Synchronic and diachronic relationship memes

synchronic and diachronic relationship memes

Historical Phonetics; Language as a Synchronic System; Langue and Parole; alors qu'au meme son correspond le meme acte: b (temps acoustique) = b' .. principles of grammar proper, that is, of the relations between morphemes, and. In Sapir's Language the synchronic and the diachronic approach are not treated century testify to variegated views on the relation between synchrony and dia- revient pratiquement à négliger les changements peu importants de même. In linguistics, diachronic approach is when you compare modern language with its previous What is the relation between diachronic and synchronic relation?.

In this spirit, van Gelderen proposes that micro-steps in grammati- calization are conceptualized in terms of features in a Minimalist theory and suggests that language variation may be seen as feature variation. In the present volume the papers by Melissaropoulou, Wratil and Egedi apply some versions of the generative model to the study of grammaticalization. Manifestations of the synchrony-diachrony interface In order to answer the question how the synchrony-diachrony interface manifests itself, we discuss in this section some of the phenomena that are more clearly identiied as manifestations of the interface: Without synchronic variation no change would be possible, and, in turn, without a diachronic perspective on variation, synchronic innovation and variability would not be under- standable.

Gradience implies synchronic variation, gradualness implies variation at every diachronic step, multifunctionality implies variation in the possible mean- ings and uses of a construction, analogy implies synchronic variation of constructions among which one is suiciently frequent to constitute a model for the others and trigger a diachronic process towards levelling, contact-induced phenomena show syn- chronic variation between diferent languages in contact, which ater a certain period of time triggers diachronic processes such as borrowing or analogical change.

Let us discuss these issues in detail. Gradience and gradualness are the notions that have been more widely discussed in the literature on synchrony and diachrony. In the grammaticalization tradition there is a large degree of convergence on the notion of gradualness in that it is generally agreed that a form which is grammaticaliz- ing typically loses its lexical properties over time rather than all at once Trousdale this volume, Lehmann ; on the other hand there are also controversial discussions concerning the intersection of gradualness and gradience.

Traugott and Trousdale Trousdale this volume exempli- ies how micro-changes in form and meaning may give rise to new grammatical and lexical constructions. However, gradi- ence is not limited to morphosyntactic categories, but pertains to semantic and func- tional overlap as well Rosenbach ; Denisonsee also Magni, this volume. As shown by Magni, in Latin adnominal construc- tions the shit to postnominal genitives can be treated as a case of gradience in terms of synchronicallty overlapping constructions.

Synchronic variation appears to be a factor steering language change toward the spread of N oun G enitive construction. Special attention is to be given to multifunctionality as a result of diachronic expansion and in this sense as a manifestation of the interface. Several chapters in the volume account for multifunctional forms and discuss both their origin and the changes they undergo see chapters by Voghera and van de Pol-Cuyckens.

Language contact as a trigger of language change has raised the interest of many linguists Matras Although certain processes are more likely to take place than others e. As to the main issue of the volume, we may note that contact between languages may extend over centuries and may produce both synchronic variation between old forms and forms taken from the model language, and diachronic change leading to the gradual spreading of the model language forms and meanings.

Sorbian, Czech and Slovenian Breu In his study of South- ern Italian dialects De Angelis provides further evidence of contact-induced changes in complement clause system. To conclude, the cases discussed above, as well as other works presented in the rel- evant literature, nicely illustrate both synchronic variation and diachronic gradualness in the spread of contact-induced change.

Analogy is another manifestation of the interface: It must be noted that the status of analogy in linguistic theory has received several interpretations: Furthermore it may be based on concrete lexi- cal items as well as more abstract schemas.

Several papers in this volume see in particular the papers in part i by Margerie, Disney, Melissaropoulou show how considering analogy as a driving force of change helps to achieve a better understanding of what goes on in language change.

30 Seconds or Less: Diachronic and Synchronic Analysis

Focus on theoretical and methodological issues Two issues have been raised in the previous sections that are crucial to a discussion on the possible theoretical and methodological approaches to the synchrony-diachrony interface: Language variation is the realization of the dynamism intrinsic to natural languages and it is thus reasonable to assume that theoretical approaches and methodologies accounting for linguistic variation are the most suitable to capture and describe the manifestations of the synchrony-diachrony interface.

