The fourteen studies selected for this volume – all of them peer-reviewed
versions of papers presented at the 15th International Conference on
English Historical Linguistics 2008 (23–30 August) at the University of
Munich – investigate syntactic variation and change in the history of
English from two perspectives that are crucial to explaining language
change, namely the analysis of usage patterns and the social motivations of
language change. Documenting the way syntactic elements have changed their
combinatory preferences in fine-grained corpus studies renders the
opportunity to catch language change in actu. A majority of studies
in this book investigate syntactic change in the history of English from
this viewpoint using a corpus-based approach, focusing on verbal
constructions, modality and developments in the English noun phrase.
The book is of primary interest to linguists interested in current
research in the history of English syntax. Its empirical richness is an
excellent source for teaching English Historical Syntax.
Volume II to be announced soon.