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Categories of focus, inclusion, quantity, intensity and grammaticalization of correlative conjunction pairs

Grant number: 05/00483-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2005
Effective date (End): October 31, 2006
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Historical Linguistics
Principal researcher:Rodolfo Ilari
Grantee:Marcelo Modolo
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


I argue in this study that the semantic cognitive categories of ‘focus’, ‘inclusion’, ‘quantity’ and ‘intensity’ are responsible for setting in motion the trigger of the grammaticalization of the following conjunctional correlative pairs: I) Additive (not only…but also): This girl not only plays but (she) also dances ; II) ii) Alternative (neither …nor, either…or, whether…or, be it…or, etc) Neither you nor your gang are going to get anything around here; Either you behave or I’ll send you to the head teacher; Whether it rains or the sun shines, the game will go on; I always eat well, be it at home or in some restaurant ; She sometimes works like mad, sometimes just watches TV . III) Consecutive (as…as) John ran as much that he was tired; IV) Comparative (more/less/ before...than, as much as, the more…the more, the less…the less, the more…the less, the less…the more.) My wife works as much as I (do); The more I work, the less (I) accomplish. I understand as a trigger, the linguistic phenomenon that goes off the process of grammaticalization of these structures. The Linguists that deal with grammaticalization have always observed that they are not all lexical items that are subject to changing, distinguishing itself an impermeable sector from another permeable sector to such alterations. At least two sources feed the lexical alterations: i) the integration of items in determined cognitive domains (such as "body", "vision", "space", "movement") and the ii) free conversational interchange, when pragmatic necessities impel us to introduce alterations in the lexical supply to give replies for these necessities. There will be, therefore, a pragmatic trigger and a cognitive trigger for the correlative sentences, accepting the language as a panchronic phenomenon. This Project will focus on the analysis of the above-mentioned categories, responsible for setting in motion the cognitive trigger of the grammaticalization.

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