Hypotaxis as Building-Site
The Emergence and Grammaticalization of Concessive Conditionals in English, German and Dutch
This is the first book-length study of concessive conditionals, a type of adverbial clause that shows an unusual breadth of variation in Germanic and is therefore characterized as a "building-site" of grammaticalization. Entirely based on corpus data, it offers a detailed description of concessive conditionals and their subtypes in English, German and Dutch from the point of view of form-function relations and the discourse-syntax interface. The discourse conditions under which their more or less strongly grammaticalized formal varieties are used in discourse are pinpointed, and a clear distinction is drawn between the synchronic and diachronic emergence of concessive conditionals. Contrary to traditional assumptions in grammaticalization methodology, present-day variation patterns of concessive conditionals do not necessarily reflect their actual paths of historical development. Rather than evolve steadily towards ever increasing grammaticalization, concessive conditionals have been hovering on the edge of syntax in the languages in question and are likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
TORSTEN LEUSCHNER (Dr. phil., Freie Universität Berlin) is Associate Professor of German Linguistics at the University of Ghent. He has published articles on grammaticalization and related issues in Germanic linguistics, co-edited a book on grammaticalization in German and served as linguistics editor with the journal Germanistische Mitteilungen.
ISBN 9783895863530. LINCOM Studies in Germanic Linguistics 24. 191pp. 2006.