This article examines the role and explanatory power of functional principles in diachronic linguistics. The notion of "function" in Martinet's linguistic theorizing and practice is a central one. It is directly linked to the concept of language as a communicative system; oppositions within the system are to be seen in terms of their overall communicative yield. The factor of functional yield is crucial to our understanding of the process and direction of linguistics change.
Departement Linguïstiek. Subfaculteit Letteren Campus Kortrijk. Griekse studies (OE)