Novedad bibliográficaInfoling 6.39 (2020)

Título:Reconstructing Syntax
Autores/as:Barðdal, Jóhanna; Gildea, Spike; Luján, Eugenio R.
Año de publicación:2020
Lugar de edición:Leiden

The general consensus in the historical linguistics community for the last half a century or so has been that syntactic reconstruction is a bootless and unsuccessful venture. However, this view has slowly but steadily been changing among historical linguists, typologists, and anthropological linguists alike. More and more syntactic reconstructions are being published by respectable and virtuous publication venues. The debate on the viability of syntactic reconstruction, however, continues, and issues like i) lack of cognates, ii) lack of arbitrariness in syntax, iii) lack of directionality in syntactic change, iv) lack of continuous transmission from one generation to the next, and v) lack of form–meaning correspondences have, drop by drop, been argued not to be problematic for syntactic reconstruction.


The present volume contributes to two of these issues in detail; first the issue of reliably identifying cognates in syntax and second, the issue of directionality in syntactic change. A systematic program is suggested for identifying cognates in syntax, which by definition is a different enterprise from identifying cognates in phonology or morphology. Examples are given from several different language families: Indo-European, Semitic, Austronesian, Jê, Cariban, and Chibchan. Regarding the issue of directionality for syntactic reconstruction, most of the studies in this volume also demonstrate how local directionality may be identified with the aid of different types of morphosyntactic flags, particularly showcased with examples from Chibchan, Semitic, and various Indo-European languages.


E-book (and printed book) also available at

Temática:Lingüística histórica, Morfología, Sintaxis, Tipología

List of Figures and Tables 
Notes on Contributors 

1 The Curious Case of Reconstruction in Syntax 
Spike Gildea, Eugenio R. Luján and Jóhanna Barðdal





2 Reconstructing the Source of Nominative-Absolutive Alignment in Two Amazonian Language Families 
Spike Gildea and Flávia de Castro Alves

3 Conducting Syntactic Reconstruction of Languages with No Written Records
Kikusawa Ritsuko

4 External Possessor Constructions in Indo-European

Silvia Luraghi


5 How to Identify Cognates in Syntax? Taking Watkins’ Legacy One Step Further
Jóhanna Barðdal and Thórhallur Eythórsson




6 On the Origins of the Ergative Marker wã in the Viceitic Languages of the Chibchan Family

Sara Pacchiarotti

7 Voice, Transitivity and Tense/Aspect: Directionality of Change in Indo-European (Evidence from Greek and Vedic)
Nikolaos Lavidas and Leonid Kulikov

8 On Shared Structural Innovations: the Diachrony of Adverbial Subordination in Semitic
Na’ama Pat-El

9 Reconstructing Semantic Roles: Proto-Indo-European *-bhi

Eugenio R. Luján and Ángel López Chala



ColecciónBrill's Studies in Historical Linguistics, 11
Formato:eBook (PDF)

Fecha de publicación en Infoling:25 de junio de 2020