Linguistics 405
Topics in Language Change
S. Kemmer, Fall 2005
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Additional Bibliography

Sequence of Topics and Readings

1. Introduction and background

a. 8/23 The study of language change. Traditions and trends.

b. 8/24 Background on constructions and constructional syntax.

2. Diachronic typology and its relation to constructions

a. 8/29, 8/31 Different perspectives in accounts of a diachronic typological change. Origin and progression of a linguistic unit/language type/system type/construction type.
Reading: Greenberg, "How do Languages acquire gender markers?" (led by Monica Sanaphre)

b. 9/7, 9/12, 9/14 Points of view continued. Diachronic typology, semantic maps, relation of semantic and syntactic change, and constructions. First link of constructions to semantic classes of verbs.
Reading: Kemmer The Middle Voice Chapter 5. (led by S. Kemmer)

3. Syntactic Change. Generative approaches (focus on syntax; less on semantics)

Reinterpretations in light of constructional syntax and the reintegration of semantics and syntax.

a. 9/29, 9/21 Another link with verb classes/lexicon. What happened to a particular range of complement constructions from Latin to Romance?
Reading: Robin Lakoff dissertation Chapters 1 and 3, on the the accusative plus infinitive and related constructions in Latin. (led by S. Kemmer)

b. 9/28, 10/3 Some Old English syntactic structures. What constructions have disappeared, what have emerged, and how did these changes interact? The situation of the pre-modals/modals; emergence of AUX and the verb inversion construction(s)
Reading: Elizabeth Traugott, A History of English Syntax, Ch. 3. (led by Michael Colley)

c. 10/5 Issues of data, assumptions in interpreting/explaining diachronic processes
Reading: Frans Plank. The story of the modals revisited (Studies in Lg. article on Lightfoot's 1979 account of the emergence of the modals in the history of English. (led by Martin Hilpert)

4. Semantic change in context. Grammaticalization-theoretic approaches (focus on semantics, less on syntax)

10/12 Interpretations in a constructional light. How can syntax and semantics be reintegrated? Regularities; Subjectivization. Issues of mechanisms, motivations.
Reading: Traugott and Dasher 2002. (led by Chris Taylor)

5. Thinking about projects in constructional change.

10/17 Writing abstracts. Send around your abstract to the rest of the class by Monday midnight.
10/19 Group brainstorming about student projects. Bring hardcopies of your draft abstracts (with a little extra data on a handout if useful for explanation.) Referee each others' abstracts. Each person should report on (essentially, tell about and critique) two other abstracts and give the author some feedback. (It will be helpful to decide on Monday who is going to talk about which abstracts.) Others in class can then ask questions and the author can explain what he/she means, time permitting. Choose a moderator to keep an eye on time allotted to each abstract's discussion.

6. Another view of grammaticalization.

10/24 Matt Shibatani - recent work on grammaticalization.

7. Constructions and expressions; constructions in the network system. The diachrony of infinitival complements in French.

10/26 Reading: S. Kemmer and Hava Bat Zeev-Shyldkrot, "Empty prepositions in French". From Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods, ed. by Eugene Casad. (led by S. Kemmer)

8. A deeper look at the relation of lexicon and constructions

10/31, 11/2 The have-causative
in English. Reading: Deborah Ziegler paper. Nov. 2: Project proposal due for those taking class for credit.

9. Constructional grammaticalization

11/14, 11/16 More analytic causatives and their history. Collocations and constructions. Frequency issues. Subjectivization. Reading: Kemmer and Hilpert. (led by Kemmer/Hilpert)

10. (Tentative) More theoretical issues

11/21, 11/23 Reading: Croft. (led by S. Kemmer) Class Presentations of projects.

11/28, 11/30 Finishing class projects. No class. Official due date: Submit papers by 12/1/05.

Other work to consider reading: David Denison: Historical Syntax of English; Gabi Diewalt; recent work of Joan Bybee.

Last modified 12 Oct 05
© 2005 Suzanne Kemmer