Language Structure, Variation and Change

The Case of Old Spanish Syntax

  • Ian E.┬áMackenzie

Table of contents

About this book


This book offers an original account of the dynamics of syntactic change and the evolving structure of Old Spanish that combines rigorous manuscript-based investigation, quantitative analysis and a syntactic approach grounded in Minimalist thinking. Its analysis of both successful and failed changes demonstrates the degree of unpredictability caused by the interaction of competing factors and will shed fresh light on the assumed unidirectionality of linguistic change. Importantly, it reveals that Old Spanish and modern Spanish are more similar to one another than is usually supposed and demonstrates that many of the differences between the two varieties are quantitative rather than qualitative. This theoretically sophisticated examination of historical corpora will provide an invaluable resource for students and scholars of Old and modern Spanish, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics and syntax.

Ian E. Mackenzie is Professor of Spanish Linguistics at Newcastle University, UK. He is the author of seven books, as well as numerous articles in the fields of syntax, semantics and diachronic linguistics.


language variation negation medieval Spanish Romance diachronic syntax clitic linearization historical corpora Constant Rate Effect Tobler-Mussafia Law determiner phrase structure verb second failed language change

Authors and affiliations

  • Ian E.┬áMackenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Modern LanguagesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle Upon TyneUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-10566-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-10567-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site