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This is the second book in a two-volume comparative history of negation in the languages of Europe and the Mediterranean. The work integrates typological, general, and theoretical research, documents patterns and directions of change in negation across languages, and examines the linguistic and social factors that lie behind such changes. The aim of both volumes is to set out an integrated framework for understanding the syntax of negation and how it changes.
While the first volume (OUP, 2013) presented linked case studies of particular languages and language groups, this second volume constructs a holistic approach to explaining the patterns of historical change found in the languages of Europe and the Mediterranean over the last millennium. It identifies typical developments found repeatedly in the histories of different languages and explores their origins, as well as investigating the factors that determine whether change proceeds rapidly, slowly, or not at all. Language-internal factors such as the interaction of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, and the biases inherent in child language acquisition, are investigated alongside language-external factors such as imposition, convergence, and borrowing. The book proposes an explicit formal account of language-internal and contact-induced change for both the expression of sentential negation ('not') and negative indefinites ('anyone', 'nothing'). It sheds light on the major ways in which negative systems develop, on the nature of syntactic change, and indeed on linguistic change more generally, demonstrating the insights that large-scale comparison of linguistic histories can offer.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Series:||Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics|
|Product dimensions:||9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Anne Breitbarth is Associate Professor of Historical German Linguistics at Ghent University. She has published on issues in historical syntax and language change in High and Low German, as well as Dutch and English, and has led projects building parsed corpora for historical Low German and Southern Dutch dialects. She is the author of The History of Low German Negation (OUP, 2014) and editor of several volumes on language change in the domains of negation and polarity, as well as diachronic change and stability in grammar.
Christopher Lucas is Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics at SOAS University of London. His research centres on the description and analysis of grammatical change and linguistic variation, with a particular focus on Arabic, Maltese, and varieties of English. Much of his work has centred on issues connected with negation and definiteness, as well as the development of models of contact-induced change, with articles in journals such as Diachronica, Journal of Linguistics, and English Language and Linguistics.
David Willis is Reader in Historical Linguistics at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He specializes in theoretical diachronic syntax and the historical linguistics of the Celtic and Slavonic languages. His publications include Syntactic Change in Welsh (OUP, 1998), The Syntax of Welsh (CUP, 2007) and Continuity and Change in Grammar (Benjamins, 2010; co-edited with Anne Breitbarth, Christopher Lucas, and Sheila Watts).
Table of Contents
Part I: Jespersen's Cycle
2. Empirical generalizations
3. Internal motivations and formal approaches
4. External motivations for Jespersen's cycle
Part II: Quantifier cycles and indefinites
5. Empirical generalizations
6. Internal motivations and formal approaches
7. External motivations for change in indefinite systems
Index of languages
Index of subjects