In particular, in recent years the debate has focused on the factors triggering the irst steps of language change, that is, on how language change starts out of synchronic variation.

Constructions may concern every level of grammar, in a view according to which all language is constructional cf. Traugott proposes a hierarchical classiication of construction types: Indeed, the availability of new corpora of written and spoken language has made it possible to gain insights on the emergence of new constructions and on the role of particular factors, such as frequency, in the development of new constructions. Constructional approaches can be fruitfully applied to diachronic studies for a number of reasons.

First, the fact that no neat division between semantics and prag- matics is drawn within constructional frameworks allows for accurate descriptions of the interrelations between semantic conventionalization and conversational impli- catures see also Traugottunder this respect.

Semantic maps are crucially oten built on the basis of synchronic data, but their explanation lies in the paths of semantic change through which the grams acquired or lost new functions.

As argued by van der Auwerathis volume classical semantic maps, as opposed to semantic maps adopting a multi-dimensional scaling methodology see Cysoware basically hypotheses about the polysemy of constructions.

Cognitive semantics and diachronic semantics: the values and evolution of classes

If semantic maps deal with more than one construction, they become hypotheses about synchronic variation and, as a consequence, about diachronic grad- ualness: In particular, a relatively high frequency of occurrence, observable synchronically, seems to be crucial for allowing diachronic change. Indeed, the recourse to corpora analysis appears to be a characterizing feature of the present volume.

synchronic and diachronic relationship memes

As pointed out by Bybee Bybee ; cf. At this stage, as shown by Mauri and Giacalone Ramat In other words, in order for speakers to reinterpret the meaning of the form, it is necessary that they encounter the type of context in which such reinterpretation occurs with suicient frequency for the construction to be processed as a single unit, and for the new value to be systematically associated with that speciic context.

On the basis of the foregoing, it may be argued that the interface between syn- chrony and diachrony manifests itself both in the data, i. As argued by Dryerit is indeed crucial to keep a synchronic description of language what languages are like apart from the mainly diachronic explanation of why languages are the way they are. What may prima facie appear to be a separation between the two dimensions is actually what allows for a real integration of synchrony and diachrony within a unitary account of language variation.

At the same time, however, it is precisely in the synchronic use that speakers make of language that the linguist identiies the seeds of language change, from which new structures emerge.

Overview of the contributions to the volume he volume is organized in three thematic parts, which gather together papers shar- ing a common macro-perspective on the interface between synchrony and diachrony. Finally, the third part of the volume is more centered on the role played by gradualness in diachronic change, grouping papers discussing to what extent diachronic change manifests itself as being gradual, providing data on particular situations of gradual change such as language contact.

Such a theoretical argument is supported by a qualitative analysis of corpora to track the development of the English preposition during from the verbal participle, showing how the neoanalyses involved combine to produce what appears to be a gradual change from a lexical towards a grammatical construction.

Trousdale takes abrupt neoanalysis to be the primary mechanism through which language change takes place, arguing that even analogical thinking eventually implies a new analysis i. In his discussion, the synchrony-diachrony interface becomes visible when a detailed analysis of grammatical change and synchronic variation is undertaken, jointly addressing synchronic gradience at any stage in the development of a particu- lar language and the various steps, which may explain the change occurred and at the same time may set up further possibilities for future change in the language network.

AIV order is rare in prose but common in poetry. Principles and Parameters approaches see it as transitions from one discrete category to another, thus pointing to abruptness.

Margerie Can you literally be scared sick? Within the constructional framework adopted by the author, cases of mismatch, i. Based on corpus data, he compares BE meant to to other verbs attested in the NCI nominativus cum ininitivo construction e.

BE said to, BE supposed to with a reputed sense and shows that BE meant to has come to be inter- preted as an instantiation of the hearsay NCI schema by a process of analogy. Disney provides a detailed discussion on the role of abstract schemas and constructions in language change, arguing that in the case under exam analogy with the NCI schema may explain what appears to be a non-gradual step in the diachronic change, if com- pared to the established conceptual space for evidentiality.

