Université de Neuchâtel

Measurements of grammaticalization : developing a quantitative index for the study of grammatical change

Correia Saavedra, David ; Hilpert, Martin (Dir.) ; Petré, Peter (Codir.)

Thèse de doctorat : Université de Neuchâtel, 2019.

There is a broad consensus that grammaticalization is a process that is gradual and largely unidirectional: lexical elements acquire grammatical functions, and grammatical elements can undergo further grammaticalization (Hopper and Traugott 2003). This consensus is based on substantial cross-linguistic evidence. While most existing studies present qualitative evidence, this dissertation discusses...

Université de Neuchâtel

Why are grammatical elements more evenly dispersed than lexical elements? Assessing the roles of text frequency and semantic generality

Hilpert, Martin ; Correia Saavedra, David

In: Corpora, 2017, vol. 12, no. 3, p. 369-392

Grammatical elements such as determiners, conjunctions or pronouns are very evenly dispersed across natural language data. By contrast, the uses of lexical elements have a stronger tendency to occur in bursts that are interspersed by long lulls. This paper considers two alternative explanations for this difference. First, it could be hypothesised that the more even distribution of grammatical...

Université de Neuchâtel

The unidirectionality of semantic changes in grammaticalization: an experimental approach to the asymmetric priming hypothesis

Hilpert, Martin ; Correia Saavedra, David

In: English Language & Linguistics, 2018, vol. 22, no. 3, p. 357-380

Why is semantic change in grammaticalization typically unidirectional? It is a well-established finding that in grammaticalizing constructions, more concrete meanings tend to evolve into more schematic meanings. Jäger & Rosenbach (2008) appeal to the psychological phenomenon of asymmetric priming in order to explain this tendency. This article aims to evaluate their proposal on the basis of...

Université de Neuchâtel

Using token-based semantic vector spaces for corpus-linguistic analyses: From practical applications to tests of theoretical claims

Hilpert, Martin ; Correia Saavedra, David

In: Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 2017, p. 1-32

This paper presents token-based semantic vector spaces as a tool that can be applied in corpus-linguistic analyses such as word sense comparisons, comparisons of synonymous lexical items, and matching of concordance lines with a given text. We demonstrate how token-based semantic vector spaces are created, and we illustrate the kinds of result that can be obtained with this approach. Our main...