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Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen LOT WINTERSCHOOL 2005 HISTORICAL SYNTAX Jack Hoeksema LOT, BCN University of Groningen.

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Presentation on theme: "Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen LOT WINTERSCHOOL 2005 HISTORICAL SYNTAX Jack Hoeksema LOT, BCN University of Groningen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen LOT WINTERSCHOOL 2005 HISTORICAL SYNTAX Jack Hoeksema LOT, BCN University of Groningen

2 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Focus of the course: - corpus-based studies -usage factors vs grammar -emphasis on modern Dutch ( )

3 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday January 10, 2005 Corpus data represent usage, not grammar Usage data indirectly reflect social and grammatical factors Social factors have to do with the population of language users and the function of the texts Grammatical factors have to do with the individual competence of the users

4 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday January 10, 2005 Strictly social aspects of corpus data upper class language overrepresented in historical corpora (literacy) more texts from men than from women more texts from later than from earlier periods more from written registers than from spoken registers

5 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday January 10, 2005 Partly social aspects of corpus data Suppose texts from some period have 70% variant X and 30% variant Y 70% of the population uses only X and 30% only Y (categorical usage at the level of individuals, variation at the level of the speech community) all speakers use X 70% of the time, and Y 30% of the time (variation at the individual level reflecting variation at the group level) some more complication relation between individual and group usage

6 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday January 10, 2005 Variation is relevant at the level of individual behavior and not just at the group level (cf. Guy, Gregory R ‘Variation in the group and the individual: The case of final stop deletion.’ In William Labov, ed., Locating language in time and space. New York: Academic Press: Contra D. Bickerton)

7 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Essential variation: variation which remains variation even after all factors influencing it have been controlled for

8 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Nonessential variation: example 1 Population: 50% use of A, 50% use of B. All women use A, all men use B. Categorical for each gender.

9 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Nonessential variation: example 2 Population: 34% use of A, 68% of B. Before vowels, 100% use of A, before consonants 100% use of B.

10 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Essential variation: Population: 34% use of A, 68% of B. Before vowels, 91% use of A, before consonants 94% use of B. Strong effect of phonological environment, but not a categorical distribution.

11 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 So one goal of variation studies is to determine the controlling factors, and to find out whether these completely determine the distribution or not.

12 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Controlling factors can be internal or external Internal: vowel vs consonant main clause vs dependent clause, verb versus noun External: sex, age, social status, peer group, time

13 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Statistical distributions are learned by children Cf. Labov 1989 on “g-dropping”, the ing-in alternation in English ‘The child as linguistic historian.’ Language Variation and Change 1:85-97.

14 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 I’m working – I’m workin in < Old English –inde ing < OE -ing

15 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 In speech, in is most common in progressives and present participles, less in adjectives, even less in gerunds and least of all in nouns such as ceiling, morning This distribution is found in the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia

16 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 The distribution is a clear reflection of the historical origin. The fact that it has survived several centuries, means that is is learned from usage by successive generations

17 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005

18 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Stylistic effect in is informal, ing is formal Hence systematically more ing in formal contexts, and more in in informal contexts such as vivid narrative

19 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 this stylistic factor is found both in the speech of adults and that of children, suggesting that children not only learn statistical distributions, but also associate them with stylistic levels

20 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Speed of change Many grammatical changes appear to be glacial from the usage data. E.g. the loss of case marking in Dutch appears to have taken several centuries.

21 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 The same is true, for instance, of the loss of clitic negation in Dutch: 14th century Hollandic Dutch already allows for dropping ne/en clitics, but 18th century Dutch still shows some (by then rare) examples of clitic negation. So the time course spans 4 centuries.

22 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 This could mean a long period of variation, in which the disappearing variant slowly decreases in frequency – or: an abrupt change in the system slowly propagating through the population. Is change gradual, or catastrophic?

23 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Generative grammar tends to favor catastrophic change, since it usually tries to ignore, or abstract away from, variation. E.g. the work of David Lightfoot.

24 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Historical linguists of other persuasions, e.g. functionalists, usage-based grammarians, students of grammaticalization, etc. tend to favor gradual change.

25 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Is change gradual if individuals show variation in their usage, within a large time-frame? E.g. period 1: A uses X 90% of the time, and Y 10% of the time Period 2: B uses X 50% of the time, and Y 50%. Period 3: C uses X 10% of the time and Y 90% of the time.

26 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Not necessarily...

27 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Yet another option: grammar competition at the level of individual speakers – diglossia. Cf. Anthony S. Kroch, 1994, “Morphosyntactic Variation.” In Beals et al., (eds.), Proceedings of the Thirtieth Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, vol. 2, pp

28 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Kroch: during transitional periods, languages may show syntactic variation of a type that stable systems do not allow. This is due to the coexistence of two grammars, usually as a result of language contact.

