Darwin-L Message Log 1:257 (September 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<1:257>From PICARD@Vax2.Concordia.CA  Wed Sep 29 12:13:14 1993

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1993 13:17:29 -0500 (EST)
From: MARC PICARD <PICARD@Vax2.Concordia.CA>
Subject: Drift
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

    There has recently been a discussion centering on the concept of drift
in historical linguistics .  Following is a definition of this concept which I
Benjamins, 1989, p.194), and which might prove helpful to future participants:
"In linguistic change, and observable tendency toward a goal is known as DRIFT.
As in biology, it takes a form of complex synchronization, for example, loss of
inflection with increased use of prepositions and word order in English.  It is
also understandable why two related languages can go different ways.  If they
both start out from a particular imbalance, say, a 'hole' of some kind in any
level of grammar, one may fill it, one may eliminate the odd term.  Or they can
independently resort to the same remedy, and the result will look as if they
had been inherited in both."
Marc Picard

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