The Rise of Agreement

A formal approach to the syntax and grammaticalization of verbal inflection

| Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027228055 | EUR 145.00 | USD 218.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027294142 | EUR 145.00 | USD 218.00
 
This book investigates the historical paths leading from pronouns to markers of verbal agreement and proposes a unified formal account of this grammaticalization process. In opposition to beliefs widely held in the literature, it is argued that new agreement formatives can be coined in a multitude of syntactic environments. Still, the individual paths toward agreement are shown to exhibit a set of underlying similarities which are attributed to universal principles that govern the reanalysis of pronominal clitics as exponents of verbal agreement across languages. It is claimed that syntactic principles impose only a set of necessary conditions on the reanalysis in question, while its ultimate trigger is morphological in nature. More specifically, it is argued that the acquisition of inflectional morphology is governed by blocking effects which operate during language acquisition and promote the grammaticalization of new markers if this change serves to replace ‘worn-out’, underspecified forms with new, more specified candidates.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 81]  2005.  xii, 336 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
ix–x
Notes for the reader and list of abbreviations
xi
Introduction
1–21
Theoretical preliminaries
23–53
The structural design of agreement
55–128
The transition from pronoun to inflectional marker
129–155
The reanalysis of C-oriented clitics
157–228
Morphological blocking and the rise of agreement
229–297
Concluding summary
299–304
References
305–324
Index
325–335
“This is the first empirically detailed, theoretically informed study of the historical development of agreement marking in the context of a generative approach to syntactic change. As such it represents a major contribution to the field, and deserves a very wide readership.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2005049336