While the comparative method is concerned with regularities in phonological change, grammaticalization theory deals with regularities of grammatical change. In an A-Z format, this book summarizes the most salient generalizations that have been made on the unidirectional change of grammatical forms and constructions. The product of ten years of research, World Lexicon of Grammaticalization provides the reader with the tools to show how different grammatical meanings can be related to one another in a principled way, how to deal with issues such as polysemy and heterosemy, or why certain linguistic forms have simultaneous lexical and grammatical functions. It covers several hundred grammaticalization processes, in each case offering definitions of lexical concepts, suitable examples from a variety of languages, and references to the relevant research literature. Indices organized by source and target concepts allow for flexible use, and the findings delineated in the book are relevant to students of language across theoretical boundaries.
'The major strength of the book lies in the extent to which the grammaticalization processes noted are supported by data from a wide variety of languages and the degree to which languages of the world show striking similarity in the evolution of their grammatical forms. To this end this text makes a profound contribution. It succeeds in showing which lexical items are related to which grammatical forms ... As a reference work, this book will prove to be a useful resource for researchers interested in cross-linguistic patterns of grammaticalization.' Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies