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The Linguistic Cycle: Language Change and the Language Faculty

  • Paperback
In The Linguistic Cycle, Elly van Gelderen examines the linguistic cycle and describes how it offers a unique perspective on the language faculty.
The Linguistic Cycle: Language Change and the Language Faculty
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Elly van Gelderen provides examples of linguistic cycles from a number of languages and language families, along with an account of the linguistic cycle in terms of minimalist economy principles. A cycle involves grammaticalization from lexical to functional category followed by renewal. Some well-known cycles involve negatives, where full negative phrases are reanalyzed as words and affixes and are then renewed by full phrases again. Verbal agreement is another example: full pronouns are reanalyzed as agreement markers and are renewed again. Each chapter provides data on a separate cycle from a myriad of languages. Van Gelderen argues that the cross-linguistic similarities can be seen as Economy Principles present in the initial cognitive system or Universal Grammar. She further claims that some of the cycles can be used to classify a language as analytic or synthetic, and she provides insight into the shape of the earliest human language and how it evolved.
Elly van Gelderen is Regents' Professor in the Department of English at Arizona State University.
PART I; PART II; PART III; PART IV
Elly van Gelderen provides examples of linguistic cycles from a number of languages and language families, along with an account of the linguistic cycle in terms of minimalist economy principles. A cycle involves grammaticalization from lexical to functional category followed by renewal. Some well-known cycles involve negatives, where full negative phrases are reanalyzed as words and affixes and are then renewed by full phrases again. Verbal agreement is another
example: full pronouns are reanalyzed as agreement markers and are renewed again. Each chapter provides data on a separate cycle from a myriad of languages. Van Gelderen argues that the cross-linguistic similarities can be seen as Economy Principles present in the initial cognitive system or Universal
Grammar. She further claims that some of the cycles can be used to classify a language as analytic or synthetic, and she provides insight into the shape of the earliest human language and how it evolved.
Selling point: provides examples of linguistic cycles
Selling point: shows that Economy Principles can account for parts of linguistic cycles
Selling point: argues that some cycles are relevant in the typological classification of languages, while others are not
Selling point: shows that research into language change can provide insight into the shape of the earliest human language and how it evolved
Author
Elly Van Gelderen
Short Title
LINGUISTIC CYCLE
Language
English
ISBN-10
019975604X
ISBN-13
9780199756049
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
DEWEY
417.7
Pages
439
Illustrations
Yes
Year
2011
Imprint
Oxford University Press Inc
Subtitle
Language Change and the Language Faculty
Place of Publication
New York
Country of Publication
United States
Publication Date
2011-05-26
Publisher
Oxford University Press, USA
Audience
Professional and Scholarly
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