grammaticalisation
Definition - A process of language change in which words that represent objects and actions (e.g. nouns and verbs) evolve into words that grammatically relate words to other words (e.g. affixes and prepositions).

For example, the Old English word lic meant "form" or "body." Eventually, it ceased to exist as a word but was retained in the language as the ending -lice, which ultimately became the modern adjectival suffix -ly.



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