The Diachrony of Grammar

T. Givón | University of Oregon
ISBN 9789027212207 | EUR 150.00 | USD 225.00
ISBN 9789027212504 | EUR 65.00 | USD 98.00
ISBN 9789027268884 | EUR 150.00/65.00*
| USD 225.00/98.00*
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The case-studies assembled in these two volumes span a lifetime of research into the diachrony of grammar. That is, into the rise and fall of syntactic constructions and their attendant grammatical morphology. While focused squarely on the data, the studies are nonetheless cast in an explicit theoretical perspective – adaptive, developmental, variationist. Taken as a whole, this work constitutes a frontal assault on Ferdinand de Saussure's corrosive legacy in linguistics. Over the years, reviewers slapped the author's wrist periodically for having dared to commit that most heinous of sins against de Saussure's hallowed legacy – panchronic grammar. In this work he pleads guilty, having never seen a piece of synchronic data that didn't reek, to high heaven, of the diachrony that gave it rise. Reek in two distinct ways: first with the frozen relics of the past that prompt us to reconstruct prior diachronic states; and second with the synchronic variation that hints at ongoing change. Conversely, the author confesses to having never seen a diachronic explanation that did not hinge on the synchronic principles – Carnap's general propositions – that govern language behavior. The synchrony and diachrony of grammar are twin faces of the same coin. To study one without the other is to gut both. By understanding how synchronic grammars come into being we also understand the cognitive, communicative, neurological and developmental universals that constrain diachronic change – and through it synchronic typology.
[Not in series, 192] 2015.  928 pp. (Hb in 2 vols.)
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Givón has been one of the primary contributors to the rise of interest in diachronic syntax over the last 45 years. From his “archaeologist’s field trip” in 1971 through his 2009 book on the genesis of syntactic complexity, he has given us many classic articles on the evolution of morphology and syntax. This collection gathers over thirty of these works in one place, on the one hand tracking the evolution of his often seminal thinking, and on the other, updating the discussion in each paper to reflect the perspective he has gained after 40 years at the cutting edge of the field.”
Cited by

Cited by 33 other publications

Börjars, Kersti & Tine Breban
2022. Structural persistence as an explanatory factor in synchrony and diachrony*. Transactions of the Philological Society 120:2  pp. 299 ff. DOI logo
Evans, Nicholas & Honoré Watanabe
2016. Chapter 1. The dynamics of insubordination. In Insubordination [Typological Studies in Language, 115],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Gildea, Spike
2018. Chapter 14. Reconstructing the copulas and nonverbal predicate constructions in Cariban. In Nonverbal Predication in Amazonian Languages [Typological Studies in Language, 122],  pp. 365 ff. DOI logo
Givón, T.
2016. Beyond structuralism. Studies in Language 40:3  pp. 681 ff. DOI logo
Givón, T.
Givón, T.
Givón, T.
Givón, T.
2020. Coherence, DOI logo
Givón, T.
Goldstein, D. M.
2019. Language Change And Linguistic Theory: The Case Of Archaic Indo‐European Conjunction. Transactions of the Philological Society 117:1  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Green, Clarence
2017. Discourse Coherence and Clause Combination. In Patterns and Development in the English Clause System,  pp. 149 ff. DOI logo
Green, Clarence
2017. Approaches to English Clause Grammar. In Patterns and Development in the English Clause System,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Haug, Dag & Nilo Pedrazzini
2023. The semantic map of when and its typological parallels. Frontiers in Communication 8 DOI logo
Heine, Bernd
2018. Are there two different ways of approaching grammaticalization?. In New Trends in Grammaticalization and Language Change [Studies in Language Companion Series, 202],  pp. 23 ff. DOI logo
Hernáiz, Rodrigo
2024. The grammaticalization of manner expressions into complementizers: insights from Semitic languages. Linguistics 0:0 DOI logo
Hernáiz, Rodrigo
2024. Causal clauses as source of sentential complementation: cross-linguistic evidence and methodological issues. Linguistics Vanguard 0:0 DOI logo
Jia, Yanli
2019. Clarence Green, Patterns and development in the English clause system: A corpus-based grammatical overview. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore, 2017. Pp. ix + 199.. Journal of Linguistics 55:1  pp. 224 ff. DOI logo
Krasnoukhova, Olga
2022. Attributive modification in South American indigenous languages. Linguistics 60:3  pp. 745 ff. DOI logo
Krasnoukhova, Olga & Johan van der Auwera
2019. Standard negation in Awa Pit: From synchrony to diachrony. Folia Linguistica 53:s40-s2  pp. 439 ff. DOI logo
Kuteva, Tania, Bernd Heine, Bo Hong, Haiping Long, Heiko Narrog & Seongha Rhee
2019. World Lexicon of Grammaticalization, DOI logo
Nir, Bracha
2020. Chapter 18. A usage-based typology of Modern Hebrew syntax. In Usage-Based Studies in Modern Hebrew [Studies in Language Companion Series, 210],  pp. 659 ff. DOI logo
Schnell, Stefan & Danielle Barth
2020. Expression of anaphoric subjects in Vera'a: Functional and structural factors in the choice between pronoun and zero. Language Variation and Change 32:3  pp. 267 ff. DOI logo
2017. ‘Insubordination’ in the light of the Uniformitarian Principle. English Language and Linguistics 21:2  pp. 289 ff. DOI logo
Xu, Laijuan & Qingshun He
2019. Patterns and Development in the English Clause System: A Corpus-based Grammatical Overview. Australian Journal of Linguistics 39:2  pp. 282 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2020. Chapter 5. Language, coherence and other minds. In Coherence,  pp. 82 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
[no author supplied]
2020. Chapter 7. Coherence and clause chaining. In Coherence,  pp. 142 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2020. Chapter 6. Discourse coherence. In Coherence,  pp. 104 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
[no author supplied]
2021. Chapter 1. How do nominal case-markers become verbal affixes?. In The Life Cycle of Adpositions, DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2021. Chapter 2. The diachronic baseline. In The Life Cycle of Adpositions, DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 20 april 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFF: Historical & comparative linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014045834 | Marc record