Temporary complexi- ication phenomena are attested and are treated as intermediate cases of analogical levelling. Although the data of the study are synchronic, results shed light on the way synchronic variation can constitute not only the source, but also the consequence of diachronic change. A classical semantic map is basically a hypothesis about the polysemy of con- structions. Van der Auwera argues that the synchronic variation described in a classical semantic map directly relates to diachronic gradualness: As a consequence, it also lacks the ensuing predictive power, both with respect to synchrony and diachrony, and cannot make the interface between synchrony and diachrony visible.

Adnominal constructions in Latin involve both adnominal genitives tribunus militum and attributive modiication tribunus militaris. Such encoding strategies show overlaps, gradually shiting boundaries and interpretational ambiguities that have paved the way to the gradual ousting of the adjective by the genitive. In a broader typological perspective the increasing frequency of constructs with N ominative G enitive order and their expansion in the domain of denominal adjectives throughout the history of Latin leads to the loss of the GN order and contributes to establish the new SVO typology of the Romance languages.

As to the theoretical signiicance of this contribution, it may be said that considering gradu- alness as the historical counterpart of gradience can help to shed light on the factors triggering language change.

An intermediate stage in the development of inlectional morphemes provides a description and dia- chronic analysis of the evolution of subject pronouns from subject clitics to agree- ment markers in three sets of Alpine dialects: Carinthian and Bavarian varieties in the irst part, Walser varieties in the second and the Badiot variety of Ladin in the third. Double agreement phenomena have been oten noted as a characteristic feature of a number of Germanic and Romance varieties.

Wratil claims that the motivations of this allomorphy can be traced back to language learners decisions in face of mor- phosyntactic ambiguities of the input. Double agreement efects are shown to indicate more or less persistent intermediate stages in the grammaticalization process and also distinct paths of dialectal evolution which can be tied to conlicting requirements of production and comprehension optimalization.

Moreover contact has to be taken into account as factor of change: Southern Walser German speakers, especially the younger generations, have borrowed basic word order patterns from Italian and reanalyzed subject clitics into agreement markers, but at the same time exhibit properties that still it in the traditional V2 scheme.

In a functional approach Dal Negro and Giacalone Ramat claim that the agreement suixes derived from clitic subjects have introduced a complexiication of the conju- gational system for the 3SG now showing gender distinctions. In particular, the paper analyzes pronominal reference to inanimate controllers in informal speech and proposes interesting similarities with gender restructuring and loss in English. Both pragmatic factors, such as dis- course prominence of controllers, and syntactic factors, such as antecedents in sub- ject position, play a role in the preservation of grammatical agreement.

In order to ill a gap in gender studies, Semplicini sets out to investigate double gender nouns in Dutch, i. Results conirm the gradual loss of grammatical gender in favour of a more semantic system, but also individuate a number of features which help explain- ing the persistence of the phenomenon down the centuries.

She makes three crucial points. First, the complex path of grammaticalization of tipo led to the development of new expressions for vagueness and approximation in Italian, as the qualitative analysis of corpora shows.

However, the development of tipo[-N] is not the result of a linear change in which the nominal function was replaced by diferent functional categories, but it shows a process where new functions and meanings coexist with the old ones in a layering situation. Second, the distribution of the various non-nominal uses of tipo varies in relation to textual and register dimensions, with non-nominal uses being more frequent in spoken texts, especially in dialogues.

Until abouttyp was only attested with a nominal function, and it is only recently that the other functions have developed. With the teacher refusing to comply, Barry took the matter to the dean with respect to unaugmented absolute constructions and the lack of other types of augmented absolutes such as ater-augmented absolute constructions, for instanceadopting a diachronic perspective. In the period under examination the marking of the semantic deiniteness is almost oblig- atory, so the deinite article derived from the reanalysis of the demonstrative appears in every case when referential identiication is not encoded otherwise.

Expansion in the use of the article did not happen all at once, as shown by the contrastive analysis of a parallel Gospel text of a later date. The transformation of proper names into "common nouns", extremely widespread and witnessed everywhere, goes in the same direction: The usage of the concept of metaphor answers a totally different problem, the one of changes in semantic domains.

