This collection of papers consolidates the observation that linguistic change typically is actualized step by step: any structural innovation being introduced, accepted, and generalized, over time, in one grammatical environment after another, in a progression that can be understood by reference to the markedness values and the ranking of the conditioning features. The Introduction to the volume and a chapter by Henning Andersen clarify the theoretical bases for this observation, which is exemplified and discussed in separate chapters by Kristin Bakken, Alexander Bergs and Dieter Stein, Vit Bubenik,
Ulrich Busse, Marianne Mithun, Lene Schøsler, and John Charles Smith in the light of data from the histories of Norwegian, English, Hindi,
Northern Iroquoian, and Romance. A final chapter by Michael Shapiro adds a philosophical perspective. The papers were first presented in a workshop on "Actualization Patterns in Linguistic Change" at the XIV
International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Vancouver, B.C. in 1999.