29 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Change in this model is both abrupt and gradual. Abrupt is the switch between two systems, gradual is the process of competition, by which one system ultimately replaces another

30 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Example: OV vs VO in Middle English. VO more common in the North: Viking influence. After a stable period of OV (Old English), there is a transitional period of variation, followed by another stable period of VO (Modern English)

31 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 OV correllates with Particle < Verb order, VO with Verb < Particle order. If two grammars compete, we expect to see the position of the object to parallel that of the particle

32 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Alternatively, if we assume an optional rule of object movement and an optional rule of particle movement, there is no a priori reason why utterances should show a correlation between the two orders.

33 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Study of word order variation has found significant correlations between object < verb and particle < verb order Cf. S. Pintzuk, 1991, Phrase Structures in Competition. Variation and Change in Old English Word Order. Diss. University of Pennsylvania

34 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 The choice between the grammar competion model and language-internal variation is a highly theoretical one, and can only be settled in the context of well-defined grammatical frameworks.

35 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 S-shaped change: curves representing change in usage tend to have a so-called S-shape. Change slow at first, then quick, and slow again at the end.

36 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005

37 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 S-shaped curves can be modelled (by curve-fitting) to various mathematical functions, including the logistic function ln(p/(1-p)) = k + st where t is time, p is the probability of the advancing form, k is the intercept and s a constant representing the slope of the curve (see Kroch 1989)

38 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Constant Rate Hypothesis (Kroch 1989): changes spread at the same rate in all environments

39 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 That is: the intercepts of two curves may differ, but the slopes are the same, assuming the two curves represent two conditions of a single change

40 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005

41 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Primary motivation for the CRH: DO-support in English Slope parameters for 5 environments: Negative declaratives3.74 Negative questions3.45 Transitive Yes/No questions3.62 Intransitive Yes/No questions 3.77 Affirmative WH-object questions 4.01

42 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 A Dutch example: lexical replacement of ogenblik by moment 3 environments: op het ogenblik/moment: series 1 elk/ieder ogenblik/moment: series 2 geen ogenblik/moment: series 3

43 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005

44 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 The constant rate hypothesis holds very neatly for the two related minimizer uses: geen moment and ieder moment

45 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Compare The train may arrive any moment/second/minute now. #The train may arrive any day now. ##The train may arrive any year now.

46 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Universally quantified minimizing nouns have a special immediate future reading Cf. Jack Hoeksema, 1997, "Ieder moment: Scalaire universele kwantificatie", Tabu 27-4,

47 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 But op het ogenblik/op het moment shows a much slower rate of change. Possible explanation: op het ogenblik / op het moment is a fixed expression with idiomatic properties

48 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Op het moment ben ik vrolijk at the moment am I cheerful #Op de dag ben ik vrolijk Op die dag ben ik vrolijk Op de dag dat ik vertrek ben ik vrolijk Op deze dag ben ik vrolijk

49 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Deictic readings: op het moment ben ik vrolijk = nu ben ik vrolijk hij had op het moment geen geld = hij had toen geen geld

50 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Other expressions op dat moment /op dit moment op een gegeven moment

51 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005

52 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 So... constant rate effect holds for all cases except op het ogenblik All environment go from 95% with a century, but op het ogenblik has only reached about 40%

53 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Caveat: this is hard to check with Google, or text cd-roms, because the figures are only valid for expressions without modifiers Cf. Literom hits (2002) op het moment2323 op het ogenblik1797

54 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 op het moment op het ogenblik minus: op het moment/ogenblik dat minus: op het moment van minus: op het moment waarop

55 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Conclusion: op het moment/ogenblik van de ramp op het moment dat zij aankwam etc are not idiomatic, but compositional

56 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Question: is the Constant Rate Hypothesis validated or invalidated?

57 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Neither The evidence from the Constant Rate Hypothesis so far is rather slender (mainly the 3 case studies in Kroch 1989, and some later studies by Kroch and some of his students)

58 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Usefulness of mathematical modelling of usage curves: may help estimate missing data points helps the analyst to decide if s/he has enough data

59 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Caveat The logistic function tails off asymptotically at the beginning and at the end. This is not realistic for changes with a definite beginning and a definite end.

60 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 Note that the logistic function yields a symmetrical S-shape, so in principle, the time course of a change is predictable from only the first, or the second half. This makes it possible to make predictions for changes that are half-way to completion, or to reconstruct part of a change if there is a gap in the historical record.

61 Faculteit der Letteren Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Lecture 1, Monday Jan 10, 2005 It is not known, whether this is always a realistic assumption. If the S-shape represents a change spreading through a population, we might expect its second half to be faster due to the effect of mass media (for recent changes), or slower, due to the effect of schooling and standardization.


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