Article published in:Continuity and Change in Grammar
Edited by Anne Breitbarth, Christopher Lucas, Sheila Watts and David Willis
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 159] 2010
► pp. 269–302
The impact of failed changes
We study linguistic changes that failed, and their relation to successful changes. The inclusion of failed changes into Kroch’s logistic model of linguistic change is possible and, in fact, necessary. The logistic functions are solutions of a differential equation that also describes how failed changes are temporal-dynamically related to successful changes: the failed change is the first derivative of the successful change. We interpret this relation in Weerman’s Peripheral Rules Model: failed changes are L2 innovations supported by peripheral rules rather than by core grammar, which are subsequently accommodated and modified by L1 adopters and turned into a successful change. Two case studies support the claims: the rise of the reflexive in Dutch and the rise of do-support in English.
Published online: 29 July 2010
Cited by 12 other publications
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