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Syntactic Features and the Limits of Syntactic Change - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Syntactic Features and the Limits of Syntactic Change

Jóhannes Gísli Jónsson and Thórhallur Eythórsson


This volume brings together the latest diachronic research on syntactic features and their role in restricting syntactic change. The chapters address a central theoretical issue in diachronic syntax: whether syntactic variation can always be attributed to differences in the features of items in the lexicon, as the Borer-Chomsky conjecture proposes. In answering this question, all the chapters develop analyses of syntactic change couched within a formalist framework in which rich hierarchical structures and abstract features of various kinds play an important role. The first three parts of the ... More

Keywords: syntactic features, syntactic change, Borer-Chomsky conjecture, diachronic syntax, hierarchical structures, abstract features, domains, language change

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780198832584
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198832584.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jóhannes Gísli Jónsson, editor
Professor of Icelandic Linguistics, University of Iceland

Thórhallur Eythórsson, editor
Professor of Linguistics, University of Iceland

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1 Introduction

Jóhannes Gísli Jónsson and Thórhallur Eythórsson

Part I The Left Periphery

3 Cyclic changes in Hungarian relative clauses

Julia Bacskai-Atkari and Éva Dékány

4 Diachronic change and feature instability

Gabriela Alboiu and Virginia Hill

5 Null subjects in Middle Low German

Melissa Farasyn and Anne Breitbarth

Part II The T-Domain

7 Degrammaticalization of pronominal clitics in Slavic

Hakyung Jung and Krzysztof Migdalski

10 Investigating the past of the futurate present

Elizabeth Cowper, Daniel Currie Hall, Bronwyn M. Bjorkman, Rebecca Tollan, and Neil Banerjee

Part III Case Marking

11 From lexical to dependent

Elena Anagnostopoulou and Christina Sevdali

13 Featural dynamics in morphosyntactic change

Iris Edda Nowenstein and Anton Karl Ingason

Part IV Syntactic Reconstruction