Article published in:Historical Linguistics 2007: Selected papers from the 18th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Montreal, 6–11 August 2007
Edited by Monique Dufresne, Fernande Dupuis and Etleva Vocaj
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 308] 2009
► pp. 175–184
The rise of peripheral modifiers in the noun phrase
As is not always recognised in the scholarly literature, the template of the noun phrase (np/dp) in Dutch and English contains a slot for peripheral modifiers, which precedes the determiner slot and hosts adverbial modifiers. In this article I argue that this slot is of recent date —it is an Early Modern Dutch and Early Modern English innovation, probably as a result of a reanalysis process— and that it has steadily been on the increase, both on the token level and on the type level. The analysis is based on historical corpus data. On a theoretical note, the present study shows that the np slot should not be viewed as a fixed, stable constellation, but can change over time.
Published online: 30 November 2009