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Verbs and Diachronic Syntax : A Comparative History of English and French - Ian G. Roberts

Verbs and Diachronic Syntax

A Comparative History of English and French

Hardcover Published: 31st December 1992
ISBN: 9780792317050
Number Of Pages: 376

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This book analyses the development of a number of English and French constructions involving various kinds of subject-verb inversion. The analysis is framed in terms of the principles-and-parameters approach to syntactic theory, and provides strong support for the adoption of this approach in the description and explanation of language change.
The book falls into three parts. The first presents an overall framework for the analysis of inversion constructions and motivates, on the basis of synchronic data, several parameters which distinguish among the various Romance and Germanic languages. The second part shows how several near-simultaneous syntactic changes in the history of French can be explained as a change in one of the parameters introduced in Chapter One. A notable aspect of this analysis is the way in which the distribution of null subjects is shown to relate to verb-placement. The third part of the book treats verb-movement in the history of English, arguing in detail that the attested changes in this area are due to a change in the internal structure of `Infl', a proposal which has important ramifications for the theory of functional heads. Throughout the book, emphasis is placed on the theoretical questions raised by language change. In this connection the two notions of diachronic reanalysis and parametric change are distinguished.
Verbs and Diachronic Syntax will interest all theoretical linguists as well as specialists in the history of English, history of French, Germanic philology and Romance philology.

Preface
The Analysis of Inversion
Inversion and X-bar Theoryp. 8
Inversion and Case Theoryp. 17
Inversion and Incorporationp. 29
The Paradigm Case: Verb Secondp. 52
Complex Inversionp. 64
The History of French Interrogatives
Inversion and Interrogatives in Old Frenchp. 87
Pronominal Subjects in OFp. 110
Developments in Middle Frenchp. 142
The Sixteenth Century and Afterp. 187
The English Auxiliary System
Verb-raising and the Status of Agrp. 246
Do-Insertionp. 274
Modalsp. 309
Conclusion: the Loss of V2 in Englishp. 326
Appendixp. 341
Referencesp. 343
Index of Namesp. 355
Index of Subjectsp. 359
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780792317050
ISBN-10: 079231705X
Series: NATO Asi Series. Series C, Mathematical and Physical Science
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 376
Published: 31st December 1992
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 2.24
Weight (kg): 0.72

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