edited by Pierre Larrivée, Richard P. Ingham
Why do languages change? The proposal that the grammar of negation evolves according to cycles is looked at from the behaviour of negative items and constructions, mainly through the history of English and French. The studies show that the variation within a language at any given point of history is too great for cycles to be invoked as an autonomous mechanism of grammar change. Instead, variation may be understood by looking at the patterns of evolution of individual (families of) items.