言語変化論の第一人者である Bybee (9) が，標題の問題について大きな答えを与えている．
A very general answer is that the words and constructions of our language change as they cycle through our minds and bodies and are passed through usage from one speaker to another.
言語変化の「なぜ」というより「どのように」への答えに近いのではないかと考えられるが，いずれにせよこの1文だけで Bybee の言語変化観の枠組みをつかむことができる．一言でいえば，認知基盤および使用基盤の言語変化観である．
続けて Bybee は，言語変化には3つの傾向が見いだされると主張する．引用により，その3点の骨子を示す．
Because language is an activity that involves both cognitive access (recalling words and constructions from memory) and the motor routines of production (articulation), and because we use the same words and constructions many times over the course of a day, week, or year, these words and constructions are subject to the kinds of processes that repeated actions undergo. (9)
Another pervasive process in the human approach to the world is the formation of patterns from our experience and application of these patterns to new experiences or ideas. (10)
The other major factor in language change is the way words or patterns of language are used in context. Very often the meaning supplied by frequently occurring contexts can lead to change. Words and constructions that are used in certain contexts become associated with those contexts. (10)
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