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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Prepositional Infinitives in Romance
Subtitle: A Usage-Based Approach to Syntactic Change
Written By: Kim Schulte
Series Title: Studies in Historical Linguistics. Vol. 3

This book examines the present-day distribution and diachronic evolution of
a set of infinitival structures in Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian, making
use of extensive corpus data and investigating how pragmatic factors and
usage patterns interact with syntax. After a contrastive account of the
patterns of clausal subordination in Latin and Romance, the rise of
prepositional infinitives is traced through the documented history of the
three languages, revealing astonishing parallels in their development. The
analysis of the data shows how cognitive principles such as reanalysis and
entrenchment combine with parameters such as relevance and usage frequency
to cause syntactic change. Beyond providing a genuine explanation for the
observed processes in the Romance languages, this study offers new evidence
for the existence of language-independent, cross-linguistically applicable
principles and mechanisms in language change.

Comparative Romance Linguistics; Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian - Historical
syntax - Cognitive, usage-based approach to linguistic change -
Corpus-based diachronic analyses - Infinitival constructions: distribution,
usage patterns; the interface between syntax, pragmatics and semantics -
Explanations for emergence and expansion of prepositional infinitive clauses.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Peter Lang AG
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Portuguese
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9783039113279
Pages: 409
Prices: U.S. $ 69.95
U.K. £ 35.00
Europe EURO 53.80
Europe EURO 57.60
Europe EURO 59.20