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New from Oxford University Press!


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: The Linguistic Cycle
Subtitle: Language Change and the Language Faculty
Written By: Elly van Gelderen

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.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Cognitive Science
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9780199756056
Pages: 434
Prices: U.S. $ 99.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780199756049
Pages: 434
Prices: U.S. $ 49.95