Journal of Historical Pragmatics vol:16 issue:1 pages:25-58
In this article we reconstruct the emergence of the modal and discourse marker uses of adverbial and clausal expressions with no doubt. Their history contrasts in a number of surprising ways with typical grammaticalization hypotheses. Existential expressions with no doubt emerged directly with grammatical modal meaning and developed lexicalized idiomatic uses later on. We account for this in terms of Boye and Harder’s discourse approach to grammaticalization and lexicalization, according to which the former involves coded discourse secondariness whereas the latter expresses a primary point of the discourse. Like adverbial no doubt, I have/make no doubt acquired not only modal but also discourse marker uses. Invoking the principles of Kaltenböck, Heine and Kuteva’s Thetical Grammar, we explain this development in terms of the positional and scopal flexibility, and the discourse functionality of these expressions.