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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'A multi-modular approach to gradual change in grammaticalization'
Author: ElaineJ.Francis
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: 'http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~ejfranci/ejfrancis.htm'
Institution: 'Purdue University'
Author: EtsuyoYuasa
Email: click here to access email
Institution: 'Ohio State University'
Linguistic Field: 'Syntax'
Subject Language: 'Japanese'
' English'
' Chinese, Yue'
Abstract: Examining four constructions in three languages (English quantificational nouns, Japanese subordinating conjunctions, Cantonese coverbs, Japanese deverbal postpositions), this paper shows that semantic properties can change faster than syntactic properties in gradual processes of grammaticalization. In each of these cases, the syntactic properties of one category become associated with the semantic properties of a different category when an item undergoes semantic change, leading to the appearance of mixed categorial properties. We propose that this sort of change is best captured using a multi-modular framework (Sadock 1991, Yuasa 2005), which allows changes to affect semantics independently of syntax, and which shows clearly that the relevant items and constructions still conform to the separate structural constraints of syntax and semantics, despite the unusual combination of properties. These findings are important for theories of grammaticalization because they suggest that the cover term 'decategorialization' (the loss of grammatical properties associated with the source category) must be understood in terms of at least two separate processes: the effects of semantic change on an item's distribution; and the effects of frequency (Bybee & Hopper 2001) and Pressure for Structure–Concept Iconicity (Newmeyer 1998) on an item's syntactic categorization. Our case studies show that the first kind of decategorialization effects can occur even in the absence of the second kind. Implications of these findings, including possible reasons for both the instability and the long-term retention of mismatch constructions, are also considered.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 44, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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