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LING 4440 3.0 - Syntactic Change

LING 4440 3.0 - Syntactic Change

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AP/LING 4440 3.00

Syntactic Change

This course deals with morpho-syntactic change from a generative perspective. The general questions addressed will include the following: Why are some grammatical features better preserved and why do others disappear? How do changes in some aspects of the grammatical system affect other aspects of the grammatical system? How do small innovations come to have big effects? What kind of role do social factors play in grammatical variation and change? What limitations are there on the role of language contact in grammatical change?

From the perspective of theory, some of the leading questions are as follows: Is an independent theory of change necessary (i.e. in addition to a theory of grammar)? How do we reconcile the Minimalist view of language as a kind of "perfect system" with the presence of variation and the occurrence of change? Is it possible to reconcile biological and social approaches to the study of language change? What is the status of grammaticalization as a process of language change? How do we model the effects of language contact?

COURSE CREDIT EXCLUSIONS: AS/LING 4800B 3.0 (prior to Fall/Winter 2000-2001).

FORMAT: One 3-hour session weekly.

PREREQUISITE: AP/LING 3140 3.0 with a grade of at least C+ or permission of the Department.

Note: students who have taken AS/LING 4800B 3.0 Special Topics : Topics in Grammatical Change may not register in this course.