ERIC Number: ED045970
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Building Rate Into a Dynamic Theory of Linguistic Description.
Bailey, Charles-James N.
Working Papers in Linguistics, v2 n9 p161-233 Dec 1970
This study of linguistic change is done within the "dynamic paradigm" of linguistic description, in which the strict dichotomy between diachronic and synchronic linguistics found in "static paradigms" is not maintained. The chief purpose here is to indicate how rate could be built into a linguistic description of sound change, such change being here considered as "represented in the wave-like spread of a given rule as it is borrowed from speaker to speaker." Two principal alterations to which a rule is subject in the process of spreading are considered: (1) it may become more general, i.e., simpler, increased generality resulting from the loss of environmental specifications for the operations of the rule; the fact that the rule operates in one environment earlier than in others can be viewed as a difference in the relative rate of the rule with respect to the different environments: 2) reweighting, where changes in the weight of features (in terms of markedness) influence rate of change. The first part of this paper presents the principles on which the study is based, formalizes the notion of rate, and presents evidence for reweighting. The second part considers linguistic and sociolinguistic algorithms for sound change. The final section deals briefly with the effects of overlapping waves of change from different origins. [Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original.] (FWB)
Descriptors: Algorithms, Diachronic Linguistics, Distinctive Features (Language), Linguistic Theory, Phonology, Sociolinguistics
Author, Department of Linguistics, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Hawaii Univ., Honolulu. Dept. of Linguistics.