This is a collection of state-of-the-art papers in the field of syntactic reconstruction. It treats a range of topics which are representative of current debates in historical syntax. The novelty and merit of the present book is, the editors believe, that, in contrast to most previous work on diachronic syntax, it combines the perspectives of the traditional philological research on syntactic reconstruction with the insights of modern syntactic theory, as it is emphasised in the Foreword by Giuseppe Longobardi. The volume includes articles by well-recognized researchers in historical linguistics with a focus on syntactic change. In the present volume syntactic reconstruction is discussed from a variety of angles, including historical linguistics, phenomena of language contact, generative approaches as well as typological and variationist research. In the articles, languages from a diverse range of families are discussed, including Indo-European, North and South Caucasian, Sino-Tibetan, and Turkic.
“Ferraresi and Goldbach have brought together scholars approaching syntactic reconstruction from different theoretical perspectives, and drawing data from various language families. The resulting collection mirrors the challenges and uncertainties in the ongoing debate. The volume, with such heterogeneity, marks a milestone and will be of interest to historical linguists and those interested in models of linguistic variation.”
Chiaro Gianollo, University of Konstanz, on Linguist List, Vol. 20.4367 (2009)
“[...] a very useful survey of the current issues in syntactic reconstruction. It provides a balanced picture of the different approaches, their theoretical assumptions and methodologies, the challenges they face, the types of results they can achieve, as well as the questions, doubts and problems they raise [...]”
Katalin É. Kiss, Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in Diachronica Vol. 26:3 (2009).
“Linguists have long been fascinated with the question of whether and how one can reconstruct prehistoric systems. Possibilities depend on theories of variation, acquisition and change and on what one is aiming to reconstruct. Here is a well-conceived and very useful volume that explores a range of possibilities for syntax. The comparative perspective will advance our understanding of methods for reconstruction.”
David W. Lightfoot, Georgetown University
Cited by 6 other publications
Barđdal, Jóhanna & Thórhallur Eythórsson
2012. ‘Hungering and Lusting for Women and Fleshly Delicacies’: Reconstructing Grammatical Relations for Proto‐Germanic*. Transactions of the Philological Society 110:3 ► pp. 363 ff.
2011. Reconstructing last week's weather: Syntactic reconstruction and Brythonic free relatives. Journal of Linguistics 47:2 ► pp. 407 ff.
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