General conclusions of the investigation are provided chapter by chapter and also outlined below in a brief preview of the various phenomena to be considered. Prior to this however, the chapter provides a short background introduction to certain general ideas relating to grammaticalization and explains the rationale for applying a formal theoretical approach to the study of gramrnaticalization phenomena in Chinese. Concerning the technical framework and theoretical assumptions adopted in the book, analysis is carried out in a broad Minimalist/Chomskyean approach which assumes a transformational component (i.e., movement) and two interface levels, PF and LF. As in Chomsky (1993, 1995), the combination of lexical items via Merge into initial syntactic structures is assumed to lead first to a point of Spell-Out feeding PF and phonetic interpretation, and then derivationally continue on to a level of LF and semantic interpretation. Various other assumptions relating
more specifically to language change grammaticalization will be introduced as the notions become particularly relevant.