Historical Syntax and Linguistic Theory

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Paola Crisma, Giuseppe Longobardi
OUP Oxford, Mar 12, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 432 pages
This book of new work by leading international scholars considers developments in the study of diachronic linguistics and linguistic theory, including those concerned with the very definition of language change in the biolinguistic framework, parametric change in a minimalist conception of grammar, the tension between the observed gradual nature of language change and the binary nature of parameters, and whether syntactic change can be triggered internally or requires the external stimuli produced by phonological or morphological change or through language contact. It then tests their value and applicability by examining syntactic change at different times and in a wide range of languages, including German, Chinese, Dutch, Sanskrit, Egyptian, Norwegian, old Italian, Portuguese, English, the Benue-Kwa languages of Niger-Congo, Catalan, Spanish, and old French. The book is divided into three parts devoted to (i) theoretical issues in historical syntax; (ii) external (such as contact and interference) and internal (grammatical) sources of morphosynactic change; and (iii) parameter setting and reanalysis.

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1 Change relatedness and inertia in historical syntax
Theoretical issues in historical syntax
External and internal sources of morphosyntactic change
Parameter resetting and reanalysis

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About the author (2009)

Paola Crisma studied in Venice, Geneva and Los Angeles and is currently Assistant Professor in English Linguistics at the University of Trieste, after teaching at Padua and being a Fulbright visiting scholar at MIT and UCLA. She has published on comparative syntax, syntax acquisition, and history of English. Giuseppe Longobardi graduated from Pisa and is now Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Trieste, after teaching at Pisa and Venice. He held visiting positions at Vienna, UCLA, USC, Harvard, the CNRS in Paris, and published extensively on syntactic theory and historical syntax.

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