Chapter 4. Methods and argumentation in historical linguistics
The present chapter aims to discuss some properties of historical linguistics argumentation, through the analysis of examples taken from actual research practice. Relying on Kertész and Rákosi’s (2012) <i>p-model</i> of scientific theorizing, it compares three competing accounts of the historical development of the Catalan construction “<i>anar </i>‘go’ + infinitive”, namely, those provided in Colon (1979a, b), in Detges (2004) and in Juge (2006). The simultaneous plausibility of some statements and their negations in the starting p-context formed by these three approaches leads to a p-inconsistency, which is eliminated by the extension of the starting p-context and, then, the coordination of the extended p-context. The analysis of historical research practice from a methodological point of view suggests that the development of the Catalan “<i>anar </i>‘go’ + infinitive” construction finds the most satisfactory explanation under Juge’s (2006) proposal, which uses sources, research methods and argumentation techniques traditionally accepted in historical linguistics.