In On the Evolution of Grammatical Forms, Heine and Kuteva show this page, without citing any sources that I could find:

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They give a small sample of examples of how this might work, such as the verb "say" going to become a subordinating conjunction after evolution (sorry, the PDF is an image, so can't paste the original text).

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Where can I find the research listing these "350 common grammaticalization pathways"? Where can I find more gathered collections of grammaticalization examples? I would really like to see a big set of examples of "grammaticalization", evolving from noun or verb into other POS's.

I have long been wondering if we can "get rid of prepositions", and grammaticalization points to exactly that! But in reverse, it at least shows how you can convert a preposition back into a verb or noun, which is amazing, and I would like to see more research on examples and such.

  • I found more elaboration on the theory in Grammaticalization: A Conceptual Framework (also by Heine), but not a rich guide yet.
    – Lance
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 21:16
  • 1
    Grammaticalization more often creates adpositions than removes them.
    – Draconis
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 22:30
  • I get that, that wasn't the question. I was excited because this shows a path forward on finding the original nouns/verbs from other word types.
    – Lance
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 1:21

1 Answer 1


I would look at:

Kouteva, T., Heine, B., Hong, B., Long, H., Narrog, H., & Rhee, S. (2019). World Lexicon of Grammaticalization (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://doi.org/10.1017/9781316479704

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