Syntax and Variation: Reconciling the Biological and the Social

Overview

The papers in this collection share a common interest in the empirical, theoretical and meta-theoretical aspects of the ‘internal-external’ (‘formal-functional’) debate in linguistic theory. The primary aim of this volume is to initiate cooperation between internationally renowned generative and variationist linguists with a view to developing an innovative and more cohesive approach to syntactic variation. The present volume contains treatments incorporating the analysis of external factors into accounts ...
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Overview

The papers in this collection share a common interest in the empirical, theoretical and meta-theoretical aspects of the ‘internal-external’ (‘formal-functional’) debate in linguistic theory. The primary aim of this volume is to initiate cooperation between internationally renowned generative and variationist linguists with a view to developing an innovative and more cohesive approach to syntactic variation. The present volume contains treatments incorporating the analysis of external factors into accounts focusing on the internal linguistic conditioning of syntactic variation and change cross-linguistically. As such, it offers novel approaches to three key areas of current linguistic debate, viz. (1) Methodological practices, (2) Theoretical applications and (3) Modularity. The volume is, therefore, an important achievement for the progress of linguistic theory more generally and it is an even more crucial milestone in the coming-of-age of ‘Socio-Syntax’ as a discipline in its own right.
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Editorial Reviews

Jeffrey K. Parrott
This vital collection launches a badly needed venture into largely uncharted linguistic terrain. It should be read by every researcher concerned with bridging the gap between sociolinguistic and biolinguistic approaches to variation in syntax. [...] It ought to be a catalyst for direct exchange and debate between variationists and theorists.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Toward an integrated approach to syntactic variation : a retrospective and prospective synopsis 1
Ch. 2 A modular approach to sociolinguistic variation in syntax : the gerund in Ecuadorian Spanish 31
Ch. 3 Selective optionality in language development 55
Ch. 4 Syntactic variation and spoken language 81
Ch. 5 Idiolectal variation and syntactic theory 109
Ch. 6 Focus raising : a paradigmatic example of the treatment of syntactic variation 123
Ch. 7 Variation and the minimalist program 149
Ch. 8 Principles and parameters in change 179
Ch. 9 Morphosyntactic variation and theory : subject-verb agreement in Acadian French 199
Ch. 10 Word order variation in three-verb clusters and the division of labor between generative linguistics and sociolinguistics 233
Ch. 11 The third dimension of person features 265
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