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Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax$
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Eric Mathieu and Robert Truswell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198747840.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 August 2021

Modelling interactions between morphosyntactic changes

Modelling interactions between morphosyntactic changes

(p.94) 7 Modelling interactions between morphosyntactic changes
Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax

Hezekiah Akiva Bacovcin

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the statistical modelling of ‘failed changes’, i.e., changes that reverse instead of going to completion. The chapter compares two models: a symmetrical model derived by assuming that a failed change is represented by the first derivative of a successful change (Postma 2010) and an asymmetrical model derived by multiplying two successful changes together (i.e., by having a second change bleed the environment for the first change). A case study in the development of ‘to’ in the history of English ditransitives is used to argue for the asymmetrical model, where the two changes are (1) the realization of dative case as ‘to’ across the board, and (2) a grammar where ‘to’ is the default realization of dative case, but a null realization is used in recipient–theme contexts (e.g., ‘I gave John the ball’).

Keywords:   ditransitive, double object, failed change, Constant Rate Effect, dative case, logistic regression, statistical modelling, history of English, simulation

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