Cyclic Grammaticalization of Yæ'ni ('meaning') from the Perspective of Discourse Grammar

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Linguistics Department, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan

2 PhD Candidate, Linguistics Department, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan


On the basis of Discourse Grammar (DG), this study investigates the expression of  yæ'ni in Persian. The term was originally borrowed from Arabic and has undergone the process of grammaticalization. It exhibits different pragmatic functions to characterize changes involved in the evolution of this discourse marker. The study suggests that grammaticalization of yæ'ni should be analyzed in terms of cyclic grammaticalization formulated by Kuteva (2012); that is, SG>TG>SG. The beginning point of the process is a Sentence Grammar unit that has been co-opted for being used in Thetical Grammar (TG). Once co-optation has taken place, the co-opted yæ'ni (as a thetical chunk) has undergone grammaticalization in TG, leading to the grammaticalized thetical of yæ'ni. It is also argued that the grammaticalized thetical of yæ'ni goes back to its domain of origin (SG) by taking over a grammatical function within SG. Its trajectory of development leaves us with a cyclic process starting with co-optation, linking SG to TG, continues within TG (resulting into a grammaticalized thetical) and ends by linking SG to TG (re-integrating into SG).


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Volume 5, Issue 1 - Serial Number 1
September 2014
Pages 75-93
  • Receive Date: 21 June 2014
  • Revise Date: 02 July 2014
  • Accept Date: 06 August 2014
  • First Publish Date: 06 August 2014