This book provides a critical investigation of syntactic change and the factors that influence it. Converging empirical and theoretical considerations have suggested that apparent instances of syntactic change may be attributable to factors outside syntax proper, such as morphology or information structure. Some even go so far as to propose that there is no such thing as syntactic change, and that all such change in fact takes place in the lexicon or in the phonological component. In this volume, international scholars examine these proposals, drawing on detailed case studies from Germanic, Romance, Chinese, Egyptian, Finnic, Hungarian, and Sami. They aim to answer such questions as: Can syntactic change arise without an external impetus? How can we tell whether a given change is caused by information-structural or morphological factors? What can 'microsyntactic' investigations of changes in individual lexical items tell us about the bigger picture? How universal are the clausal and nominal t
Theresa Biberauer is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where she is also a Fellow of Churchill College, and Associate Professor Extraordinary at her South African alma mater, Stellenbosch University. Her research interests are principally in theoretical and comparative (synchronic and diachronic) morphosyntax, with Germanic generally and Afrikaans in particular being areas of specific interest. Her past work has focused on word-order variation, (null) subject phenomena, negation, information structure, and the larger question of the nature of parametric variation. She is the co-editor, with Michelle Sheehan, of Theoretical Approaches to Disharmonic Word Order (OUP 2013). George Walkden is a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Manchester. His research is in historical syntax, and his doctoral dissertation focused on aspects of syntactic reconstruction as applied to the early Germanic languages. He is the author of Syntactic Reconstruction and Proto-Germanic (OUP 2014), and is also Associate Editor of Language, with responsibility for its Historical Syntax section.
PART I: SYNTAX AND THE LEXICON; PART II: SYNTAX AND MORPHOLOGY; PART III: SYNTAX AND INFORMATION STRUCTURE