Article published in:Theoretical Approaches to Linguistic Variation
Edited by Ermenegildo Bidese, Federica Cognola and Manuela Caterina Moroni
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 234] 2016
► pp. 259–292
Parameter typology from a diachronic perspective
The case of Conditional Inversion
This paper considers the question of the nature of parameters from a diachronic perspective, focusing in particular on the case of Conditional Inversion (CI) in the history of English. The objective is to show that it is meaningful to think of parameters and their synchronic robustness and consequent diachronic stability in “size” terms. More specifically, we show that it is possible to discern a consistent, but ever more frayed parametric thread linking the availability of verb-movement operations in the history of English: while verb-movement at the earliest stages (Old and early Middle English) can be ascribed to the activation of a Verb Second grammar – conceived of as a grammar requiring verb-movement into the finite C-domain (Force or Fin) in matrix clauses (a mesoparameter) – verb-movement at the early modern stage was much more fragmented, triggered by a smaller class of finite Cs and also, as a result of the loss of V-to-T movement and the rise of a class of auxiliaries, affecting a smaller class of verbs (a microparameter); the situation in modern British and American English, where only had, should and certain uses of were trigger CI, is nanoparametric, a situation which is expected to be unstable, as various post-colonial varieties indeed show it to be. CI in the history of English, then, provides a window on parametric continuity and change.
Keywords: diachrony of English, emergent parameters, parameter hierarchies, V2 constraint
Published online: 01 December 2016
Baker, Mark C.
Batllori, Montserrat & Hernanz, Maria Lluïsa
Baunaz, Lena & Lander, Eric
2015 Syncretisms with the complementizer: Verbal and nominal complementizers. Paper presented at CGG25 , IKER, Bayonne.
Biber, Douglas & Finegan, Edward
1994 ARCHER: A Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers. http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/lel/research/projects/archer/ (25 April 2014).
2011 In defence of lexico-centric parametric variation: Two 3rd factor-constrained case studies. Paper presented at the Workshop on Formal Grammar and Syntactic Variation: Rethinking Parameters , Madrid.
2013 Predicate doubling in (Germanic) contact varieties: Introducing the case of Afrikaans. Paper presented at the 27th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop (Yale).
2014 Acquiring syntactic categories with minimal (but crucial) help from UG. Paper presented at the Workshop on Universals, Functional Categories, and Implications for Acquisition , Cambridge.
2015a Macro- and microvariation: An emergentist perspective. Paper presented at the Formal Approaches to Variation conference , Vitoria.
2015b Preserving “Germanic” syntax via “exotic” means: V2 in modern Afrikaans. Paper presented at the Linguistics Association of Great Britain Annual Meeting , UCL.
2016 Syntactic variation, stability and change: an emergentist parametric perspective. Paper presented at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences ‘Language variation in action’ Colloquium (Amsterdam).
In press. Optional V2 in modern Afrikaans: Probing a Germanic peculiarity. In Verb-Second Languages: Essays in honour of Ans van Kemenade, Bettelou Los & Pieter de Haan (eds) Amsterdam John Benjamins
Biberauer, Theresa, Holmberg, Anders, Roberts, Ian & Sheehan, Michelle
Biberauer, Theresa & van Kemenade, Ans
Biberauer, Theresa & Roberts, Ian
2012b On the significance of what hasn’t happened. Paper presented at the 14th Diachronic Generative Syntax Conference , Lisbon.
In press. Parameter setting. In The Cambridge Handbook of Historical Syntax, Adam Ledgeway & Ian Roberts (eds) Cambridge CUP
Biberauer, Theresa, Roberts, Ian & Sheehan, Michelle
Bjorkman, Bronwyn M. & Halpert, Claire
2012 Macroparameter learnability: an Algonquian case study. Ms, Memorial University. http://www.ucs.mun.ca/%7Ebranigan/branigan-amp.pdf (21 December 2015).
Cheng, Lisa Lai-shen
De Belder, Marijke & van Craenenbroek, Jeroen
Fischer, Olga, van Kemenade, Ans, Koopman, Willem F. & van der Wurff, Wim
Grosz, Patrick Georg
Gupta, Anthea Fraser
Haeberli, Eric & Ihsane, Tabea
Han, Chun-Hye & Kroch, Anthony
2000 The rise of do-support in English: implications for clause structure. In NELS 30: Proceedings of the 30th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistics Society, Rutgers University 2000 , Masako Hirotami (ed.), 311-325. Amherst MA: GLSA.
& Wiltschko, Martina 2015 The syntax of confirmationals. A neo-performative analysis. Ms, UBC. http://syntaxofspeechacts.linguistics.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/WiltschkoHeim_the-syntax-of-confirmationals_resubmitted.pdf (29 April 2016).
Holmberg, Anders & Platzack, Christer
Iatridou, Sabine & Zeijlstra, Hedde
Jimenez-Fernandez, Ángel L. & Miyagawa, Shigeru
Kayne, Richard S.
van Kemenade, Ans
Kroch, Anthony S.
Leech, Geoffrey, Hundt, Marianne, Mair, Christian & Smith, Nicholas
Marcus, Gary P., Pinker, Steven, Ullman, Michael, Hollander, Michelle, Rosen, T. John & Xu, Fei
Meisel, Jürgen, Elsig, Martin & Bonessen, Matthias
Mittwoch, Anita, Huddleston, Rodney & Collins, Peter
1989 The Earliness Principle. Ms, MIT.http://web.mit.edu/linguistics/people/faculty/pesetsky/earliness.pdf (25 April 2014).
Ramchand, Gillian & Svenonius, Peter
Ritter, Elizabeth & Wiltschko, Martina
Roberts, Ian. & Roussou, Anna
In press. Parameterising ergativity: An inherent case approach. In The Oxford Handbook of Ergativity, Jessica Coon, Diane Massam & Lisa Travis (eds) Oxford OUP
Speas, Peggy & Tenny, Carol L.
Visser, Fredericus Theodorus
Zanuttini, Raffaella & Portner, Paul
Cited by other publications
Cognola, Federica, Ivano Baronchelli & Evelina Molinari
Sauerland, Uli & Artemis Alexiadou
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 29 december 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.