Download The Syntax of Early English by Olga Fischer, Ans van Kemenade, Willem Koopman, Wim van der PDF

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By Olga Fischer, Ans van Kemenade, Willem Koopman, Wim van der Wurff

This e-book is a advisor to the advance of English syntax among the outdated and smooth classes. starting with an outline of the most positive aspects of early English syntax, it supplies a unified account of the numerous grammatical alterations that happened in this interval. 4 prime specialists display how those adjustments will be defined when it comes to grammatical idea and the speculation of language acquisition. Drawing on a wealth of empirical info, the e-book covers a variety of subject matters together with adjustments in observe order, infinitival structures and grammaticalization tactics.

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But this conclusion stands far more firmly on the basis of a theoretical analysis which relates the rise of such new passive constructions to other independently established cases of grammar change: changes in word order and the loss of inherent case marking (in this case by prepositions). For such an analysis, the reader is referred to van Kemenade (1987) and Lightfoot (1991). When investigating any set of historical facts, it is useful and necessary to turn to the handbooks and other existing literature first.

1. The result of this sequence of changes was that the modal verbs became grammatical function words, markers of mood: using Meillet’s definition, we could say that they were grammaticalized from main verbs to modality markers. There are two ways in which the term ‘grammaticalization’ can be understood. The first of these is the one originally intended by Meillet: it refers to an empirical phenomenon that is widely attested in language change, and it covers cases such as the development of the English modals.

One point that is less than clear in this approach is that Lightfoot assumes that there will be a robust trigger in the language environment, hence a cue, for all and any of the parameter settings. One may reasonably wonder whether this is always true, and what the learner does if this is not the case. The latter situation is the very one that Clark and Roberts are concerned with: situations where the input is inconclusive; this is, according to Clark and Roberts, precisely when learners invoke some default value dictated by UG, or ‘turn in on themselves’, as they call it.

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