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 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.
Elly van Gelderen is Regents' Professor in the Department of English at Arizona State University.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Linguistic Cycles and Economy Part I Chapter 2. The Subject Agreement Cycle Chapter 3. The Object Agreement Cycle Chapter 4. The Copula Agreement Cycle Part II Chapter 5. The Dependent Marking Cycles Chapter 6. The DP Cycle Part III Chapter 7. TMA Cycles Chapter 8. The Negative Cycles Part IV Chapter 9. Typology and Parameters Chapter 10. Language Evolution Chapter 11. Conclusion References