Historical Linguistics

LIN 617

Spring 2017 - Arizona State University - Elly van Gelderen

Homework 1: due 24 January

Homework 2: due 14 February 2017

Homework 3: due 14 March

Homework 4: you all get 10 points


Paper writing guidelines


Introduction, Organization, and Resources (HO1). Evolution of Language (HO2); Cavalli-Sforza (2000) on the connection between DNA and language families. Optional reading: Bickerton 1990 On Proto-language; Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch (2002) and van Gelderen (2009).

Language Evolution and Language Change: Hopper & Traugott 2003 Parts from Grammaticalization and HO on grammaticalization. Optional reading: Bisang 2008 Grammaticalization and the areal factor (in López-Couso, María José and Elena Seoane, eds., 15–35) and Hopper & Traugott's chapter on clausal grammaticalization

Grammaticalization; Old English. Excerpts from Heine & Kuteva 2002 and Chapter on Old English; Orosius HO. Optional reading: Heine & Kuteva 2005.

Analytic-Synthetic; Middle English. Chapter on Middle English; Bestiary HO; Szmrecsanyi 2012

Complexity; Early Modern English. Chapter on Early Modern English; review; Nichols 2009; Szmrecsanyi & Kortmann 2009; and Trudgill 2004

Types of change: Brinton 2000; Optional reading: Sapir 1921 Chapter 6 from Language; Schwegler 1990.

The Linguistic Cycle: Hodge 1970. The Linguistic Cycle;van Gelderen 2013 The Linguistic Cycle and the Language Faculty (Language and Linguistics Compass 7.4: 233-250)

Readings ctd; Week 8

Phonological Change in Polynesia and more Cyclical Change: HO; van Gelderen 2011 Chapter 6 on definiteness; Post 2007. Optional: Givon 2000; Krug 2011; Russell 1984 on Arabic

Break in week 9; Week 10

The Copula Cycle and changes in the argument structure of copulas: van Gelderen 2015 and AS 2017. Extra HO.

Week 11

Synthetic/analytic in the derivational domain. Readings: Haselow 2011 and HO; and Historical Sociolinguistics

Week 12

Changes in Argument Structure. Reading: Lightfoot 1979; van Gelderen 2014 and ppt. Possibly: Silva-Corvalan 1994.

Week 13

The biological basis of Grammaticalization (Doya 1999) and Grammaticalization and Language Evolution; Review of the class

Other possibilities

Case Studies on Grammaticalization: van den Berg 2004; Yap (n.d.); Grammaticalization in Chinese ppt; Chaofen Sun. Clashing cycles: French. Dependent-headmarking changes.

Weeks 14-15

ASU Workshop on Language Change


Gelderen, Elly van 2014. A history of English. John Benjamins.

Dimmendaal, Gerrit 2011. Historical Linguistics and the Comparative Study of African Languages.

Crisma & Longobardi 2010. Historical syntax and linguistic theory. OUP.


Resources ctd

Willis et al 2013. The History of Negation in the Languages
of Europe and the Mediterranean
. OUP.