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Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax

Eric Mathieu and Robert Truswell


This volume contains sixteen chapters addressing the process of syntactic change at different granularities. The language-particular component of a grammar is now usually assumed to be nothing more than the specification of the grammatical properties of a set of lexical items. Accordingly, grammar change must reduce to lexical change. And yet these micro-changes can cumulatively alter the typological character of a language (a macro-change). A central puzzle in diachronic syntax is how to relate macro-changes to micro-changes. Several chapters in this volume describe specific micro-changes: ch ... More

Keywords: grammar change, lexical change, micro-change, macro-change, syntactic properties, grammar competition, acquisition biases, diachronic processes

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198747840
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198747840.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Eric Mathieu, editor
Associate Professor, Dept of Linguistics, University of Ottawa

Robert Truswell, editor
Chancellor's Fellow, School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Science, University of Edinburgh

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1 Micro-change and macro-change in diachronic syntax

Éric Mathieu and Robert Truswell

3 Where do relative specifiers come from?

Nikolas Gisborne and Robert Truswell

8 From Latin to Modern French: A punctuated shift

Michelle Troberg and Heather Burnett

11 Diagnosing embedded V2 in Old English and Old French

Christine Meklenborg Salvesen and George Walkden

End Matter