LINGUIST List 26.5387

Thu Dec 03 2015

Books: The Diachrony of Grammar: Givón

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <saralinguistlist.org>


Date: 01-Dec-2015
From: Karin Plijnaar <karin.plijnaarbenjamins.nl>
Subject: The Diachrony of Grammar: Givón
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Title: The Diachrony of Grammar
Published: 2015
Publisher: John Benjamins
                http://www.benjamins.com/

Book URL: https://benjamins.com/catalog/z.192

Author: T. Givón
Electronic: ISBN: 9789027268884 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 150.00
Electronic: ISBN: 9789027268884 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 225.00
Electronic: ISBN: 9789027268884 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 126.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027212207 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 225.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027212207 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 126.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027212207 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 159.00
Abstract:

The case-studies assembled in these two volumes span a lifetime of research into the diachrony of grammar. That is, into the rise and fall of syntactic constructions and their attendant grammatical morphology. While focused squarely on the data, the studies are nonetheless cast in an explicit theoretical perspective – adaptive, developmental, variationist. Taken as a whole, this work constitutes a frontal assault on Ferdinand de Saussure's corrosive legacy in linguistics. Over the years, reviewers slapped the author's wrist periodically for having dared to commit that most heinous of sins against de Saussure's hallowed legacy – panchronic grammar. In this work he pleads guilty, having never seen a piece of synchronic data that didn't reek, to high heaven, of the diachrony that gave it rise. Reek in two distinct ways: first with the frozen relics of the past that prompt us to reconstruct prior diachronic states; and second with the synchronic variation that hints at ongoing change. Conversely, the author confesses to having never seen a diachronic explanation that did not hinge on the synchronic principles – Carnap's general propositions – that govern language behavior. The synchrony and diachrony of grammar are twin faces of the same coin. To study one without the other is to gut both. By understanding how synchronic grammars come into being we also understand the cognitive, communicative, neurological and developmental universals that constrain diachronic change – and through it synchronic typology.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Linguistic Theories
                            Morphology
                            Syntax
                            Typology

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=95233


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Cambridge University Press http://us.cambridge.org

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