This article examines the grammaticalisation of adverbs. It surveys ways in which adverbs can come into existence: via affixation, via case suffixes, and with true grammaticalised derivators. It argues that not every process that produces an adverb is per se a grammaticalization process since adverb is a linguistic category which shows very different morphological behaviours. In addition, there are languages which have no morphological expression for such a category.
James P. Blevins
Although the heyday of the American Descriptivist school was short, spanning the time between Bloomfield and Chomsky, this period was decisive for the development of modern linguistics. It was in this time that a distinctive American school emerged with an explicit focus on synchronic analysis. The challenge of interpreting Bloomfield led the Descriptivists to define many notions that are commonly identified as “Bloomfieldian,” from the structuralist phoneme (Hockett 1942) and morpheme (Harris 1942), to models of immediate constituent analysis (Wells 1947). In the course of assembling these notions into a new science of linguistics, the Descriptivists came to focus on the techniques and devices employed to construct linguistic analyses. This shift in orientation marked the advent of a recognizably modern approach to linguistics, one in which formal tools and analytic methods are primary objects of study. Descriptivists’ interest in statistical, information-theoretic, and corpus-based methods likewise has a strong contemporary resonance.
In amphichronic phonology, synchronic and diachronic explanation feed each other. The architecture of grammar predicts the possible modes of implementation of phonological change (including neogrammarian regularity) and the life cycle of sound patterns. In turn, the life cycle accounts for synchronic phenomena such as scattered rules and the relative stratal affiliation of cognate processes.
This chapter presents a critical overview of traditional and current approaches to analogical change, focusing on those aspects that are most directly relevant to historical phonology, including: the levelling and extension of morphophonological alternations; the interaction of sound change and analogy; morphologization and demorphologization; contamination; folk etymology; and phonetic analogy.
The article adopts terminology, concepts, and ideas developed in quantitative morphological typology (cf. Greenberg 1960) to investigate the coding of grammatical information in English diachrony. Specifically, we utilize a quantitative, language-internal measure of overt grammatical analyticity, defined as the text frequency of free grammatical markers, and a measure of overt grammatical syntheticity, defined as the text frequency of bound grammatical markers. We subsequently apply these measures to the Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English series, which covers the period between circa 1100 and 1900, and demonstrate that this time slice does not exhibit a steady drift from synthetic to analytic.
Launched in 1989, when Elizabeth Gordon became aware of the existence of a set of recordings of early New Zealand English, the Origins of New Zealand English Project (ONZE) provides a unique opportunity to investigate sound change. These “Mobile Unit” (MU) recordings were made in the 1940s for radio broadcast, and included reminiscences from speakers born as early as the 1850s. The recordings are significant because they date to the first stages of large-scale immigration to New Zealand from the British Isles, representing the first generation of English speakers born in New Zealand. These recordings, which are in the possession of the University of Canterbury, form the core of the ONZE project. Interviews with more than 100 of these early speakers have now been compiled, digitized, transcribed, time-aligned, and then automatically segmented at the phoneme level. The Mobile Unit recordings have been a valuable tool for testing theories of the formation of new dialects.
Bernd Heine and Tania Kuteva
This article describes the areal dimension of grammaticalisation resulting from language contact. It shows that grammaticalisation is a ubiquitous process in language contact which may affect any part of language structure and exhibits the same format in all of its manifestations. It provides some examples of how languages have been influenced by other languages in developing new grammatical use patterns and categories. It investigates how grammaticalisation leads to a real relationship among languages by highlighting the notion of grammaticalization area.
Joan L. Bybee
This chapter discusses the role of articulatory processing in sound change, emphasizing the tendency towards reduction and overlap of articulatory gestures, as well as explanations proposed for this tendency. The pattern of lexical diffusion proceeding from most to least frequent words and phrases is discussed as evidence for the important role of articulation in sound change.
Language contact has long been the subject of extensive research in linguistics, but has recently been the object of increased attention by scholars working on both the history of English and varieties of English worldwide. Most language contact studies that have appeared in recent years rely on databases that differ from those typically used in histories of the English language. Assuming that code-switching refers to instances where bilingual speakers alternate between codes within the same speech event, this process can be hypothesized to be the source of borrowing when the code-switching occurs repeatedly with the same lexical items or sentence structures such that these are no longer felt to be foreign in the receiving code. Both the degree of bilingualism necessary for code-switching and the number of individuals who engage in code-switching are a matter of debate. This article discusses language contact, language ecology, and grammaticalization.
The prescriptive dictum that some linguistic variants are superior to others has strong roots in the eighteenth-century grammatical tradition. Synthesizing contemporary research on prescriptivism, this chapter uses the grammarian Robert Lowth as a lens for reinvestigating its linguistic and social dynamics. Eventually elevated to a bishopric, Lowth is popularly stereotyped as imposing latinate rules on English usage. Yet recent corpus-based studies suggest that prescriptive rules sometimes reflected rather than triggered standardization of such variants as adjective comparison, negative concord, preposition placement, and the subjunctive. Such studies also confirm that when tracking prescriptive traditions we need to consider media other than grammars and codifiers earlier than Lowth, such as James Greenwood. Indeed, linguistic variation in a corpus of Lowth’s own correspondence reminds us of the social distinctions and dynamics that can be correlated with prescriptivism. Though many professional linguists have traditionally dismissed prescriptivism, others are redirecting this attention into research and public outreach.