Zimmermann, Richard (2020) 'Testing Causal Associations in Language Change: The Replacement of Subordinating then with when in Middle English.' Journal of Historical Syntax 4.4, 1-59.
Middle English changes the realization of temporal subordinators from a th-form (then) to a wh-form (when). The innovation is quantified with data from four syntactically parsed corpora. The change may have had an antecedent cause in the loss of subject-verb inversion after adverbial then.
Zimmermann, Richard (2019) 'Studying Semantic Chain Shifts with Word2Vec: FOOD>MEAT>FLESH.' Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change, 23-28.
Word2Vec models are used to study the semantic chain shift FOOD>MEAT>FLESH in the history of English, c. 1425-1925. The development stretches out over a long time, starting before 1500, and may possibly be continuing to this day. The semantic changes likely proceeded as a push chain.
Zimmermann, Richard (2017) Formal and Quantitative Approaches to the Study of Syntactic Change: Three Case Studies from the History of English. PhD Dissertation. University of Geneva.
In my PhD dissertation, I discuss general mechanisms of syntactic change on the basis of three case studies from the history of English.
Zimmermann, Richard (2014) Dating Hitherto Undated Early English Texts Based on Text-Internal Criteria. Manuscript. University of Geneva.
I use a probabilistic Bayesian classifier trained on fourteen syntactic features to ascertain the date of composition of undated Old English texts.
Zimmermann, Richard (2014) 'Distributional Differences between Old English Main Clauses with and without a Conjunction.' In: Butt, Miriam & Holloway King, Tracy (eds.) Proceedings of LFG14. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications, 566-585.
Old English main clauses and main clauses introduced by a conjunction pattern differently in terms of verb placement and topicalization. This paper propses an LFG model to capture these distributional differences.
Zimmermann, Richard (2013) 'Rule Independence and Rule Conditioning: Grammar Competition in Old English Relative Clauses.' Proceedings of ConSOLE XX Leipzig 2012, 315-332.
This paper claims that Old English se þe relative clauses are the result of two independent, overlapping rules. The overlap is made possible by the fact that the rules are not conditioned on some contextual factor.
Zimmermann, Richard (2012) 'Self as a Non-Postposing Element in Old English.' Generative Grammar in Geneva (GG@G) 8, 39-58.
Early English develops from a verb-final to a subject-verb language. But in order to measure this change accurately, diagnostic elements must be identified that cannot postpose. In this paper, I show that self is such a diagnostic element.
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