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Whitney Tabor: Grammaticalization and Self-Organization

Wann 25.04.2012
von 10:00 bis 12:00
Wo Institut für Informatik und Gesellschaft, Friedrichstraße 50, 2.OG (Raum 02009)
Teilnehmer universitätsoffen
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There is a kind of language-internal evolutive change that is described by terms such as “grammaticalization”, “lexicalization”, and “constructionalization”, among others.   I suggest that the theory of dynamical systems, and in particular, the phenomenon of self-organization, offers some particularly helpful insights into these phenomena.     Some key claims according to this view are:  quantitative changes (like frequency changes and subtle semantic shifts) are actually fine-grained structural changes; there is an important role for feedback in the development of grammatical forms (social forces, among others, play a pivotal role);   there are relationships of similarity that cross currently recognized structural boundaries, and play a central role in the flexibility of the language system.   I suggest, in fact, that the study of grammaticalization and related language change phenomena may help us understand the interplay between stability and flexibility in complex systems generally.