Journal article Open Access

# Are there principles of grammatical change (A review article of David Lightfoot's book "The development of language")

Haspelmath, Martin

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{
"description": "<p>This is a highly critical review of David Lightfoots 1999 book &quot;The development of language&quot;, which argues that there are no principles of grammatical change, so that &ldquo;historicist&rdquo; or deterministic approaches to diachronic change are misguided. Instead, Lightfoot argues that language change can only be understood by taking the perspective of the &ldquo;growth&rdquo; (i.e. acquisition) of an individual&rsquo;s biological grammar, which may end up with a different parameter setting from the parent&rsquo;s generation when the trigger experience changes. This review is very critical of most aspects of Lightfoot&#39;s theory: his strange notions of &ldquo;language&rdquo; and &ldquo;social grammar&rdquo;, his failure to say anything meaningful about &ldquo;nongrammatical changes&rdquo; (i.e. apparently the great majority of changes), his unconstrained theoretical innovation of &ldquo;diglossia&rdquo;, his complete misunderstanding of the neogrammarian revolution, and his irresponsible ignoring of much of contemporary work on language change.</p>",
"creator": [
{
"affiliation": "Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology",
"@id": "https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2100-8493",
"@type": "Person",
"name": "Haspelmath, Martin"
}
],
"headline": "Are there principles of grammatical change (A review article of David Lightfoot's book \"The development of language\")",
"datePublished": "1999-11-01",
"url": "https://zenodo.org/record/1250543",
"keywords": [
"language change, neogrammarians, diachrony"
],
"@context": "https://schema.org/",
"identifier": "https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1250543",
"@id": "https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1250543",
"@type": "ScholarlyArticle",
"name": "Are there principles of grammatical change (A review article of David Lightfoot's book \"The development of language\")"
}
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