LINGUIST List 31.2198

Tue Jul 07 2020

Books: Reconstructing Syntax: Barðdal, Gildea, Luján (eds.)

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Coburn <>

Date: 02-Jul-2020
From: Clovis Jaillet <>
Subject: Reconstructing Syntax: Barðdal, Gildea, Luján (eds.)
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Title: Reconstructing Syntax
Series Title: Brill's Studies in Historical Linguistics
Published: 2020
Publisher: Brill

Book URL:

Editor: Jóhanna Barðdal
Editor: Spike Gildea
Editor: Eugenio R. Luján
Electronic: ISBN: 9789004392007 Pages: 378 Price: Europe EURO 0 Comment: Open Access
Hardback: ISBN: 9789004391994 Pages: 378 Price: Europe EURO 119

During several decades, syntactic reconstruction has been more or less regarded as a bootless and an unsuccessful venture, not least due to the heavy criticism in the 1970s from scholars like Watkins, Jeffers, Lightfoot, etc. This fallacious view culminated in Lightfoot’s (2002: 625) conclusion: “[i]f somebody thinks that they can reconstruct grammars more successfully and in more widespread fashion, let them tell us their methods and show us their results. Then we’ll eat the pudding.” This volume provides methods for the identification of i) cognates in syntax, and ii) the directionality of syntactic change, showcasing the results in the introduction and eight articles. These examples are offered as both tastier and also more nourishing than the pudding Lightfoot had in mind when discarding the viability of reconstructing syntax.

Available through Open Access.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

Page Updated: 07-Jul-2020