New Book: Detges & Waltereit: The Pardox of Language Change

Paul Peranteau paul at
Sun May 18 18:44:03 UTC 2008

This work is of relevance to the list:

The Paradox of Grammatical Change

Perspectives from Romance

Cover image

Edited by Ulrich Detges and Richard Waltereit
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München / Newcastle University

Issues in Linguistic Theory 293

2008. vi, 252 pp.
This book is Available

ISBN 978 90 272 4808 4
EUR 110.00 / USD 165.00

Recent years have seen intense debates between formal (generative) 
and functional linguists, particularly with respect to the relation 
between grammar and usage. This debate is directly relevant to 
diachronic linguistics, where one and the same phenomenon of language 
change can be explained from various theoretical perspectives. In 
this, a close look at the divergent and/or convergent evolution of a 
richly documented language family such as Romance promises to be 
useful. The basic problem for any approach to language change is what 
Eugenio Coseriu has termed the paradox of change: if synchronically, 
languages can be viewed as perfectly running systems, then there is 
no reason why they should change in the first place. And yet, as 
everyone knows, languages are changing constantly. In nine case 
studies, a number of renowned scholars of Romance linguistics address 
the explanation of grammatical change either within a broadly 
generative or a functional framework.


Table of contents

Ulrich Detges and Richard Waltereit
change from within and from without syntax: A usage-based analysis
Richard Waltereit and Ulrich Detges
explaining the rise of 
in French
Andreas Dufter
role of the plural system in Romance
Elisabeth Stark
developments affecting syntactic change
Maria Goldbach
within the IP-domain
Susann Fischer
systems and diachronic change
Giampaolo Salvi
temporal to modal: Divergent fates of the Latin synthetic pluperfect 
in Spanish and Portuguese
Martin Becker
core-arguments in Basque, Romance and German: How (and why) Spanish 
syntax is shifting towards clausal headmarking and morphological 
Hans-Ingo Radatz
a comprehensive view of language change: Three recent evolutionary approaches
Esme Winter-Froemel
Subject Index

Paul Peranteau (paul at
General Manager
John Benjamins Publishing Company
763 N. 24th St.
Philadelphia PA  19130
Phone: 215 769-3444
Fax: 215 769-3446
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