Economy as a Third Factor in Language Change. Elly van Gelderen Arizona State University http://www.public.asu.edu/~gelderen/elly.htm. Goals - outline. Language change as an area to see `third factors’ at work. Two Economy Principles Linguistic Cycles Feature Economy
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Elly van Gelderen
Arizona State University
(1) genetic endowment, which sets limits on the attainable languages, thereby making language acquisition possible;
(2) external data, converted to the experience that selects one or another language within a narrow range;
(3) principles not specific to [the Faculty of Language]. Some of the third factor principles have the flavor of the constraints that enter into all facets of growth and evolution, [...] Among these are principles of efficient computation"
Two main patterns (van Gelderen 2004 etc):
a) Phrase to Head
b) Up the tree: both phrases and heads
Principles: acquisition and derivation
Full pronoun to agreement
Demonstrative that to complementizer
Demonstrative pronoun to article
Negative adverb phrase to negation marker
Adverb phrase to aspect marker
Adverb phrase to complementizer
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
Negative verbs to auxiliaries
To: P > ASP > M > C
PP > C (for something to happen)
na wihtX YP
not> n’t …
Head Preference Principle (HPP):
Be a head, rather than a phrase, i.e.
`analyze something as small as possible'
Late Merge Principle (LMP):
Merge as late as possible
Minor: Move is `just’ internal merge
Major: Language Change proceeds in a cycle. HPP and LMP are 2 stages but 2 more:
(a) how is the head lost,
(b) how is the specifier replaced
Null hypothesis of language acquisition
A string is a word with lexical content.
Faarlund (2008) explains that "the child misses some of the boundary cues, and interprets the input string as having a weaker boundary (fewer slashes, stronger coherence) at a certain point"
My alternative: Feature Economy
neg indefinite/adverb > neg particle > (neg particle)
demonstrative > article > class marker
emphatic > pronoun > agreement
V/A/P > M > T > C
pronoun > complementizer
PP/Adv > Topic > C
a. no/ne early Old English
b. ne (na wiht/not) after 900, esp S
c. (ne) not after 1350
d. not > -not/-n’t after 1400
na wihtNeg YP
not> n’t …
Arg/Adjunct Specifier Head affix
semantic > [iF] > [uF]
Once, there are only uF on e.g. ne, a new element is needed. Hence, the cycle.
a. DP b. DP
dem D' D' (=HPP)
D NP D NP
a. DP > b. DP
that D' D'
[i-ps] D NP D NP
[i-loc][u-#] N … the N
[i-phi] [u-phi] [i-phi]
Hence (1) *I saw the
(2) I saw that/those.
(1) demonstrative/adverb > definite article > Case/non-generic > class marker > 0
(2) ok hinn siðasta vetr er hann var í Nóregi
and the last winter that he was in Norway
(Bjarni's Voyage 41.8)
(4) ok var þann vetr ...
and was that winter
`and he was during that winter ....'
(Fóstbræðra Saga 78.11)
(1) þau in storu skip those the big ships
`Those big ships‘.
(2) þitt hitt milda andlit
your the mild face
`your mild face'
(3) fé þat allt
money that all
`all that money'
(2) han den gamle vaktmästeren he the old janitor-DEF
(2) den där bok-en
the here bok-DEF
(3) denna bok(en)
NP D nP
Dem þau n’
`that’ n skip
DEM is spec or head in can move
(1) se wæs Wine haten & se wæs in Gallia rice gehalgod.
he was wine called and was in Gaul consecrated
(2) hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon
how those-NOM.P nobles-NOM.P courage did
'how the nobles performed heroic acts' (Beowulf 3)
(1) gife to … þa munecas of þe mynstre
give to … the monks of the abbey (Peterborough Chron 1150)
(2) *the (Wood 2003: 69)
(3) Morret's brother came out of Scoteland for th'acceptacion of the peax
(The Diary of Edward VI, 1550s)
(1) It was just I I was just looking at there them down there (BNC FME 662).
(2) Oh they used to be ever so funny houses you know and in them days … They used to have big windows, but they used to a all be them there little tiny ones like that. (BNC - FYD 72)
(1) die man daar
that man there
(2) Daardie teenstrydighede was egter nie
those contradictions were however not
(1) ca ti=sxwápməx-a
`This Shushap' (van Eijk 1997: 169)
(2) DP ca D'
visible, proximal `here'.
Locative Specifier Head affix
semantic > [iF] > [uF] > --
Head > (higher) Head > 0
[iF] / [uF] [uF]
uF is a Probe
emphatic > full pronoun > head pronoun > agreement
semantic > [i-phi] > [u-1/2] [i-3] >[u-phi]
go: motion > future
Cyclical changes are due to Economy
(1)Fand þa ðær inn æþelinga gedriht swefan æfter symble
found then there in; noble company sleeping after feast (Beowulf 118-9)
(2)& þær wearþ Heahmund biscep ofslægen, & fela godra monna; & [æfter þissum gefeohte] cuom micel sumorlida.
`after this fight, there came a large summer-force' (Chronicle A, anno 871)
(3) [Æfter þysan] com Thomas to Cantwarebyri
`After this, Thomas came to Canterbury'.
(Chronicle A, anno 1070)
Beowulf Chronicle Chronicle A
Dem 2/65=3% 2/26= 8% 17/22= 77%
Fronting 2/65=3% 7/26= 27% 12/22= 55%
(Wyclyf 1382, taken over in Coverdale 1535 and KJV 1611, from the OED).
(2) Aftir he hadde take þe hooli Goost (c1360 Wyclif De Dot. Eccl. 22).
(3) After thei han slayn them (1366 Mandeville174).
PP PP 900 (Chronicle A) – present
PP (that) 950 (Lindisfarne) - 1600 (OED 1587)
P that 1220 (Lambeth) - 1600 (OED 1611)
C 1360 (Wycliff) - present
P DP > C TP
[u-phi] [3S] (u-phi)
In English, no phi, but Germanic C-agreement.
Language is a perfect solution to interface conditions.
Are both interfaces equally important??
Chomsky favors SEM/C-I: “the conflict between computational efficiency and ease of communication” is resolved “to satisfy the CI interface” (2006: 9).
I want to suggest:
DP: Theta > discourse
(position > morphology)
V: Theta and TMA
Macro Cycle goes from (a) to (b) to (a) …
a) Movement links two positions and is thereby economical (=synthetic) = uninterpretable/EPP
b) Avoid syncretism; Iconicity is economical (=analytic) = semantic and interpretable features
Chomsky (2002: 113) sees the semantic component as expressing thematic as well as discourse information. If thematic structure was already present in proto-language (Bickerton 1990), the evolutionary change of Merge made them linguistic. What was added through grammaticalization is the morphology, the second layer of semantic information.