This collection of new writing on grammatical change advances research in the field and shows its breadth and liveliness. The study of how and why syntax changes occupies a pivotal position in research into the nature, use, and acquisition of language. It is responsive to theoretical advancesin linguistic theory, language acquisition, and theories of language use as well as to less adjacent fields such as statistical techniques and evolutionary biology. Chomsky's Minimalist Programme and Kayne's theories of antisymmetry and overt movement have brought into sharper focus questionsconcerning the architecture of linguistic theory, and this has had a direct impact on the understanding of the processes of change. Optimality Theory has also begun to raise new questions as it is applied to syntax and historical change. The sociolinguistic causes and consequences of syntacticchange have also become newly prominent. These are among the many issues and themes discussed and explored by the authors.The book's fourteen chapters exemplify work in a wide range of languages, including Germanic (Icelandic and Swedish, as well as Old and Middle English); Romance (Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish); Slavonic; and Chinese. A substantial introduction provides a critical synthesis of the field andsets the following chapters in context. The book is then divided into parts dealing with theoretical frameworks, comparative change, features and categories, and movement. The single collated bibliography to the entire volume is a valuable research tool in itself.Diachronic Syntax is innovative in both theory and method and makes a substantial contribution to its subject. It will be of interest to all those concerned to understand and explain the internal dynamics of language.
|Publisher||Oxford University Press on Demand|
|Rating||4/5 (74 users)|