From Latin to Romance: a configurational approach

Adam Ledgeway

in From Latin to Romance

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199584376
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741463 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics

From Latin to Romance: a configurational approach

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In contrast to Chapters 3 and 4, which considered an approach to the changes in word order and sentence structure from Latin to Romance in terms of the progressive rise of configurationality and concomitant functional structure, this chapter attempts to demonstrate how the same empirical generalizations can be captured within an approach that assumes the presence of both configurational and functional structure already in Latin. In essence, the perceived non-configurationality of Latin is broken down into two main ingredients: grammatically free word order resulting from an ongoing change in the head directionality parameter (ultimately interpreted as the progressive loss of roll-up), which a priori allows dependents/complements to occur on either side of their head; and pragmatically driven word order, often producing discontinuous structures, resulting from the greater accessibility of topic- and focus-fronting to positions situated in the left edge of individual (phasal) functional projections.

Keywords: Latin; Romance languages; configurational structure; functional structure; word order

Chapter.  42865 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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