But, since taxemes are included in domains, any change of domain leads to an alteration of the taxeme. In modern French, only the last acception survives. The evolution process can be described in the following way: As every metaphor, it shows two effects: The taxeme as semantic form We have used the concept of semantic form according to our hypothesis that semantic perception [15] pertains to pattern recognition and not to computation.

Qualitative inequalities inside the taxeme That qualitative inequalities inside lexical classes can be described through intensity and extensity Hjelmslev is a fact that we shall relate with the hypothesis of fundamental aesthetics: In particular, qualitative inequalities inside lexical classes seemed to be linked to social evaluations which evolve in history.

This is not surprising if we recall that in spite of their name natural languages are indeed cultural productions [16]. Structural semantics, or at least the impoverished image given of it by most manuals, presents nevertheless one deficiency: Here are two ways to overcome it: It is a means to break with denotation as no metrics can distinguish the big from the huge or the cold from the icy.

Elements of a morphodynamic model We shall use for this purpose a model taken from the theory of differential varieties and dynamic systems. From Thom's and Zeeman's works in particular, it has been applied to the domain of speech and case-frames by Petitot, to semasiological semantics on the polysemy of encore by Victorri and Fuchsto the structural analysis by Piotrowski [17].

synchronic and diachronic relationship memes

Continuist modelization presents one important advantage: We make the assumption that semantic evolution can be represented on a gradual process with thresholds: A morphodynamic model is characterized by the functional coupling of an external space or substrate space or also space of control with the internal states of a system S. The singularities of the internal space are projected as discontinuities on the external space.

Dynamic system S As we have chosen an onomasiological perspective, we consider as semantic space the set of the sememes of a taxeme [18]for instance the one of levels of temperature: Dynamic representation of a taxeme Regrettably, this representation ignores the context, because determining the main attractor and the position of qualitative and acceptability thresholds depends on the context cool is neutral for a beer, not for a bath [20].

The taxeme displays three main basins of attraction separated by two absolute maxima: Each sememe corresponds then to one local attractor. All the various contexts attested for it define its basin of attraction in synchrony.

The bottom of the basin of a sememe corresponds to the zone of semantic stability, in other words to its meaning prevailing acception, or in other words set of semes inherent to the sememe. The slopes of the basin, zones of instability, correspond to usages. The basin broadens or narrows as the number of contexts grows or diminishes. The marked or intense terms correspond to narrow basined attractors and the unmarked or extense terms to wide basined attractors.

The slope of the basins vary whether the sememe has more or less usages in the corpus. Two neighbouring sememes are separated by passes which altitude is also variable: Parasynonyms are separated by low passes which do not cross any differential threshold; the distinction, which is always possible, consists in lowering the closest differential threshold. Discretization and marking The differential principle of structural semantics expresses itself by a covariance of the basins of attraction of sememes.

Any local distortion may have consequences on the global form and neighbouring sections of local forms [21]. Yet, as the global determines the local, even if an important local perturbation may modify the global organization, a taxeme shows a certain resistance to the distortions brought by the occurrence of new contexts.

The local evolution of the sememes inside a taxeme can be described by the modification of their basin of attraction and of the passes which separate this basin from its neighbours. The global evolution of a taxeme can be described as a merging or separation of basins of attraction in a general dynamic. The proximity of sememes is expressed by the presence of their basins inside larger semantic zones which we shall call evaluative zones: The semantic distance between sememes is expressed by high passes between their basins.

When the basins are shallow and the passes low, the equivalence prevails on the opposition or, in other words, coactivation prevails on reciprocal inhibition; when the basins are deep and the passes high, inhibition prevails on coactivation. The high passes local maxima indicate qualitative thresholds: The highest passes absolute maxima indicate acceptability thresholds: The thresholds are located at points of singularity: As far as diachronic or synchronical evolutions are concerned, two opposed movements can be considered: When a semantic zone contains several attractors, two outstanding attractors may represent the class, because every form is recognized by its singularities: To these two attractors correspond the two main and contradictory definitions of the prototype as defined by Rosch's theory.

Thresholds The relationships between part-whole inside the global basin of the taxeme can also be described as relationships between these two outstanding points, in a way which does not have recourse to the concept of inclusion, but to the one of relationships between minima and maxima.

