Advertisement

Some theoretical Prerequisites for the Integrated Study of Linguistic “Macrochange”

  • Enrique Bernárdez
Chapter

Abstract

The term macrochange (following the example of macroevolution as used in evolutionary theory) is here proposed to characterize changes affecting several areas of a language at the same time with a unitary cause, inside or outside language proper. A general theoretical model for this type of change will be proposed. As a case study, a set of changes in Icelandic will be analysed that lead to the creation of a widespread system for the marking of the agents’ or experiencers’ responsibility, evidentiality, etc., and that affect the lexicon, morphology, syntax and discourse. This macrochange will be defined in the terms of the integrated view of language and language change proposed here, which makes it necessary to adopt and develop the methods and concepts of complexity theory as applied to language. From this perspective, ‘language’ has to be taken to include not only structures and usage, but the whole ‘ecological niche’ where it exists and is in use by human beings in specific cultural and historical situations; it is to be viewed as a complex natural phenomenon.

References

  1. Aikhenvald, A. Y. (2003). Mechanisms of change in areal diffusion: New morphology and language contact. Journal of Linguistics, 39, 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aikhenvald, A. Y., & Dixon, R. M. W. (Eds.). (2001). Areal diffusion and genetic inheritance. Oxford: Oxford U.P.Google Scholar
  3. Barðdal, J. (2003). Case and argument structure of novel verbs of communication in Icelandic. In L. O. Delsing, C. Falk, G. Josefsson, & H. Á. Sigurðsson (Eds.), Grammatik i Fokus (Vol. 2, pp. 25–35). Lund: Lund Universitet.Google Scholar
  4. Barðdal, J., & Chelliah, S. L. (Eds.). (2009). The role of semantic, pragmatic, and discourse factors in the development of case. Amsterdam: Benjamins.Google Scholar
  5. Barðdal, J., & Eythórsson, T. (2003). The change that never happened: The story of oblique subjects. Journal of Linguistics, 39, 439–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bartmiński, J., & Zinken, J. (Eds.). (2009). Aspects of cognitive ethnolinguistics. (Advances in cognitive linguistics). London: Equinox Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
  7. Bastardas-Boada, A. (2013). In A. Massip-Bonet & A. Bastardas-Boada (Eds.), Complexity perspectives on language, communication and society (pp. 15–34).  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-32817-6_3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bernárdez, E. (1997). A partial synergetic model of deagentivisation. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, 4, 53–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bernárdez, E. (2005). Toward a common history of the Germanic and European languages in the Middle Ages. REVISTA SELIM Journal of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature, 12, 5–32.Google Scholar
  10. Bernárdez, E. (2007a). The unconscious, irresponsible construction in modern Icelandic. In C. S. Butler, R. Hidalgo Downing & J. Lavid (Eds.), Functional perspectives on grammar and discourse (pp. 149–164). Amsterdam: Benjamins.  https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.85.09ber.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bernárdez, E. (2007b). Synergy in the construction of meaning. In M. Fabiszak (Ed.), Language and meaning: Cognitive and functional perspectives (pp. 15–37). Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  12. Bernárdez, E. (2008). Collective cognition and individual activity: Variation, language, and culture. In R. Dirven, R. Frank, E. Bernárdez, & T. Ziemke (Eds.), Body, language, and mind (Vol. 2, pp. 137–176). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  13. Bernárdez, E. (2013). Evidentiality and the Epistemic Use of the Icelandic Verbs Sjá and Heyra. A cultural linguistic view. In A. Głaz, D. S. Danaher, & P. Łozowski (Eds.), The linguistic worldview. Ethnolinguistics, cognition, and culture (pp. 415–441). London: Versita.Google Scholar
  14. Bjørnum, S. (2003). Grønlandsk Grammatik. Nuuk: Atuagkat.Google Scholar
  15. Ejsing, J. (2004, November 20). Inuitter mangler ord for nye naturfænomener. Berlingske Tidende. Retrived from https://www.b.dk/nationalt/inuitter-mangler-ord-for-nye-naturfaenomener.
  16. Enfield, N. J. (Ed.). (2002). Ethnosyntax. Explorations in grammar and culture. Oxford: Oxford U.P.Google Scholar
  17. Enfield, N. J. (2003). Linguistic epidemiology: Semantics and grammar of language contact in mainland Southeast Asia. London: Routledge Curzon.Google Scholar
