Definition of grammaticalize in English:


Line breaks: gram|mat¦ical|ize
Pronunciation: /grəˈmatɪk(ə)lʌɪz
(also grammaticalise)


[with object] Linguistics
  • Change (an element) from being one having lexical meaning into one having a largely grammatical function: we cannot assume that such notions will necessarily be grammaticalized in the structure of any particular language
    More example sentences
    • The lexical items that become grammaticalized must first serve commonly needed discourse functions.
    • The fact that concepts are grammaticalized differently in different languages is a major problem for translation, especially for machine translation.



More example sentences
  • I have to admit that her derivation probably wouldn't make good news copy, although it is a process that parallels the similar grammaticalization of gonna.
  • Language changes like that, when a word with a concrete meaning becomes a word that only expresses a function of grammar, it is called grammaticalization.
  • In my syntax seminar the other day we were discussing grammaticalisation in French negation.

More definitions of grammaticalize

Definition of grammaticalize in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little