Hodge, Jespersen, and Sapir and the Linguistic Cycle
Historical Linguistics Spring 2017 Elly van Gelderen What is Historical Linguistics? What: Typical (phonological) change Why: due to language acquisition or external influence and socioling factors Methods: CM, IR, OED, DOE, etc
Interdisciplinary: genetics, language families, migrations. Greenberg, Cavalli-Sforza, Bickerton Early Migrations MtDNA and Migrations Pre-Lg > Proto-Lg
Argument structure Demonstratives Merge Language of thought > externalization Function words < grammaticalization Grammaticalization H&Tr: Grmmz is the process whereby lexical items and constructions come in certain
linguistic contexts to serve grammatical functions, and, once grammaticalized, continue to develop new grammatical functions. (2003: xv) EvG: Grmmz is reanalysis by the language learner of lexical items in a more economical way. Other processes
Reanalysis Analogy lexicalization Then: OE > Modern English Ormulum 1200, lines 3494 > (both B and O from wiki)
Main changes Demonstratives > articles V > Aux Loss of Case Loss of verb endings Loss of ge- > more phrasal verbs EMOD: Grammaticalization is unidirectional
on the cline in (1). (1) lexical phrase/word > grammatical item > clitic > affix > zero Andersen (2008: 15) points out that this clines contains semantic change (lexical > grammatical), morphological (word > clitic > affix), and phonological change (especially in the later stages):
Other possibilities (morphosyntax vs argument hood): (2) a. phrase > word/head > clitic > affix > 0 b. adjunct > argument > (argument) > agreement > 0
Examples of grammaticalization in English On, from P to ASP VP Adverbials > TP/CP Adverbials Like, from P > C (like I said) Negative objects to negative markers Modals: v > ASP > T To: P > ASP > M > C
PP > C (for him to do that ...) Chinese bei gei mei shi cover
give die D>T liao > le finish lai > le come ba/jiang hold V>AUX
P>AUX go motion > future to direction>mood for location>time>cause have possession>perfect on location>aspect after location>time
P>C The Linguistic Cycle - Hodge (1970: 3): Old Egyptian morphological complexity (synthetic stage) turned into Middle Egyptian syntactic structures (analytic stage) and then back into morphological complexity in Coptic.
- todays morphology is yesterday's syntax (Givn 1971) Synthetic (Hodge sM) is: Dependent marking or Head marking Dryers map on Case (WALS)
Analytic (Hodge Sm) is: Word order prepositions rather than case VO and OV Macro and micro-cycles
A Macro-Cycle synthetic analytic Some Micro-Cycles Negative (neg): neg indefinite/adverb > neg particle > (neg particle) Definiteness
demonstrative > article > class marker Agreement emphatic > pronoun > agreement Auxiliary V/A/P > M > T > C Clausal pronoun > complementizer PP/Adv > Topic > C
Negative Cycle in English a. no/ne early Old English b.
ne c. (ne) not d. not
(na wiht/not) > How renewed? after 900, esp S after 1350
-not/-nt after 1400 The Linguistic Cycle, e.g. the Negative Cycle HPP XP
Spec na wiht Late Merge X' X not > nt
YP Hodge, Jespersen, and Sapir focus on macrocycles, though they do not use that term. Heine, Claudi & Hnnemeyer (1991: 246) argue that there is more justification to apply the notion of a linguistics cycle to
individual linguistic developments rather than to changes from analytic to synthetic and back to analytic. History of Egyptian Old Egyptian: 3000 BCE 2000 BCE Middle Egyptian: 2000-1300 BCE Late Egyptian: 1300 BCE 700 BCE Demotic Egyptian: 600 BCE 400 CE
Coptic: 300 -1300 CE Rosetta Stone Hieroglyphic Demotic Greek Ptolomis and Kleopatra
Older to later Egyptian (1) rmc `the man snt `a sister (2) p rmt
w(t) sn(t) (3) p-rom w-son (adapted from Loprieno)
Early > Late > Coptic (1) (2) (3) jw scm-n-j indeed hear-PRET-1S
jr-j-stm w xrw do-1S-hearing a-voice a-i-setm-w-xrou PRET-1S-hear-a-voice `I heard a voice. xrw voice
Spiral or Cycle: Spiral is another term for cycle (see von der Gabelentz 1901: 256; Hagge 1993: 147); it emphasizes the unidirectionality of the changes: languages do not reverse earlier change but may end up in a stage typologically similar to an earlier one. Jespersen (1922: chapter 21.9) uses
spirals when he criticizes the concept of cyclical change. vd Gabelentz 1901 immer gilt das Gleiche: die Entwicklungslinie krmmt sich zurck nach der Seite der Isolation, nicht in die alte Bahn, sondern in eine annhernd parallele. Darum vergleiche ich sie der Spirale.
"always the same: the development curves back towards isolation, not in the old way, but in a parallel fashion. That's why I compare them to spirals" (my translation, EvG). Criticisms Not precise Jespersen Newmeyer (2006) notes that some
grammaticalizations from noun/verb to affix can take as little as 1000 years, and wonders how there can be anything left to grammaticalize if this is the right scenario. Hopper & Traugott (2003: 124) The cyclical model is extremely problematic because it suggests that a stage of a language can exist when it is
difficult or even impossible to express some concept (p. 124). Unidirectional and overlap always something around to express, for instance, negation or the subject. usually not the same element, e.g. ne > not if the same element, this is due to layering
Sapir (1921) on drift P. 150: a current of its own making. Even if there is no split into dialects, languages drift. P. 154: what is drift/change? P. 155: The linguistic drift has direction. e.g. who did you see?
Sapir, 158 ff. Loss: who/whom are psychologically related to when, what, etc. the only one to show Case in its group Scale of hesitation (162) Three drifts: loss of Case, fixing of WO, invariable word.
The Copula and DP Cycles (1) dani (hu) ha-more Dani he the-teacher Dani is the teacher. Hebrew
(2) hu malax 'al jisra'el He ruled over Israel. (Katz 1996: 86) Hebrew
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