LINGUIST List 32.1633

Tue May 11 2021

Books: Syntactic Features and the Limits of Syntactic Change: Roberts, Eythórsson (eds.)

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 18-Mar-2021
From: Oxford University Press <>
Subject: Syntactic Features and the Limits of Syntactic Change: Roberts, Eythórsson (eds.)
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Title: Syntactic Features and the Limits of Syntactic Change
Published: 2021
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Book URL:

Editor: Ian Roberts
Editor: Thórhallur Eythórsson
Hardback: ISBN: 9780198832584 Pages: 448 Price: U.S. $ 115.00

This volume brings together the latest diachronic research on syntactic features and their role in restricting syntactic change. The chapters address a central theoretical issue in diachronic syntax: whether syntactic variation can always be attributed to differences in the features of items in the lexicon, as the Borer-Chomsky conjecture proposes. In answering this question, all the chapters develop analyses of syntactic change couched within a formalist framework in which rich hierarchical structures and abstract features of various kinds play an important role. The first three parts of the volume explore the different domains of the clause, namely the C-domain, the T-domain and the ?P/VP-domain respectively, while chapters in the final part are concerned with establishing methodology in diachronic syntax and modelling linguistic correspondences. The contributors draw on extensive data from a large number of languages and dialects, including several that have received little attention in the literature on diachronic syntax, such as Romeyka, a Greek variety spoken in Turkey, and Middle Low German, previously spoken in northern Germany. Other languages are explored from a fresh theoretical perspective, including Hungarian, Icelandic, and Austronesian languages. The volume sheds light not only on specific syntactic changes from a cross-linguistic perspective but also on broader issues in language change and linguistic theory.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 11-May-2021