This book contains 15 revised papers originally presented at a symposium at Rosendal, Norway, under the aegis of The Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The overall theme of the volume is 'internal factors in grammatical change.' The papers focus on fundamental questions in theoretically-based historical linguistics from a broad perspective. Several of the papers relate to grammaticalization in different ways, but are generally critical of 'Grammaticalization Theory'. Further papers focus on the causes of syntactic change, pinpointing both extra-syntactic (exogenous) causes and more controversially internally driven (endogenous) causes. The volume is rounded up by contributions on morphological change 'by itself.' A wide range of languages is covered, including Tsova-Tush (Nakh-Dagestan), Zoque, and Athapaskan languages, in addition to Indo-European languages, both the more familiar ones and some less well-studied varieties.
The Grammaticalization of Verbs Verbs as Sources of Grammatical Change
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2004 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1,3, Free University of Berlin (Anglistik), language: English, abstract: The famous dictum, “grammars code best what speakers do most” coined by Du Bois, is a central postulate of all discourse-based approaches to grammaticalization (also known as grammaticization, grammatization). It points to the assumption that frequent repetition in discourse plays a crucial role in the development of grammatical forms, and that basicness is an inherent characteristics of most source concepts. There is only a limited number of lexical items likely to be sources for grammaticalization. Since verbs form the core element of every sentence, expressing different conditions such as states, changes and activities, they provide a rich source for grammatical targets. So how do verbs serve as a source of grammatical change? This academic paper gives answers to this question, discussing the grammaticalization of verbs, and how verbs typically evolve into prepositions, aspectual as well as quotative markers, and complementizers. Evidence is taken not only from English, but also from, i.a., Chinese, German, Spanish, French and African languages.
This book advances research on grammatical change and shows the breadth and liveliness of the field. International scholars report on the nature and outcomes of all aspects of syntactic change, including grammaticalization, variation, syntactic movement, determiner-phrase syntax, pronominal systems, case systems, negation, and alignment.
Based on the systematic analysis of large amounts of computer-readable text, this book shows how the English language has been changing in the recent past, and discusses the linguistic and social factors that are contributing to this process.
Recent years have seen intense debates between formal (generative) and functional linguists, particularly with respect to the relation between grammar and usage. This debate is directly relevant to diachronic linguistics, where one and the same phenomenon of language change can be explained from various theoretical perspectives. In this, a close look at the divergent and/or convergent evolution of a richly documented language family such as Romance promises to be useful. The basic problem for any approach to language change is what Eugenio Coseriu has termed the paradox of change: if synchronically, languages can be viewed as perfectly running systems, then there is no reason why they should change in the first place. And yet, as everyone knows, languages are changing constantly. In nine case studies, a number of renowned scholars of Romance linguistics address the explanation of grammatical change either within a broadly generative or a functional framework.
The product of a group of scholars who have been working on new directions in Historical Linguistics, this book is focused on questions of grammatical change, and the central issue of grammaticalization in Indo-European languages. Several studies examine particular problems in specific languages, but often with implications for the IE phylum as a whole. Given the historical scope of the data (over a period of four millennia) long range grammatical changes such as the development of gender differences, strategies of definiteness, the prepositional phrase, or of the syntax of the verbal diathesis and aspect, are also treated. The shifting relevance of morphology to syntax, and syntax to morphology, a central motif of this research, has provoked lively debate in the discipline of Historical Linguistics.
The contributions to this volume apply and extend the techniques of corpus linguistics and diachronic linguistics to the challenge of describing and explaining grammatical change in varieties of English world-wide. The book is divided into two parts, with ten chapters on ‘Inner Circle’ varieties such as Australian, Canadian, and Irish English, and eight on ‘Outer Circle’ varieties such as Philippine, Indian, and Nigerian English. Contributors examine a range of topics including the progressive aspect, modal auxiliaries, do-support, verb morphology, and quotatives, using a wide variety of corpus resources. Overarching research questions addressed include the following: Do diachronic tendencies observed in a particular variety converge with, diverge from, or run in parallel with, those in the parent variety? What are the possible causes of changes observed (e.g. English teaching traditions, Americanisation, internal changes in registers)? This book will appeal to linguists, particularly those interested in grammatical description, corpus linguistics and World Englishes.
This volume comprises a collection of papers on the theme of grammatical change that evolved out of a workshop sponsored by the Centre for Research on Language Change (The Australian National University). The papers extend the boundaries of what has been addressed under the label of 'grammatical change' by applying theories and models of grammatical change to new evidence; by illuminating the historical relationships between grammar and other levels of linguistics; and by extending the range of languages that have been examined from the perspective of grammatical change. Languages discussed include Murriny Patha, Walpiri, Gurindji, Walmajarri, and Kayardild, Lardil, Yukulta, English, Dutch, German, Afrikaans, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovenian, Albanian, Greek, Old Church Slavonic, Tocharian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Quechua, Basque, and Tok Pisin
Quantitative Approaches to Grammar and Grammatical Change
The newly-emerging field of theoretically informed but simultaneously empirically based syntax is dynamic but little-represented in the literature. This volume addresses this need. While there has previously been something of a gulf between theoretical linguists in the generative tradition and those linguists who work with quantitative data types, this gap is narrowing. In the light of the empirical revolution in the study of syntax, even people whose primary concern is grammatical theory take note of processing effects and attribute certain effects to them. Correspondingly, workers focusing on the surface evidence can relate more to the concepts of the theoreticians, because the two layers of explanation have been brought into contact. And these workers too must account for the data gathered by the theoreticians. An additional innovation is the generative analysis of historical data – this is now seen as psycholinguistic theory-relevant data like any other. These papers are thus a snapshot of some of the work currently being done in evidence-based grammar, using both experimental and historical data.