The diachrony of grammar by T. Givón (review)

The diachrony of grammar by T. Givón (review) from the historical development of Tok Pisin. However, B finds fault with the theory that creole languages might shed light on universal, innate characteristics of language, including common grammaticalizations. She finds especially problematic the fact that grammaticalization markers arise gradually, appearing first in pidgins. Since grammaticalization is very similar across languages, it seems unremarkable that it appears in creoles, which brings her again to her view of `language as a dynamic system, variable and changing, with grammar emerging rather than fixed' (262). Overall, this is a very welcome addition to books on linguistic change, whether used in the classroom or independently. Each chapter is well organized and well argued, proceeding from basic to more involved issues, including ones that are still unsettled. Bybee, Joan. 2001. Phonology and language use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Heine, Bernd, and Tania Kuteva. 2005. Language contact and grammatical change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Labov, William. 1981. Resolving the Neogrammarian controversy. Language 57.267­308. DOI: 10.2307 /413692. Lightfoot, David. 1979. Principles of diachronic syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Petré, Peter, and Herbert Cuykens. 2009. Constructional change in Old and Middle English copular constructions and its impact on the lexicon. Folia Linguistica Historica 30.311­65. DOI: 10.1515/FLIH http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Language Linguistic Society of America

The diachrony of grammar by T. Givón (review)

Language, Volume 92 (3) – Sep 9, 2016

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Linguistic Society of America
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1535-0665
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Abstract

from the historical development of Tok Pisin. However, B finds fault with the theory that creole languages might shed light on universal, innate characteristics of language, including common grammaticalizations. She finds especially problematic the fact that grammaticalization markers arise gradually, appearing first in pidgins. Since grammaticalization is very similar across languages, it seems unremarkable that it appears in creoles, which brings her again to her view of `language as a dynamic system, variable and changing, with grammar emerging rather than fixed' (262). Overall, this is a very welcome addition to books on linguistic change, whether used in the classroom or independently. Each chapter is well organized and well argued, proceeding from basic to more involved issues, including ones that are still unsettled. Bybee, Joan. 2001. Phonology and language use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Heine, Bernd, and Tania Kuteva. 2005. Language contact and grammatical change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Labov, William. 1981. Resolving the Neogrammarian controversy. Language 57.267­308. DOI: 10.2307 /413692. Lightfoot, David. 1979. Principles of diachronic syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Petré, Peter, and Herbert Cuykens. 2009. Constructional change in Old and Middle English copular constructions and its impact on the lexicon. Folia Linguistica Historica 30.311­65. DOI: 10.1515/FLIH

Journal

LanguageLinguistic Society of America

Published: Sep 9, 2016

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