Välkommen till ett högre seminarium i lingvistik.

Kasper Boye (University of Copenhagen) talar under rubriken From grammaticalization to agrammatism – a usage-based approach to the grammatical–lexical distinction.

Tid: Torsdag 7 mars 2019, kl 15:00-17:00
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati


This talk outlines a usage-based theory of the grammatical-lexical distinction and of grammaticalization (Boye & Harder 2012, “A usage-based theory of grammatical status and grammaticalization”, Language 88.1), and presents a number of psycho- and neurolinguistic studies that support it. According to the theory, grammatical items (morphemes, words, constructions) have two defining properties that distinguish them from lexical items: i) they are by convention discursively secondary (background), and ii) they are dependent on a host item. It follows that grammatizalization consists in the development of items that are by convention secondary and dependent. Such development may be the result of a completion for discourse prominence in language usage.
The theory entails a hypothesis that grammatical items attract less attention than lexical items in language perception, and a hypothesis that the production of grammatical items is associated with a heavier processing load than the production of lexical items. These hypotheses were confirmed in a number of letter detection, change blindness and production experiments.
The theory also entails classifications of items as grammatical or lexical that run counter to traditional ideas. For instance, distinctions can be made between grammatical and lexical members not only of open word classes, but also closed word classes such as prepositions, pronouns and particles. Aphasiological studies show that such distinctions are significant for the description of different types of aphasic speech. 

Bio sketch

Kasper Boye is an associate professor of linguistics at the University of Copenhagen. Taking a functional and usage-based approach to language, his main research interests include grammaticalization, linguistic categorization and complementation.