Chapter

Macroparametric change and the synthetic–analytic dimension

Chris H. Reintges

in Parameter Theory and Linguistic Change

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659203
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745188 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659203.003.0008

Series: Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics

Macroparametric change and the synthetic–analytic dimension

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Adopting Baker’s (2008) view that macroparameters exist beside microparameters, I explore the possibility that large-scale grammar change may be due to the diachronic resetting of a genuine macroparameter. A case in point is the drift from an agglutinative to an analytic morphological system in the course of Ancient Egyptian language history. The two systems differ from each other in terms of the basic syntactic operations. A constructive way of looking at the analyticization process is in terms of the dissociation of tense and finiteness features from lexical verb stems and the concomitant weakening of the v*P as a spellout domain.

Keywords: macroparameters; microparameters; phase theory; agglutinative systems; analytic systems; agree; verb–tense relation; argument voiding; weak v*P phase

Chapter.  9546 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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