SVO – Attractors in the declarative-to-procedural shift in grammar evolution
Hubert Haider
April 2023

[Revised version, accepted for publication] • The theory of grammar-changes as a result of Darwinian cognitive evolution correctly models directions and outcomes of grammar changes. • The unidirectional changes of grammars trade in 'cheap' procedural routines for 'costly' declarative content. • SOV and SVO languages are systems in a rather stable equilibrium. Most changes involve "free word order languages" (= Type 3) that change to OV or VO in the course of constraining the linking directionality of lexical phrasal heads. • [S[VO]] is a point of no return in diachronic grammar development. • [S[VO]] is a diachronically more recent clause structure than SOV or Type 3.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006747
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Acta Linguistica Academica. Online June 6, 2023.
keywords: diachronic syntax, diachronic linguistics, language change, grammar change, typology, word order typology, universal grammar, evolution of language, morphology, syntax, diachrony; sov to svo, type-3 to svo. germanic, romance, chinese.
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