H. De Smet
W. van der Wurff
- A Brief History of English Syntax
- Number of pages
- Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- ISBN (electronic)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
In its 1500-year history, the English language has seen dramatic grammatical changes. This book offers a comprehensive but reader-friendly account of the major developments, including changes to the English noun phrase and verb phrase, the changing relations between clausal constituents, the development of new subordinate constructions and, of course, word order change. In addition, the book discusses the impact of language contact on English syntax. Throughout, possible explanations of change are advanced, drawing on the existing and most recent literature and with reference to the major theoretical models of language change. Corpus evidence is used to assess both language-internal and language-external motivations of change.
The book is intended for students who have been introduced to the history of English and want to deepen their understanding of the major grammatical changes, and for linguists in general with a historical interest. It will also be of value to literary scholars and historians professionally engaged with older texts.
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