This book seeks to answer the questions: why do grammars change, and why is the rate of such change so variable? A principal focus is on changes in English between the Anglo-Saxon and early modern periods. The author frames his analysis in a comparative framework with extended discussions of language change in a wide range of other Indo-European languages. He deploys Chomsky's minimalist framework in a fruitful marriage of comparative and theoretical linguistics within an argument that will be accessible to practitioners in both fields.
This book showcases fresh research into the underexplored territory of complementation through a detailed analysis of gerunds and ‘to’ infinitives involving control in English. Drawing on large electronic corpora of recent English, it examines subject control in adjectival predicate constructions with ‘scared’, ‘terrified’ and ‘afraid’, moving on to a study of object control with the verbal predicate ‘warn’. In each chapter a case study is presented of a matrix adjective that selects both infinitival and gerundial complements, and a central theme is the application of the Choice Principle as a novel factor bearing on complement selection. The authors argue that it is helpful to view the patterns in question as constructions, as combinations of form and meaning, within the system of English predicate complementation, and convincingly demonstrate how a new gerundial pattern has emerged and spread in the course of the last two centuries. This book will appeal to scholars of semantics, corpus linguistics, and historical linguistics as well as those with an interest in variation and change in recent English more generally.
In this book Peter Juul Nielsen examines the foundations of morphological theory from a structural-functional perspective on language as a sign system with the empirical challenge of describing the nonfinite verb forms in Danish as his point of departure.
Language Arts & Disciplines by Thórhallur Eythórsson
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.
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
Language Arts & Disciplines by Juergen Weissenborn
In recent linguistic theory, there has been an explosion of detailed studies of language variation. This volume applies such recent analyses to the study of child language, developing new approaches to change and variation in child grammars and revealing both early knowledge in several areas of grammar and a period of extended development in others. Topics dealt with include question formation, "subjectless" sentences, object gaps, rules for missing subject interpretation, passive sentences, rules for pronoun interpretation and argument structure. Leading developmental linguists and psycholinguists show how linguistic theory can help define and inform a theory of the dynamics of language development and its biological basis, meeting the growing need for such studies in programs in linguistics, psychology, and cognitive science.
This two volume work examines every aspect of language change and two centuries of linguistic approaches towards understanding it. The enterprise opens with a consideration of the nature of language and what constitutes language change. Gary Miller argues that a single overarching theory is insufficient to encompass the protean mix of linguistic, social, political, and cognitive factors involved in linguistic diachrony. He analyzes general processes of phonetic, phonological, morphological, and syntactic change, and explores their origins, causes, and effects. To support his analyses, he provides detailed case studies of such phenomena as the Middle English vowels, the history of English do, and development of the feminine gender in Indo-European. He offers a balanced approach to the effects of first language acquisition, describes general and specific processes including grammaticalization and creolization, and examines the role of differential rates of change in regional and dialectal variation. He reveals that several fundamental concepts in historical linguistics are much older than conventionally assumed. In its comprehensive approach and great linguistic and historical range, this is a contribution of enduring use and value to historical linguistics and linguistic theory. Volume I examines topics involving change in different components of the grammar from the perspectives of theory, acquisition, variation, and motivation. Gary Miller investigates traditional concerns, such as variation and lexical diffusion, and considers their impact on contemporary issues. He discusses the interaction of articulatory and perceptual factors, the implications of naturalness for expected changes, and the consequences of alterations of syllable timing for contemporary theory. The volume closes with a description of and motivations for vowel shifts. In Volume II, the focus turns to morphological and syntactic language changes. By most theoretical accounts, morphology is not autonomous, but interacts with at least three other domains: (i) phonology and perception, (ii) the lexicon / culture, and (iii) syntax. Having addressed the first of these extensively in Volume I, Gary Miller illustrates the second with the rise of the feminine gender in Indo-European, and the third by documentation of the changes from Latin to Romance in the coding of reflexive, anticausative, middle, and passive. He shows how syntactic change is (micro)parametric and is typically motivated by changes in lexical features, including the numerous shifts from lexical to functional content as well as changes within functional categories. Finally, he considers the genesis of creole inflectional, derivational, and syntactic categories, involving the interaction of contact phenomena with morphological and syntactic change.
