Diffusional Change

Hendrik De Smet

in Spreading Patterns

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199812752
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979752 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in the History of English

Diffusional Change

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This chapter examines the nature of diffusional changes, with the goal of formulating hypotheses about how a complement type spreads from one predicate to another. The specific questions to be resolved are: what principles and mechanisms of change can account for diffusion in the domain of complementation; and how these mechanisms are related to the synchronic model of complementation developed in Chapter 3. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 1 begins by delineating the notion of diffusion and discussing some general proposals from the literature that can contribute to understanding its operation. Section 2 addresses the contribution these proposals can make to understanding historical developments in the area of complementation and, drawing on a number of examples, sets up a simple model of change that can be applied specifically to the diffusion of new complement types.

Keywords: complement types; complementation; predicate; diffusion

Chapter.  14609 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

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