Paper by Ashwini Deo appears in Annual Review of Linguistics
January 26, 2015
The inaugural volume of the Annual Review of Linguistics includes a paper by Associate Professor Ashwini Deo, titled “Diachronic Semantics.” This new journal is an expansion of the existing Annual Reviews to the field of linguistics. Professor Steve Anderson is serving on the editorial committee for this new journal.
The abstract for Ashwini’s paper follows below:
It is well established that meanings associated with linguistic expressions evolve in systematic ways across time. We have little precise understanding, though, of why and how this happens. We know even less about its implications for our models of grammar, communication, and cognition. This article reviews developments and results from grammaticalization, typology, and formal semantics/pragmatics that can be brought to bear on addressing the problem of semantic change. It deconstructs the notion of grammaticalization paths and offers a set of questions for systematic investigation, following which I contextualize the small body of literature at the intersection of formal semantics/pragmatics and language change. The approach I take is programmatic rather than survey oriented, given the emergent nature of the domain of investigation and the limited body of existing literature that pertains directly to the questions raised here.