The Paradox of Grammatical Change
Perspectives from Romance
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.
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 293] 2008. vi, 252 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
IntroductionUlrich Detges and Richard Waltereit | pp. 1–12
Syntactic change from within and from without syntax: A usage-based analysisRichard Waltereit and Ulrich Detges | pp. 13–30
On explaining the rise of c'est-clefts in FrenchAndreas Dufter | pp. 31–56
The role of the plural system in RomanceElisabeth Stark | pp. 57–84
Morphological developments affecting syntactic changeMaria Goldbach | pp. 85–106
Grammaticalisation within the IP-domainSusann Fischer | pp. 107–126
Imperfect systems and diachronic changeGiampaolo Salvi | pp. 127–146
From temporal to modal: Divergent fates of the Latin synthetic pluperfect in Spanish and PortugueseMartin G. Becker | pp. 147–180
Non-lexical core-arguments in Basque, Romance and German: How (and why) Spanish syntax is shifting towards clausal headmarking and morphological cross-referenceHans-Ingo Radatz | pp. 181–214
Towards a comprehensive view of language change: Three recent evolutionary approachesEsme Winter-Froemel | pp. 215–250
Subject Index | pp. 251–252
“U. Detges et R. Waltereit ont réussi dans ce volume la gageure de faire dialoguer des spécialistes de la linguistique diachronique d'inspiration fonctionnaliste et formaliste, ce qui permet à chaque lecteur/lectrice d'évaluer soi-même l'impact des deux types d'argumentation en particulier face à la question délicate du locus de changement linguistique: au cours de l'acquisition ou au long de l'usage.”
Jacques François & Sophie Prévost, in Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris, Tome105/2, 2010
“[...] a volume that is very successful both in presenting a fairly comprehensive view of language change by confronting theoretically different approaches, and in achieving a high degree of coherence across the individual contributions.”
Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen, The University of Manchester, in Folia Linguistica 43/1 (2009)
Cited by 7 other publications
Di Caro, Vincenzo Nicolò
Levon, Erez & Isabelle Buchstaller
2020. Parallels between the negative cycle and the rise of interrogative marking in French. Journal of Historical Pragmatics 21:2 ► pp. 263 ff.
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Main BIC Subject
CFK: Grammar, syntax
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General