Fixity and flux in language

Publié le 1 septembre 2016 Mis à jour le 21 décembre 2017
le 29 septembre 2016
14 h - Salle G023 "Salle du conseil" (RDC-Bâtiment Olympe de Gouges)
Bâtiment Olympe de Gouges.

Mark Aronoff (Stony Brook University, New-York) - Séminaire CLLE

Darwin had a dangerous idea: species were not fixed for all time at a single moment of creation a few thousand years ago. Instead, they evolved and disappeared over many hundreds of millions of years.  The greatest beauty of Darwin’s account lies in the simplicity of the basic principles that underlie it. This presentation will focus on the application of Darwin's principle of competition to the understanding of how language structures evolve, especially morphological structures.  The data to be examined in detail will come principally from the history of English suffix spelling, and the use of evaluative affixes in present-day Russian, drawing to a great extent on material from the internet.  In neither case can we understand the phenomenon without taking an evolutionary perspective