Dynamic Syntax and dialogue modelling: preliminaries for a dialogue-driven account of syntactic change
This paper sets out an account of grammaticalization in the framework of Dynamic Syntax (DS) in which the emergence of object clitics in Medieval Spanish and the change in their syntactic positioning in Renaissance Spanish are shown to be driven by production constraints on dialogue. First an account of Latin is introduced, incorporating the DS concept of structural underspecification and update, with short and long-distance scrambling analyzed as two variants of a single process. Then an account of generation for Latin is sketched, with tight coordination of parsing and production. It is then argued that the placement of unstressed pronouns in Latin, the encoding of this strategy as a lexical specification of medieval Spanish clitics, and the re-categorization of Renaissance Spanish clitics so that both specification of the clitic and of the verb are called up together as a single lexical macro, are all seen as varying reflexes of the ever-present relevance constraint of minimizing production costs. The result is a formal model of grammaticalization expressing familiar functionalist insights.Article
Kempson, Ruth and Cann, Ronnie (2006) Dynamic Syntax and dialogue modelling: preliminaries for a dialogue-driven account of syntactic change.
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