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Auxiliation is the diachronic process of creating an auxiliary verb from a full verb.


The change from the Old English full verb willan 'want' to a future auxiliary (as in She will go) is an example of auxiliation.


According to Kuteva (2001:1), the term was coined by Benveniste (1968).


  • Benveniste, Émile. 1968. "Mutations of linguistic categories." In: Lehmann, Winfred P. & Malkiel, Yakov (eds.) Directions for historical linguistics: A symposium. Austin: University of Texas Press, 85-94.
  • Kuteva, Tania. 2001. Auxiliation: An enquiry into the nature of grammaticalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.