Chapter published in:Perspectives on Language Structure and Language Change: Studies in honor of Henning Andersen
Edited by Lars Heltoft, Iván Igartua, Brian D. Joseph, Kirsten Jeppesen Kragh and Lene Schøsler
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 345] 2019
► pp. 13–34
Andersen (1973) and dichotomies of change
Henning Andersen in his well-known and oft-cited (1973) article “Abductive and deductive change” (language 49(4).765–793) distinguishes two types of language change: evolutive change – defined as “change entirely explainable in terms of the linguistic system that gave rise to it” – and adaptive change – defined as “a change not explainable without reference to factors outside the linguistic system in question”. In this paper, we present an overview of the evolutive versus adaptive dichotomy in Andersen’s work and the role this dichotomy has played in the field in ensuing years. While this particular terminology has never taken a central role in discussions of these issues, the terms are still in some use, and the field as a whole has seen a proliferation of various terms focusing on this and similar dichotomies.
Keywords: evolutive vs. adaptive change, internally vs. externally motivated change, terminological dichotomies, language change
Published online: 18 June 2019
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