Recent Issues in Chinese Historical Syntax

  • Alain Peyraube
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 36)


Studies on syntactic change have indisputably been the poor kin of linguistic research of the 20th century. We habitually make Saussure responsible for this situation: his famous synchrony/diachrony division might have constituted a real epistemological breakthrough, compared to the preceding period (last quarter of the 19th century) which was dominated by the Neogrammarians. But all this is highly uncertain. Saussure himself and European post-Saussurian grammarians have in fact more or less continued the research on diachrony, without reducing it exclusively to the phonological domain. Bloomfield and the American structuralists, on the other hand, have held more strongly to the Saussurian dichotomy as a dogma, creating a tradition to be perpetuated by the different trends ensuing from generative grammar.


Late Archaic Diachronic Change Syntactic Change Preverbal Position External Borrowing 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Peyraube

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