A "logical" representation can indeed norm and codify a taxeme but not represent the dynamic it has created nor the ones that make it evolve.

Terminology Coordination Unit

According to the modelization we have put forwardforces are inhibitions, activations and propagations. These operations suppose "potential differences" which are valuations. They divide as we have seen the taxeme into two types of zones doxal and paradoxal.

Whether the evolution crosses or not the acceptability thresholds, it will be called doxal or paradoxal. The paradoxal evolution is obviously complex, because it supposes the referral of two contradictory dynamics which correspond to two opposed doxas: One can further distinguish two kinds of doxal evolution, whether it crosses or not a qualitative threshold.

Among the evolutions which cross a threshold, we shall finally distinguish between neutralizing paths and valuating paths. We can then deal with a third type of evolution, which the law of panchronic valuation does not account for: This endoxal evolution starts from the middle or neutral terms with respect to evaluation which are often the most frequent termsto designate the whole taxeme.

In this way, rue street can express in French all types of traffic lanes, avenues, walks in which streets are included [23]. It can be considered that the neutral term has the largest number of contexts simply because it contains less specific attributes: Thus, the sememe which in the taxeme has the widest and most stable basin coinciding with the minimum may designate the whole taxeme.

synchronic and diachronic relationship memes

Extension from the neutral term The same endoxal evolution can take place several times in history. For instance passer in Latin sparrow becomes pajaro bird in Spanish, passereau in French afr. Whereas the law of panchronic valuation expressed the relationships between extense and intense zones, this form of evolution expresses the relationships inside the extense zone: Force and form The description of taxemes as sets of static relations has indeed to its credit simplicity and economy: But the description of forms has no relevance if one cannot account for their evolution.

Cognitive semantics acknowledges abstract forces, especially of course in its analyses of actancy when, following Talmy, it enacts a kind of transcendental mechanics which owes a lot to Aristotelian physics see the concept of impetus in Talmy Forces and semantic forms must nevertheless be articulated.

The morphodynamic description may account for forms in terms of forces. To say the least, these two aspects, form and force, are complementary: The effect of forces can be understood in two ways: The sections that exceed a threshold gain a potential of disturbance. From this point of view, the edges of the evaluative zones are privileged spots of disturbance.

Beyond a certain level, peripheral disturbances modify the main basin of the taxeme. The conditions of form evolution In morphodynamics, regular points and singular points are distinguished.

For instance, at the textual level, we have described isotopies as products of the Gestaltist law of good continuation: On the contrary, allotopics are singular points and certain tropes introduce qualitative discontinuities by a disruption of isotopy [24]. At the lexical level, the isotopic contexts of a sememe keep a regularity, whereas allotopic contexts create singularities which may sustainably disturb the basin of attraction of the sememe.

This point must be qualified according to the typology of sememes: Value and values Let's admit that forms here semantic forms are inhibited movements. As a normed set of evaluations, a doxa is precisely composed of prescriptions and inhibitions which ensure a synchronic or diachronic stability to semantic configurations. We retrieve here Barthes's intuition that the lexicon is a frozen doxa For instance in French there is no taxeme of levels of temperature: The same goes for sizes: This size is hence respectively below and beyond the qualitative threshold, then beyond the acceptability threshold.

Whereas cognitive semantics, after having reinvented the Kantian oversimplicity, is looking for the descriptive categories around transcendental aesthetics as a prior frame to any perception, we have used the term aestheticsin a more restricted meaning [25]. Therefore the historic project of diachronic semantics leads us rather to look amongst social evaluations to find the forces which shape and distort the lexicon. Thus only the structural principles of semantic organization pertain to language; relevant categories pertain to the specific language considered; but the particular organization of its configurations pertains to evaluative norms which are subject to variations.

The changes in evaluation resulting from a crossing of a qualitative threshold or mainly an acceptability threshold introduce modifications that can be both fast and long lasting. We clearly understand that everything depends upon the position of the evaluative thresholds whether they are qualitative or acceptability thresholds.

According to the position of these thresholds, the structure of the taxeme changes; and this position does not depend on language but on doxa. Therefore, every stabilized semic formula results from an undefined series of contextual relations, i.