This volume provides a comprehensive reference grammar of Gothic, the earliest attested language of the Germanic family (apart from runic inscriptions), dating to the fourth century. The bulk of the extant Gothic corpus is a translation of the Bible, of which only a portion remains, and which has been the focus of most previous works. This book is the first in English to also draw on the recently discovered Bologna fragment and Crimean graffiti, original Gothic texts that provide more insights into the language. Following an overview of the history of the Goths and the origin of the Gothic language, Gary Miller explores all the major topics in Gothic grammar, beginning with the alphabet and phonology, and proceeding through subjects such as case functions, prepositions and particles, compounding, derivation, and verbal and sentential syntax. He also presents a selection of Gothic texts with notes and vocabulary, and ends with a chapter on linearization, including an overview of Gothic in its Germanic context. The Oxford Gothic Grammar will be an invaluable reference for all Indo-Europeanists, Germanic scholars, and historical linguists, from advanced undergraduate level upwards.
This volume investigates the processes by which novel words in English are coined, adopted, and adapted, such as affixation, compounding, and clipping. It looks at the interaction between word-forming operations, expressive morphology, and language play,and will appeal to all those interested in English etymology, lexicography, and morphology.
This book presents a critical comparison of the two leading theories of linguistic change. After introducing the aims and methods of historical linguistics, Olga Fischer provides an exposition of the main theories used to describe morphosyntactic change and a full account of the causes and mechanisms by which their leading exponents seek to explain it. She measures the effectiveness of rival theories and methods in different contexts and in the process throws fresh light on the balance of factors influencing linguistic change. Professor Fischer emphazises the unity of form and meaning in the linguistic sign and examines the role played by analogy. She looks at how changes in discourse, lexicon, semantics, pragmatics, and sound interact with changes in morphosyntax, and explores the relationship between external and internal causes of change. She considers whether morphosyntactic change is gradual or abrupt and discusses how far rates of change reflect the degree to which grammar is innate or learned. She uses detailed case studies to illustrate different types of morphosyntactic change, and to show how each theory fares when put into practice. The author's clear style and her balanced approach to this fascinating and complex subject combine to make this a book that will be of central interest and value to scholars and students of linguistic change, at graduate level and above.
The first edition of ELL (1993, Ron Asher, Editor) was hailed as "the field's standard reference work for a generation". Now the all-new second edition matches ELL's comprehensiveness and high quality, expanded for a new generation, while being the first encyclopedia to really exploit the multimedia potential of linguistics. * The most authoritative, up-to-date, comprehensive, and international reference source in its field * An entirely new work, with new editors, new authors, new topics and newly commissioned articles with a handful of classic articles * The first Encyclopedia to exploit the multimedia potential of linguistics through the online edition * Ground-breaking and International in scope and approach * Alphabetically arranged with extensive cross-referencing * Available in print and online, priced separately. The online version will include updates as subjects develop ELL2 includes: * c. 7,500,000 words * c. 11,000 pages * c. 3,000 articles * c. 1,500 figures: 130 halftones and 150 colour * Supplementary audio, video and text files online * c. 3,500 glossary definitions * c. 39,000 references * Extensive list of commonly used abbreviations * List of languages of the world (including information on no. of speakers, language family, etc.) * Approximately 700 biographical entries (now includes contemporary linguists) * 200 language maps in print and online Also available online via ScienceDirect - featuring extensive browsing, searching, and internal cross-referencing between articles in the work, plus dynamic linking to journal articles and abstract databases, making navigation flexible and easy. For more information, pricing options and availability visit www.info.sciencedirect.com. The first Encyclopedia to exploit the multimedia potential of linguisticsGround-breaking in scope - wider than any predecessorAn invaluable resource for researchers, academics, students and professionals in the fields of: linguistics, anthropology, education, psychology, language acquisition, language pathology, cognitive science, sociology, the law, the media, medicine & computer science. The most authoritative, up-to-date, comprehensive, and international reference source in its field.
This inaugural volume in a new series offers an overview of current research in Italian linguistics by specialists in Great Britiain. Topics range from the formation, present state and future prospects of Italian dialects, to the notion of 'standard' in the context of the European tradition. Further contributions cover the different strands of Renaissance Italian, the problem of language death and the presence of Italian as lingua franca in the Mediterranean area. Research into contemporary language includes gender issues in Italian lexicography and the ambivalent 'politically correct' forms referring to minorities. The volume concludes with studies on the translation of legal texts and on the status accorded to different languages within the European Union. The book will be invaluable for university students of Italian or of linguistics and will provide a comprehensive survey for all interested in the Italian language and its history.