Chapter

Diachronic interpretations of word order parameter cohesion

John Whitman and Yohei Ono

in Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax

Published in print July 2017 | ISBN: 9780198747840
Published online August 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191810732 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198747840.003.0004

Series: Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics

Diachronic interpretations of word order parameter cohesion

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  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
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This chapter uses statistical tools to investigate the interrelationship between typological features in the World Atlas of Language Structures Online (Dryer and Haspelmath 2013) in the WALS 201 language sample, with the objective of determining how crosscategorial word order generalizations might emerge as the result of syntactic change. Multiple Correspondence Analysis and a variety of cluster analyses show that word order features tend to group along the familiar lines of the Head Parameter. But there is an important caveat to this, previously noticed by Albu (2006): word order features in NP (e.g. [Order of noun and determiner], [Order of noun and adjective]) group separately from word order features in VP and PP, with the exception of [Order of noun and genitive]. We provide a diachronic explanation for this fact: nouns and their arguments may be reanalysed as PPs, or in the case of reanalysed nominalizations, clauses.

Keywords: word order; reanalysis; statistical typology; Head Parameter; Chinese

Chapter.  7009 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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