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Historical Syntax and Linguistic Theory$
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Paola Crisma and Giuseppe Longobardi

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560547.001.0001

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Spontaneous syntactic change

Spontaneous syntactic change

Chapter:
(p.41) 3 Spontaneous syntactic change
Source:
Historical Syntax and Linguistic Theory
Author(s):

Chris H. Reintges

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560547.003.0003

To come to terms with the logical problem of language change, many historical linguists subscribe to the view that the syntax is in a state of equilibrium and does not change by itself. This chapter develops an alternative theory, which derives the complexity of syntactic change from the inherent dynamism and flexibility of an autonomous syntactic component. In explaining syntactic variation and change in terms of language design, it seeks to bridge the gap between historical linguistics and (synchronic) syntactic theory.

Keywords:   Inertia Theory, spontaneous syntactic change, syntactic variation, morphological cues, vP‐internal subjects

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