1887

The Diachrony of Grammar

image of The Diachrony of Grammar
GBP
Buy:£126.00 + Taxes
  • Author(s): T. Givón 1
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    Affiliations: 1: University of Oregon
  • Format: PDF
  • Publication Date September 2015
  • e-Book ISBN: 9789027268884
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/z.192

Abstract

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 – <i>panchronic grammar</i>. 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 <i>frozen relics</i> of the past that prompt us to reconstruct prior diachronic states; and second with the <i>synchronic variation</i> 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 <i>language behavior</i>. 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.

Subjects: Historical linguistics; Evolution of language; Syntax

References

References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/books/9789027268884
Loading
/content/books/9789027268884
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
10
5
Chapter
content/books/9789027268884
Book
Loading
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error