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The Linguistic Cycle: Language Change and the Language Faculty
     

The Linguistic Cycle: Language Change and the Language Faculty

by Elly van Gelderen
 

Elly van Gelderen provides examples of linguistic cycles from a number of languages and language families, along with an account of the linguistic cycle in terms of minimalist economy principles. A cycle involves grammaticalization from lexical to functional category followed by renewal. Some well-known cycles involve negatives, where full negative phrases are

Overview


Elly van Gelderen provides examples of linguistic cycles from a number of languages and language families, along with an account of the linguistic cycle in terms of minimalist economy principles. A cycle involves grammaticalization from lexical to functional category followed by renewal. Some well-known cycles involve negatives, where full negative phrases are reanalyzed as words and affixes and are then renewed by full phrases again. Verbal agreement is another example: full pronouns are reanalyzed as agreement markers and are renewed again. Each chapter provides data on a separate cycle from a myriad of languages. Van Gelderen argues that the cross-linguistic similarities can be seen as Economy Principles present in the initial cognitive system or Universal Grammar. She further claims that some of the cycles can be used to classify a language as analytic or synthetic, and she provides insight into the shape of the earliest human language and how it evolved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199756049
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/08/2011
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Elly van Gelderen is Regents' Professor in the Department of English at Arizona State University.

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