The contributions of this book deal with the issue of language variation. They all share the assumption that within the language faculty the variation space is hierarchically constrained and that minimal changes in the set of property values defining each language give rise to diverse outputs within the same system. Nevertheless, the triggers for language variation can be different and located at various levels of the language faculty. The novelty of the volume lies in exploring different loci of language variation by including wide-ranging empirical perspectives that cover different levels of analysis (syntax, phonology and prosody) and deal with different kinds of data, mostly from Romance and Germanic languages, from dialects, idiolects, language acquisition, language attrition and creolization, analyzed from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives. The volume is divided in three parts. The first part is dedicated to synchronic variation in phonology and syntax; the second part deals with diachronic variation and language change, and the third part investigates the role of contact, attrition and acquisition in giving rise to language change and language variation in bilingual settings. This volume is a useful tool for linguistics of diverse theoretical persuasions working on theoretical and comparative linguistics and to anyone interested in language variation, language change, dialectology, language acquisition and typology.
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