  18. Enfield, N. J. (2014). Natural causes of language. Frames, biases, and cultural transmission. Berlin: Language Science Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Enfield, N. J., & Sidnell, J. (2014). Language presupposes an enchronic infrastructure for social interaction. In D. Dor, C. Knight, & J. Lewis (Eds.), The social origins of language (pp. 92–104). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fagua Rincón, D., & Seifart, F. (2010). Aspectos morfosintácticos del ocaina: rasgos genéticos (familia witoto) e influencias areales. Mundo Amazónico, 1, 215–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fortescue, M. (1998). Language relations across the Bering Strait: Reappraising the archaeological and linguistic evidence. London: Cassel.Google Scholar
  22. Fusaroli, R., & Tylén, K. (2012). Carving language for social coordination. A dynamic approach. Interaction Studies, 13(1), 103–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Garrod, S., & Pickering, M. J. (2004). Why is conversation so easy? TRENDS in Cognitive Science, 8(1), 8–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goldstone, R. L., & Janssen, M. A. (2005). Computational models of collective behaviour. TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences, 9(9), 424–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Haspelmath, M. (1998). How young is standard average European? Language Sciences, 20(3), 271–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Haspelmath, M. (2001). The European linguistic area: Standard Average European. In M. Haspelmath, E. König, W. Oesterreicher, & W. Raible (Eds.), Language typology and language universals (pp. 1492–1510). Berlin: de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Haspelmath, M. (2004). On directionality in language change with particular reference to grammaticalization. In O. Fischer, M. Norde, & H. Perridon (Eds.), Up and down the cline—the nature of grammaticalization (pp. 17–44). Amsterdam: Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Heine, B. (1997). Cognitive foundations of grammar. New York: Oxford U.P.Google Scholar
  29. Heine, B., & Kuteva, T. (2003). On contact-induced grammaticalization. Studies in Language, 27(3), 529–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Krawczak, K. (2007). Meaning as an epiphenomenon of cognition, social interaction and intercognition. In M. Fabiszak (Ed.), Language and meaning. Cognitive and functional perspectives (pp. 187–198). Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  31. Kress, B. (1982). Isländische Grammatik. Leipzig: Enzyklopädie.Google Scholar
  32. Kutschera, U., & Niklas, K. J. (2004). The modern theory of biological evolution: An expanded synthesis. Naturwissenschaften, 91, 255–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Massip-Bonet, À. (2013). Language as a complex adaptive process. Towards an Integrative Linguistics. In Á. Massip-Bonet & A. Bastardas-Boada (Eds.), Complexity Perspectives on Language, Communication and Society (pp. 35–60). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Massip-Bonet, À., & Bastardas-Boada, A. (Eds.). (2013). Complexity Perspectives on Language, Communication and Society. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  35. Schieffelin, B. (2002). Marking time: The dichotomizing discourse of multiple temporalities. Current Anthropology, 43, 5–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schouwstra, M., & de Swart, H. (2014). The semantic origins of word order. Cognition, 131, 431–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Severi, C. (2004). Capturing Imagination: A cognitive approach to cultural complexity. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 10(4), 815–838.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sharifian, F. (Ed.). (2015). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Culture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Thráinsson, H. (2007). The Syntax of Icelandic. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Weigand, E. (2010). Linguists and their speakers. Language Sciences, 32, 536–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Welmers, W. E. (1973). African Language Structures. Berkeley etc.: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  42. Williams, G. (Ed.). (2005). Language, brain, culture. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 1(2), 147.Google Scholar
  43. Wilson, R. A. (2004). Boundaries of the Mind. The individual in the fragile sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations