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Linguistic Universals and Language Change$
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Jeff Good

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199298495

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199298495.001.0001

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Explaining Universal Tendencies and Language Particulars in Analogical Change

Explaining Universal Tendencies and Language Particulars in Analogical Change

(p.144) 7 Explaining Universal Tendencies and Language Particulars in Analogical Change
Linguistic Universals and Language Change

Adam Albright

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that a confidence-based model can make correct predictions not only about individual cases, but also about the typology of analogical change. The chapter is organized as follows: first, it provides a brief overview of tendency-based vs. structurally-based approaches to analogical change, summarizing the major generalizations that have been uncovered, and situating the current work in an area that has been approached from radically different perspectives. It then presents an overview of the synchronic model developed by Albright (2002a). It shows how the synchronic confidence-based approach can explain the direction of analogy in individual cases, and then moves on to explore its typological implications. It considers first some apparent counter-examples to the confidence-based approach, showing that in at least some cases where analogy has seemingly favoured an uninformative member of the paradigm, that form is not nearly as uninformative as it might appear. An exploration of the parameter space of the model reveals that even without an explicit bias to select more frequent forms, they are nonetheless selected as bases under most conditions.

Keywords:   analogical change, synchronic model, paradigm acquisition, Albright, tendency-based approaches, structurally-based approaches, confidence-based approach

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