The Diachrony of Grammar

The Diachrony of Grammar

By: T. Givon (author)Hardback

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The case-studies assembled in these two volumes span a lifetime of research into the diachrony of grammar. That is, into the rise and fall of syntactic constructions and their attendant grammatical morphology. While focused squarely on the data, the studies are nonetheless cast in an explicit theoretical perspective - adaptive, developmental, variationist. Taken as a whole, this work constitutes a frontal assault on Ferdinand de Saussure's corrosive legacy in linguistics. Over the years, reviewers slapped the author's wrist periodically for having dared to commit that most heinous of sins against de Saussure's hallowed legacy - panchronic grammar. In this work he pleads guilty, having never seen a piece of synchronic data that didn't reek, to high heaven, of the diachrony that gave it rise. Reek in two distinct ways: first with the frozen relics of the past that prompt us to reconstruct prior diachronic states; and second with the synchronic variation that hints at ongoing change. Conversely, the author confesses to having never seen a diachronic explanation that did not hinge on the synchronic principles - Carnap's general propositions - that govern language behavior. The synchrony and diachrony of grammar are twin faces of the same coin. To study one without the other is to gut both. By understanding how synchronic grammars come into being we also understand the cognitive, communicative, neurological and developmental universals that constrain diachronic change - and through it synchronic typology.


1. VOLUME I; 2. Preface; 3. Part I: Perspective; 4. Chapter 1. Historical syntax and synchronic morphology: An archaeologist's field trip; 5. Chapter 2. From discourse to syntax: Grammar as a processing strategy; 6. Chapter 3. Where does crazy syntax come from?; 7. Chapter 4. The SOV mystery and language evolution; 8. Part II: Out of Africa; 9. On the diachrony of the Bantu copula ni; 10. Chapter 6. On the verbal origin of the Bantu verb suffixes; 11. Chapter 7. Serial verbs and syntactic change: Niger-Congo; 12. Chapter 8. Topic, pronoun and grammatical agreement; 13. Chapter 9. The drift from VSO to SVO in Biblical Hebrew: The pragmatics of tense-aspect; 14. Chapter 10. The evolution of subordinate clauses in Biblical Hebrew; 15. Chapter 11. The diachrony of the so-called 'ethical dative'; 16. Chapter 12. The evolution of indefinite markers; 17. Part III: Voices; 18. Chapter 13. The rise of the English GET-passive; 19. Chapter 14. Diachronic hybrids: The Lunda Passive; 20. Chapter 15. The evolution of de-transitive voice in Tolowa Athabaskan; 21. Chapter 16. Tale of two passives: Internal reconstruction in Ute; 22. Chapter 17. Toward a diachronic typology of passive voice; 23. Bibliography; 24. Language Index; 25. Topic Index; 26. VOLUME II; 27. Part IV: High up the mountain; 28. Chapter 18. The evolution of Ute case-marking: Preface; 29. Chapter 19. The evolution of Ute post-positions; 30. Chapter 20. The diachrony of pronominal agreement in Ute; 31. Chapter 21. The diachrony of complex verbs in Ute; 32. Chapter 22. The usual suspects: The grammaticalization of 'do', 'be', 'have' and 'go' in Ute; 33. Part V: Complexity; 34. Chapter 23. Serial verbs and the mental reality of 'event'; 35. Chapter 24. The puzzle of Ngabere auxiliaries: Comparative cum internal reconstruction in Chibchan and Misumalpan; 36. Chapter 25. The genesis of complex verb phrases: Multiple routes to clause-union; 37. Chapter 26. The genesis of complex noun phrases; 38. Chapter 27. Nominalization, de-subordination and re-finitization; 39. Part VI: Prospective; 40. Chapter 28. Diachrony, ontogeny, and evolution; 41. Chapter 29. Internal reconstruction: As method, as theory; 42. Chapter 30. The intellectual roots of functionalism in linguistics; 43. Chapter 31. Beyond Structuralism: Exorcising Saussure's ghost; 44. Chapter 32. Mi vida loca en la linguistica: A conversation with Zarina Estrada; 45. Bibliography; 46. Language Index; 47. Topic Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9789027212207
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 928
  • ID: 9789027212207
  • weight: 1770
  • ISBN10: 9027212201

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