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Full Access On some Problematic Aspects of Subjectification

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On some Problematic Aspects of Subjectification

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image of Language Dynamics and Change

The aim of this paper is to clarify the notion of subjectivity and subjectification. It is proposed here that subjectification is a purely semantic change, similarly to the view presented in Boye and Harder (2012a). at is, in contrast to other diachronic processes that involve semantic and structural changes and of which subjectification may be a part, e.g., lexicalization, grammaticalization, and pragmaticalization, it does not necessarily correlate with any particular structural changes. Three diagnostic criteria for detecting subjective meaning in linguistic expressions will be introduced. Their application will be demonstrated using examples from the diachrony of German. Additionally, contra to the predominant views on subjectification, a suggestion will be put forward that this process is not gradual and not unidirectional.


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