This book provides a critical investigation of syntactic change and the factors that influence it.
Converging empirical and theoretical considerations have suggested that apparent instances of syntactic change may be attributable to factors outside syntax proper, such as morphology or information structure.
Some even go so far as to propose that there is no such thing as syntactic change, and that all such change in fact takes place in the lexicon or in thephonological component.
In this volume, international scholars examine these proposals, drawing on detailed case studies from Germanic, Romance, Chinese, Egyptian, Finnic, Hungarian, and Sami.
They aim to answer such questions as: Can syntactic change arise without an external impetus?
How can we tell whether a given change is caused by information-structural or morphological factors?
What can 'microsyntactic' investigations of changes in individual lexical items tell us about the bigger picture?
How universalare the clausal and nominal templates ('cartography'), and to what extent is syntactic structure more generally subject to universal constraints?The book will be of interest to all linguists working on syntactic variation and change, and especially those who believe that historical linguistics and linguistic theory can, and should, inform one another.