Article

Typology and typological change in English historical linguistics

Bernd Kortmann

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of English

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199922765
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199922765.013.0052

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Typology and typological change in English historical linguistics

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  • Linguistics
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • Linguistic Typology

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This article explores various ways in which established and recent theories, concepts and methods in language typology are, or can be, relevant for investigating language change in general and the history of English(es) in particular. It considers the ways that the study of the history of the English language may benefit from a modern typologist’s take on language variation and change. Language typology can be used in at least four different ways to rethink the history of English and English historical linguistics: in light of (pervasive) cross-linguistic tendencies; in light of larger patterns or correlations among structural changes; in light of the major branches of diachronic typology, especially diachronic word order typology and grammaticalization; and in light of recent theories and especially (quantitative) methods in language typology. Another factor involved in this rethinking process is dialectology.

Keywords: language typology; language change; English; history; historical linguistics; word order; grammaticalization; dialectology

Article.  7147 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics ; Linguistic Typology

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