The study of syntactic change has been much neglected in the past.
Historical linguists have tended to concentrate on phonology, lexis
and morphology whilst most theoretical studies of syntax have been
deliberately synchronic in intention. In particular, theories of
generative grammar have not been responsive to diachronic data and
a fortiori have not yielded a convincing account of language change
or of the interrelationships between different kinds of change.
This study will be of interest to a wide range of linguists. It
offers one of the first systematic accounts of a difficult and
important topic, with implications for the whole field of
linguistics and language study.
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