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Sprachwandel und kognitive Ökonomie: Zur Grammatikalisierung und Substitution von Satzkonnektoren 

Zurück zum Heft: Linguistische Berichte Heft 220
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It is possible to distinguish two different aspects of cognitive economy which work together in such a way as to restrict not only the individual parameter setting of the grammar and the lexicon, but also linguistic performance. One has as its goal the clearest possible specification of semantic primitives; the other attempts to minimize the structural complexity required for this. From the point of view of such a model, the tension between the functional and formal aspects of morphosyntactic change loses its significance, as we are able to explain both performance-based and acquisitionally-bound change within these general framework conditions. Setting purely phonotactic change aside, it can be noted that both types of change are affected by comparable inferential strategies: in both cases, changes to linguistic material are motivated by considerations of economy, albeit with performance being subject to systematic constraints, which can be overridden in the case of first language acquisition. It is for this reason that performance-based changes are usually only regularized at the stage of acquisition by the next generation. Taking as our database phenomena of change in different systems of sentence connectives, we will work here within the theoretical framework of Generative Grammar, arguing for a WYSIWYG-model.