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A History of the Irish Language: From the Norman Invasion to Independence

By Aidan Doyle

This book "sets the history of the Irish language in its political and cultural context" and "makes available for the first time material that has previously been inaccessible to non-Irish speakers."


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The Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics

Edited By Keith Allan and Kasia M. Jaszczolt

This book "fills the unquestionable need for a comprehensive and up-to-date handbook on the fast-developing field of pragmatics" and "includes contributions from many of the principal figures in a wide variety of fields of pragmatic research as well as some up-and-coming pragmatists."


Academic Paper


Title: On the Loss of High-Frequency Function Words
Author: Patrizia Noel Aziz Hanna
Institution: Universität Bamberg
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Abstract: The loss of high-frequency function words is puzzling. Although they form part of core grammar—and, in some cases, have done so for thousands of years—some function words seem to just suddenly disappear. While the grammaticalization of content words into function words correlates with increase in usage, the loss of high-frequency function words cannot simply be explained by decrease in usage because of the indispensable function of these words. This article deals with the loss of the Germanic question particle, of the Germanic coordinating sentence conjunction, and of the Germanic negation particle. It describes their gradual decline as a result of language-specific interactions between phonology, syntax, and information structure: Function words occupy a fixed syntactic position, where they are systematically unstressed. Instead of being strengthened in their old position, they were lost. Instead of linking the loss of elements of core grammar to frequency-based semantic bleaching, it is attributed here to the interaction of linguistic subsystems. It is suggested that this development was unavoidable as the non-Proto-Indo-European structure of Germanic subsystems was eroding old Indo-European lexical material. Germanic prosody was not in harmony with the substance of the inherited Proto-Indo-European lexicon.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 25, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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