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Introduction: New perspectives on diachronic syntax in North Germanic

  • David Håkansson (a1), Erik Magnusson Petzell (a2) and Elisabet Engdahl (a3)

Extract

This special issue of Nordic Journal of Linguistics is dedicated to diachronic generative syntax in the North Germanic languages. With the introduction of generative grammar in the late 1950s the historical perspective became less prominent within linguistics. Instead, contemporary language, normally represented by the researcher’s own intuitions, became the unmarked empirical basis within the generative field, although there were some early pioneering studies in generative historical syntax (e.g. Traugott 1972). It was not until the introduction of the Principles and Parameters theory in the 1990s that diachronic syntax emerged as an important domain of inquiry for generative linguists. Since then, the study of syntactic change has added a temporal dimension to the overall enterprise to better understand the nature of variation in human language.

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References

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