Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Academic Paper


Title: Is morphosyntactic change really rare?
Author: Sarah G Thomason
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/ling/people/Sarah_Thomason.htm
Institution: University of Michigan
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: J├╝rgen Meisel argues that "grammatical variation...can be described...in terms of parametric variation", and - crucially for his arguments in this paper - that "parameter settings do not change across the lifespan". To this extent he adopts the standard generative view, but he then departs from what he calls "the literature on historical linguistics" (by which he means the generative literature only) in developing the arguments leading to his major claims: that only "transmission failure" resulting from L2 acquisition can produce parametric morphosyntactic change; that any L2 learners, children or adults, may be the agents of change; that such changes "happen less frequently than is commonly assumed"; and that, "in larger and more complex societies, situations in which L2 learners exert a major influence on a language are most likely to emerge in periods of substantial demographic changes" (his example is a plague that kills most members of a speech community). Adult L2 learners, according to Meisel, can only be agents of parametric change if they provide most or all of the input for the next generation's L1 acquisition.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 14, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page