Degaetano-Ortlieb, Stefania; Menzel, Katrin; Teich, Elke

The course of grammatical change in scientific writing: Interdependency between convention and productivity

Proceedings of the Corpus and Language Variation in English Research Conference (CLAVIER), Bari, Italy, 2017.

We present an empirical approach to analyze the course of usage change in scientific writing. A great amount of linguistic research has dealt with grammatical changes, showing their gradual course of change, which nearly always progresses stepwise (see e.g. Bybee et al. 1994, Hopper and Traugott 2003, Lee 2011, De Smet and Van de Velde 2013). Less well understood is under which conditions these changes occur. According to De Smet (2016), specific expressions increase in frequency in one grammatical context, adopting a more conventionalized use, which in turn makes them available in closely related grammatical contexts.