Morphosyntactic Change: Functional and Formal Perspectives

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Olga Fischer presents a critical analysis of morphosyntactic change and the mechanisms that trigger it. She shows how changes in discourse, lexicon, semantics, pragmatics, and sound interact with changes in morphosyntax, and considers the interface between the internal and external factors of change. She reveals how rates and speed of change in morphosyntax can be used to explore the degree to which grammar is innate or learned. Her book will be of central interest and value to students of linguistic change, at graduate level and above.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199267057
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Series: Oxford Surveys in Syntax & Morphology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Olga Fischer is Professor of Germanic Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam, where her PhD thesis Syntactic Change and Causation: Developments in Infinitival Constructions in English was accepted in 1990. She is a contributor to the Cambridge History of the English Language (CUP 1992), co-author of The Syntax of Early English (CUP 2000), and co-editor of Form Miming Meaning and Pathways of Change (Benjamins 2000 and 2001).

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Table of Contents

Part I General Issues in Morphosyntactic Change
1. What is 'Good Practice' in Historical Linguistics: Aims and Methods
2. Conflict and Reconciliation: Two Theories Compared
3. Principles, Mechanisms, and Causes of Change
Part II Case Studies
4. A Paradigm Case: The Story of the Modals (and other auxiliaries)
5. From Discourse to (morpho)syntax and Vice Versa: The Case of Clause-fusion
6. Subjectification, Scope, and Word Order
7. Towards a Usage-based Theory of Morphosyntactic Change: Summary and Conclusions

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