Information Structure and Language Change

Country: France

City: Caen

Abstr. due: 01.10.2017

Dates: 03.04.18 — 05.04.18

Area Of Sciences: Humanities;

Organizing comittee e-mail: https://informchange.sciencesconf.org/

Organizers: CRISCO research centre, Normandie Université, Université de Caen Normandie

 

Research into language change has identified a number of determinant factors. There is a growing body of evidence that change affecting major syntactic phenomena like word order involves an informational dimension at some stage(s) of the process. This has been claimed to apply to the prototypical syntactic marking of speech-acts (in situ partial interrogatives, loss of inversion for total interrogatives in French), V2 loss (e.g. work by A. van Kemenade & B. Los for English), increasing contextual restriction of OV order (e.g. Taylor & Pintzuk 2012 for English) and Stylistic Fronting (work by Fischer i.a.). While local correlations between word-order change and information structure have been observed, conditions of interface between the two orders of representation remain to be established. The idea that configurations satisfy informational requirements when they lose syntactic currency seems conceptually appealing in explaining how such configurations become marked (on a recent approach to marked and default word order, see e.g. Biberauer 2016). Whether a characterised informational value is the cause or the consequence of change in syntactic currency remains to be empirically assessed however, requiring a robust diagnostic of informational value in historical resources that reliably reflect effective change.

Conference Web-Site: http://www.crisco.unicaen.fr/Information-Structure-and-Language.html