Linguistics 300, F08, Assignment 2

The following readings provide the theoretical background for the first class project. You should plan to read them within the first two to three weeks of the semester. Please bring any questions about them to class. We will discuss them in more or less detail as required.


Kroch and Santorini 2007

Chapter 6, "The verb movement parameter," provides the basic background for the grammatical changes that we will be investigating.

Kroch, Anthony. 1989. Reflexes of grammar in patterns of language change. Language variation and change 1, 199-244.

Our focus in this class will be Section 3, which describes and discusses the quantitative development of auxiliary do and related changes in the verbal syntax of English. (The paper as a whole presents the so-called Constant Rate Hypothesis, and the rise of auxiliary do is one of several case studies supporting the hypothesis.)

Warner, Anthony. 2005. Why DO dove: Evidence for register variatino in Early Modern English negatives. Language variation and change 17, 257-280.

Re-examines some of the data in Kroch 1989 and attributes certain irregularities in the rise of auxiliary do to sociolinguistic re-evaluation rather than to grammatical reanalysis. Based on parsed data from Early Modern English, we will attempt to replicate Warner's results and, if possible, to go beyond them. If the above pdf doesn't display, you can access the paper via the library's online volumes of Language variation and change.