Pronouns vs. demonstratives: Feature Economy. Elly van Gelderen LASSO, Las Cruces 9 October 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org. Aims. To examine the distribution of pronouns and demonstratives in Old English (but relevant in other languages too).
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Elly van Gelderen
LASSO, Las Cruces
9 October 2010
To examine the distribution of pronouns and demonstratives in Old English (but relevant in other languages too).
To explain this in terms of the child interpreting input in a particular way through Feature Economy
To examine internal and external factors of linguistic change and their interaction
If these are real patterns of change,
then they give insight in the Faculty of Language
1. Genetic endowment
3. Principles not specific to language
(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"
Locality = Minimize computational burden (Ross 1967; Chomsky 1973)
Use a head = Minimize Structure (Head Preference Principle, van Gelderen 2004)
Late Merge = Minimize computational burden (van Gelderen 2004, and others)
Cycles are the result of reanalysis by the language learner who apply Economy Principles. I argue that the real sources of change are internal principles.
This is very different from models such as Lightfoot's and Westergaard’s that examine how much input a child needs to reset a parameter. According to Lightfoot, "children scan their linguistic environment for structural cues" (2006: 32); for these, change comes from the outside.
And from Keenan’s (1996; 2002) Inertia.
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 (I am on going)
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)
(1) How would you like to go to the game?
`Would you like to go to the game?’
(2) Dwyer told the players how he wanted to win
‘D. told the players that he wanted to win.’
(from the BNC as given by Willis 2007: 434)
help the learner, e.g:
Phrase > head (minimize structure)
Avoid too much movement
The interpretable ones are relevant at the Conceptual-Intentional interface.
Uninterpretable ones act as `glue’ so to speak to help out merge.
For instance, person and number features (=phi-features) are interpretable on nouns but not on verbs.
English I French je
[u-phi] DP v'
[NOM] She v VP
[u-Case] saw [i-phi] [u-phi] DP V’
[ACC] bears V
Semantic, interpretable, and uninterpretable
(1) demonstrative > third person pron > clitic > agreement
(2) oblique > emphatic > first/second pron > clitic > agreement
demonstrative > personal > agreement
[i-phi] [i-phi] [u-phi]
ille il il+V
(a) Modification, (b) coordination, (c) position, (d) doubling, (e) loss of V-movement, (f) Code switching
(1) et c'est elle qui a eu la place.
and it was her who has had the place
(2) *Je et tu ...
(3) *je lis et ecris
(4) Moi, j’ai pas vu ça.
(5) Et toi, tu aimes le rap?
(6) on voit que lui il n'apprécie pas tellement la politique
one sees that him he not-appreciates not so the politics (LTSN corpus, p. 15-466)
(1) une omelette elle est comme ça Swiss
an omelette she is like this
(2) tu vas où Colloquial French
2S go where
(3)nta tu vas travailler Arabic-French
you you go work
(from Bentahila and Davies 1983: 313).
1/2 > 3 > definite > indefinite/quantifier
Another instance: Mexican Spanish, overt Subject: 1sg 24.4%
3sg 8.2% (Lopez, 2007)
Poletto (2000): SCL replaces features on a verb; different positions.
Minimize the interpretable features in the derivation, e.g:
(1) Adjunct Specifier Head affix
semantic > [iF] > [uF]
(2) emphatic > full pronoun > head > agreement
[i-phi] [i-phi] [u-1/2] [i-3] [u-phi]
Chomsky (1995: 230; 381) "formal features have semantic correlates and reflect semantic properties (accusative Case and transitivity, for example)." This makes sense if a language learner uses the semantic features in the derivation, these features turning into interpretable ones so to speak.
Locative Specifier Head affix
semantic > [iF] > [uF] > --
Head > (higher) Head > 0
[iF] / [uF] [uF]
uF is a Probe
(1) a. *That the dog loves their the toys.
b. I saw that.
c. *I saw the.
(2) DP DP
that D’ D NP
[i-loc] D NP the 3S
[i-ps] 3S [u-phi]
(1) hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon
how those nobles courage did
'how the nobles performed heroic acts' (Beowulf 3)
(2) se wæs Wine haten & se wæs in Gallia rice gehalgod.
he was wine called and he was in Gaul consecrated
(3)Hi habbað mid him awyriedne engel, mancynnes feond, and se hæfð andweald...
They have with them corrupt angel, mankind’s enemy, and he [the angel] has power over... (Ælfric, Homilies ii.488.14)
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)
(4) 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)
He, heo, hit, hi - se, seo, etc.
reflexive relative clause
(1) & gaddresst swa þe clene corn All fra þe chaff togeddre
`and so you gather the clear wheat from the chaff.’ (Ormulum 1484-5, Holt edition)
(2) 3ho wass … Elysabæþ 3ehatenn
`She was called Elisabeth.’ (Ormulum 115)
(3) & swa þe33 leddenn heore lif Till þatt te33 wærenn alde
`and so they led their lives until they were old.’ (Ormulum 125-6)
(4) þin forrme win iss swiþe god, þin lattre win iss bettre.
`Your earlier wine is very good, your later wine is better.’ (Ormulum 15409)
se --> the seo --> she
that --> that hi --> they
him/her --> him/herself
(3ps no longer only topic switch)
a. se > the
b. he/hi is replaced by he
heo/ha is replaced by she (possibly via seo)
hi/hie is replaced by they
Chomsky, Noam 2007. Approaching UG from below, in Uli Sauerland et al. (eds), Interfaces + Recursion = Language, 1-29. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Gardiner, Alan H. 1904. The word ... Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache undAltertumskunde 41: 130-135.
Gelderen, Elly van 2004. Grammaticalization as Economy. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Gelderen, Elly van to appear. The Linguistic Cycle. OUP.
Givón, Talmy 1971. Historical syntax and synchronic morphology. Chicago Linguistic Society Proceedings 7: 394-415.
Hodge, Carleton 1970. The Linguistic Cycle. Linguistic Sciences
Vitral, Lorenso & Jânia Ramos 2006. Gramaticalização: uma abordagem formal. Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro.