As far as I can work it out, grammatical change follows phonological change, because the phonemes tend to collide, eg: Latin ending -us loses -s, -um loses -m, degrades to -o All of a sudden the speakers can't distinguish between Da caballo puero and Da puero caballo "Give the boy a horse", so they start working out means and methods of making that distinction. Syntax - word order - starts to play a more important role, and prepositions start to take over from cases. Da ad puero caballo - "Give to the boy a horse", makes more sense than making an inspired guess. Just some details I've picked up on my travels through the Romance thicket. Wesley Parish On Sun, 07 Sep 2003 15:06, you wrote: > J.K.Hoffman wrote: > > Okay, so I've got a couple of questions regarding language change. > > What's more common, change in pronunciation of words? Or, change in > > grammatical structure? > > Pronounciation, by far. Sometimes within the space of 2-3 generations. > Grammatical change seems a lot more resistant; I think the schoolmarms have > finally given up on "whom" and maybe "it is I" etc, but those battles were > going on even before I was born a Long Time Ago. > > > Or, are there other ways that are more common that I'm not aware of? > > Interesting and sometimes amusing things happen in the semantic area-- > aside from words being lost, you can find pejoration, amelioration, > loss/addition of connotations, confusion (e.g. disinterested vs. > uninterested), not to mention all the slang that comes and goes. Groovy. > > An interesting and not overly-technical book on semantics (in the > linguistic, not philosophical, sense) is Stephen Ullmann's; I disremember > the title at the moment; it may be "Meaning and Change of Meaning". Old, > but still available. -- Mau e ki, "He aha te mea nui?" You ask, "What is the most important thing?" Maku e ki, "He tangata, he tangata, he tangata." I reply, "It is people, it is people, it is people."