The Diachrony of Grammar

| University of Oregon
ISBN 9789027212207 | EUR 150.00 | USD 225.00
ISBN 9789027212504 | EUR 65.00 | USD 98.00
ISBN 9789027268884 | EUR 150.00/65.00*
| USD 225.00/98.00*
The case-studies assembled in these two volumes span a lifetime of research into the diachrony of grammar. That is, into the rise and fall of syntactic constructions and their attendant grammatical morphology. While focused squarely on the data, the studies are nonetheless cast in an explicit theoretical perspective – adaptive, developmental, variationist. Taken as a whole, this work constitutes a frontal assault on Ferdinand de Saussure's corrosive legacy in linguistics. Over the years, reviewers slapped the author's wrist periodically for having dared to commit that most heinous of sins against de Saussure's hallowed legacy – panchronic grammar. In this work he pleads guilty, having never seen a piece of synchronic data that didn't reek, to high heaven, of the diachrony that gave it rise. Reek in two distinct ways: first with the frozen relics of the past that prompt us to reconstruct prior diachronic states; and second with the synchronic variation that hints at ongoing change. Conversely, the author confesses to having never seen a diachronic explanation that did not hinge on the synchronic principles – Carnap's general propositions – that govern language behavior. The synchrony and diachrony of grammar are twin faces of the same coin. To study one without the other is to gut both. By understanding how synchronic grammars come into being we also understand the cognitive, communicative, neurological and developmental universals that constrain diachronic change – and through it synchronic typology.
[Not in series, 192]  2015.  928 pp. (Hb in 2 vols.)
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Part I: Perspective
Chapter 1. Historical syntax and synchronic morphology: An archaeologist’s field trip
Chapter 2. From discourse to syntax: Grammar as a processing strategy
Chapter 3. Where does crazy syntax come from?
Chapter 4. The SOV mystery and language evolution
Part II: Out of Africa
On the diachrony of the Bantu copula ni
Chapter 6. On the verbal origin of the Bantu verb suffixes
Chapter 7. Serial verbs and syntactic change: Niger-Congo
Chapter 8. Topic, pronoun and grammatical agreement
Chapter 9. The drift from VSO to SVO in Biblical Hebrew: The pragmatics of tense-aspect
Chapter 10. The evolution of subordinate clauses in Biblical Hebrew
Chapter 11. The diachrony of the so-called ‘ethical dative’
Chapter 12. The evolution of indefinite markers
Part III: Voices
Chapter 13. The rise of the English GET-passive
Chapter 14. Diachronic hybrids: The Lunda Passive
Chapter 15. The evolution of de-transitive voice in Tolowa Athabaskan
Chapter 16. Tale of two passives: Internal reconstruction in Ute
Chapter 17. Toward a diachronic typology of passive voice
Language Index
Topic Index
Part IV: High up the mountain
Chapter 18. The evolution of Ute case-marking: Preface
Chapter 19. The evolution of Ute post-positions
Chapter 20. The diachrony of pronominal agreement in Ute
Chapter 21. The diachrony of complex verbs in Ute
Chapter 22. The usual suspects: The grammaticalization of ‘do’, ‘be’, ‘have’ and ‘go’ in Ute
Part V: Complexity
Chapter 23. Serial verbs and the mental reality of ‘event’
Chapter 24. The puzzle of Ngabere auxiliaries: Comparative cum internal reconstruction in Chibchan and Misumalpan
Chapter 25. The genesis of complex verb phrases: Multiple routes to clause-union
Chapter 26. The genesis of complex noun phrases
Chapter 27. Nominalization, de-subordination and re-finitization
Part VI: Prospective
Chapter 28. Diachrony, ontogeny, and evolution
Chapter 29. Internal reconstruction: As method, as theory
Chapter 30. The intellectual roots of functionalism in linguistics
Chapter 31. Beyond Structuralism: Exorcising Saussure’s ghost
Chapter 32. Mi vida loca en la linguística: A conversation with Zarina Estrada
Language Index
Topic Index
“Givón has been one of the primary contributors to the rise of interest in diachronic syntax over the last 45 years. From his “archaeologist’s field trip” in 1971 through his 2009 book on the genesis of syntactic complexity, he has given us many classic articles on the evolution of morphology and syntax. This collection gathers over thirty of these works in one place, on the one hand tracking the evolution of his often seminal thinking, and on the other, updating the discussion in each paper to reflect the perspective he has gained after 40 years at the cutting edge of the field.”
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFF – Historical & comparative linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014045834 | Marc record