Linguistics ETDs

Publication Date

7-1-2009

Abstract

Many varieties of French have changed over the years from expressing predicate negation (Geurts 1998) with ne alone, to the embracing construction ne ... pas, and then to postverbal pas alone (Jespersen 1917). When the increase in the frequency of ne ... pas over time is plotted on a graph, it takes the S shape of the logistic function (Kroch 1989). Bybee and Thompson (1997) note that "the type frequency of a pattern determines its degree of productivity," but "high frequency forms with alternations resist analogical leveling.' These two observations provide an explanation for the logistic progression observed by Kroch (1989). Following Lotka (1925) and Volterra (1926), we can extend this model to take into account the competition between constructions to express the same function. To test these models, I have compiled a corpus of French theatrical texts from the twelfth to the twentieth century. The logistic function accurately models the use of ne ... pas in these texts (R2 = 0.899), but the Lotka-Volterra model predicts the post-1600 changes in preverbal ne alone and embracing ne ... pas and ne ... point with even greater accuracy (r = 0.948 and 0.978).

Project Sponsors

The University of New Mexico

Language

English

Keywords

Linguistics, French

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Educational Linguistics

Level of Degree

Doctoral

Department Name

Department of Linguistics

First Advisor

Axelrod, Melissa

First Committee Member (Chair)

Croft, William

Second Committee Member

Travis, Catherine

Third Committee Member

Schwenter, Scott

Comments

Submitted by Angus Grieve-Smith (grvsmth@unm.edu) on 2009-05-22T17:57:52Z No. of bitstreams: 1 grvsmth-phd1.pdf: 2701692 bytes, checksum: 673fbc60aa52444c0e59aad7c5e9843e (MD5), Approved for entry into archive by Doug Weintraub(dwein@unm.edu) on 2009-08-27T20:59:59Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 grvsmth-phd1.pdf: 2701692 bytes, checksum: 673fbc60aa52444c0e59aad7c5e9843e (MD5), Made available in DSpace on 2009-08-27T21:00:00Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 grvsmth-phd1.pdf: 2701692 bytes, checksum: 673fbc60aa52444c0e59aad7c5e9843e (MD5)

Included in

Linguistics Commons

Share

COinS