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The assumption here is that syntactic variation is finite and delimitable. In my view, there is complementarity between studies of competence and studies of performance. Thus, I see no essential conflict between seeking native speaker judgments about particular syntactic constructions of a given language and more usage-based corpus studies, as performed, for example, in the classical Boasian tradition of collecting texts to make inferences regarding grammatical structure. Whereas the latter kind of study tells us important things about the use of language in particular discourse contexts, the former type of study can lead to under-standing other aspects of possible utterances.

G (Roberts and Rousseau 2003: 16 [6]) G 3 F G A shift from (2)b to (2)a can occur under more than one circumstance. First, movement of F to G will not occur unless it is properly triggered by some feature of G. If G loses this feature then movement will not occur, a change in a movement parameter. Second, F can be reanalyzed as a part of G, as in the case of the “misanalysis” of some lexical item as an inflectional element, thus creating new functional material. Another reanalysis involves a complex XP being reanalyzed as a simple X category, thus losing any internal structure (p.

50). This “underlying structure” can include constituency, hierarchical structure, category labels, grammatical relations, and “cohesion”. This restructuring “depends upon a pattern characterized by surface ambiguity or the possibility of more than one analysis” (p. 51). Reanalysis is the most important type of syntactic change. g. Hopi and Yaqui). Another example, involving change in cohesion (“the status of a linguistic sequence as a fully independent word, a clitic, or an affix, or an analyzable part of a larger unit”) (Harris and Campbell 1995: 63), is found in Nahuatl.

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