One cannot talk about doxas, as systems of valuation, without mentioning the social values which they reify. Without trying to play with words, one can wonder if the value relevant linguistic difference is not ultimately founded upon the values, in the social sense of the term, including the ethic and aesthetic judgements [26].

The law of distribution and the absence of perfect synonyms enable us to outline a positive answer and to second it with examples: In this case, interpreting an occurrence is not or is not anymore a simple operation of relating it to a type, but of positioning it in a taxeme, and of locating it in one of the evaluative zones of this taxeme.

Brunot and especially Renson [27]. The different steps of this evolution According to Renson I,face is first attested in the 12th century with the meaning of 'visage' figure. In fact, at the time, the plural faces with the meaning of 'cheeks' is attested [28].

This acception justifies the abundance of colour adjectives vermaille, palie, etc. This evolution is general and also noticed for visage. It is evidence of the psychologization of literature which in fact constitutes the best part of our documents. But, as soon as the 12th century, as has been stressed by J. Trenel, a new class of contexts appears with the use of face in the translations of the Bible with the meaning of presence: The face of God is without any precise features see Renson: This new acception, translated literally from Hebrew, shows perhaps a relation with the spiritualization of the acception which describes the human figure: It remains that in the 16th century face presents two acceptions, for God and for the human beings, the first being ameliorative and the second neutral, liable to physical as well as moral uses, and sharing with visage many common contexts.

The configuration is then as follows: Yet, at the end of the century appears the expression face du Grand Turc, which designates a totally different body part; thus Sieur Tabourot des Accords wrote: Whatever the case may be, the word face itself, according to Ferdinand Brunot and in spite of Vendryes's reluctance to admit that this could be the reason of it, finds itself marked with pejoration.

Twenty years later, Vaugelas already emphasized that one "would not any longer dare say face for visage except for certain expressions" Hence its sudden rarefaction according to Renson's counting: This configuration is unstable, not by its form, but most certainly because 'face 1' and 'face 3' share the same signifier.

The reduction of the basin of face benefits then to figure, which, as soon as the middle of the 16th century, by a specialization of the meaning of 'exterior shape', was used for 'shape of the human face', and later, in the 17th century, was also used for the facial expression or look mine,and came to replace visage and face in the current usage see Brunot s.

Yes, but 'face 2' remains a pejorative designation for visage: Fine, but the human visage is also designated there by face: These two antithetic acceptions of face persist in religious and moral contexts. To account for these opposed acceptions of face, the 17th century lexicographers used the concept of style. Richeletthe first to relate the condemnation of face, said: The theoretic problem raised by the notion of style should not be underestimated; in fact, we admit that a taxeme belongs to one and only one semantic domain.

In so far as taxemes are classes of sememes which constitute a basis for term selection within a given practice, and where domains reflect different practices, the sememes of a given taxeme pertain to the same domain. This diachronic autonomy of a discourse is not surprising: More generally, it can be pointed out that the different discourses and the different social practices that they reflect are moving around differentiated diachronies: The disappearance of the ameliorative acception of face, which appeared in the 12th century with the translations of the Bible, is perhaps an indication of a secularization of society, where the terms taken from the Scriptures are not any longer a pledge of what the Academy called a "serious style".

From syntagms to phrases We must point out here a deficiency of the lexicographical approach: Yet, in the religious discourse, naturally prone to formulas through its links with the ritual, complex lexical items like face de Dieu are particularly important.

In fact, for textual linguistics and I believe that lexicology should be founded on such linguisticsthe minimal semantic unit is the syntagm. Words are units deprived of their preferential contexts, decontexualized artefacts both of ontology and lexicography. In this perspective, simple lexical items are defined as strongly integrated syntagms fact actually confirmed by linguistic evolution: Yet, the diachronic status of syntagms and complex lexical items are different: Thus, as Vaugelas pointed out: The two networks of content and expression If the norms of the doxa may account for the evolution of the signifieds, they also participate in the evaluation of the signifiers, and the signs find themselves caught into two networks: The evolution of a sign obeys to these two networks of constraints.

Yet, and this is worth being noticed, the same evaluative forces are at work in the onomasiological and semasiological networks: