Perspectives on Historical Syntax

This volume discusses topics of historical syntax from different theoretical perspectives, ranging from Indo-European studies to generative grammar, functionalism, and typology. It examines mechanisms of syntactic change such as reanalysis, analogy, grammaticalization, independent drift, and language contact, as well as procedures of syntactic reconstruction. More than one factor is considered to explain a syntactic phenomenon, since it is maintained that an accurate account of multiple causations, of both structural and social nature, is to be preferred to considerations of economy. Special attention is given to the relationship between principles of syntactic theory and a search for data reliability through the methods of corpus linguistics. Data are drawn from a variety of languages, including Hittite, Vedic, Ancient Greek, Latin, Romance, Germanic, Baltic, Slavic, Austroasiatic, Gulf of Guinea creoles. The book may be therefore of interest for specialists of these languages in addition to scholars and advanced students of syntax and historical linguistics.