leading authority on grammaticalization and the history of English syntax and Stanford University Professor Emerita, speaks candidly about her long and distinguished career as professor, former President of the Linguistic Society of America, former President of the International Society for H...
Article
Lexicalization, a process of language change, has been conceived in a variety of ways. In this up-to-date survey, Laurel Brinton and Elizabeth Traugott examine the various ideas that have been presented. In light of contemporary work on grammaticalization, they then propose a new, unified model of lexicalization and grammaticalization. Their approa...
Article
In Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Conversational Implicature , Levinson (2000) argues that in historical as well as synchronic work there is need to distinguish three types of pragmatic principles, which he labels the Q-, M-, and I- “heuristics”. This is in contrast to Horn (1984), who argues for two types of “principles”: Q- and R-. In the pr...
Article
In this paper, key elements of the Relevance Theoretic approach to the relationship between semantics and pragmatics are introduced. The proposal is that a minimalist semantics is contextually enriched according to a single principle of “relevance”. This is in contrast to standard models that assume a rich semantics and a relatively parsimonious pr...
Article
Introduction: When the history of historical linguistics in the twentieth century is written, one recurrent theme will surely be the hypothesis that certain types of change are unidirectional. This hypothesis takes many forms, but is probably most widely associated with historical cross-linguistic, typological work, much of it devoted to the correl...
Article
Grammaticalization refers to the change whereby lexical terms and constructions serve grammatical functions in certain linguistic contexts and, once grammaticalized, continue to develop new grammatical functions. Paul Hopper and Elizabeth Traugott synthesize research from several areas of linguistics in this revised introduction to the subject. The...
Article
Full-text available
The discourse contexts are analyzed in which clause-internal in fact developed pragmaticalized meanings and came to invoke scalarity in two domains: epistemic sentence adverb (IPAdv), and additive discourse marker (DM). In both these uses, in fact tightens word to world fit (Powell 1992): the world of epistemic belief in the case of the IPAdv, the...

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Project
Utterance-initial and final positions are sites where grammaticalization and constructionalization frequently occur. Peripheries (utterance-initial and final positions) are also where 'action-structure' and 'exchange-structure (turn-taking)' are realized.