On grammatical reanalysis


Wim van der Wurff, from Newcastle University taught on "Grammatical reanalysis: conditions and consequences" in May 2008.

Cv details

Wim van der Wurff, who holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, teaches English historical linguistics at the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics in Newcastle, and carries out research on diachronic syntax, grammaticalisation, tense/mood/aspect systems and also on other non-historical areas such as second language acquisition, academic writing or English in Europe. He has co-authored the book The syntax of early English and the "Syntax" chapter in A history of the English language, both published by Cambridge University Press. He has edited a special issue on word order in the history of English in the journalEnglish Language and Linguistics (Cambridge University Press) as well as the recent volume Imperative clauses in Generative Grammar (John Benjamins).

Abstract of the workshop

Van der Wurff has discussed the nature of (various types of) reanalysis and the way it underlies some of the major grammatical changes that English has undergone in the early and modern periods. At a theoretical level, these analyses have been used to probe the interaction between language system and language use in change. More specifically, Wim van der Wurff dealt with the concept of reanalaysis and actualisation, the lexical item withall, the expression do nothing but + V, the easy-to-useconstruction, relativiser/demonstrative that, the change from OV to VO word order in the history of English, the decline of V2 and the role of double modals (might could) in some dialects of English.

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