My Second Theory


Diachrony, Cognizance and the Jungian Collective Unconscious

            Sound changes (i.e, diachronic sound changes, a.k.a.“Lautverschiebungen”) are ultimately the same process as allophonic variation (which is synchronic) - and, furthermore, both of these processes are ultimately the same process as morphophonemic variation (e.g, morphological [and not merely phonological] ablaut, as in “sing ~ sang ~ sung; & song”). Diachronic sound changes, allophonic variation and morphophonemic variation are three manifestations of the same process; what differentiates them are their placements on a certain spectrum, or set of spectrums. One spectrum is about how more or less diachronic or synchronic the manifestation of the process is; the other spectrum (which may just be a different name for the same single spectrum) is about how more or less cognizant the speaker is of the manifestation of the process...

more          less

dia-            cognizant            (1) Diachronic Sound Change

chronic                                      (more “underlying,”

/\                /\                            more of the “deep structure”)

|                  |

|                  |                      (2) Allophonic Variation

|                  |                           (less “underlying,”

|                  |                            (shallower “deep structure”)

|                  |

|                  |                       (3) Morphophonemic Variation

|                  |                            (least “under”, not sub-conscious;

|                  |                            an altogether conscious variation

\/                \/                           or change of sounds)

more       more

syn-         cognizant


            The weird things about this model is it implies that the more cognizant/conscious one is, the more present/synchronic it is - and the more something exists in the past (= diachronic), the more it takes place in the Subconscious. Does this indicate the diachronic part of Grammar is alive and well and just as much a part of the “living grammar” as the synchronic BECAUSE the diachronic lives on even now in some sort of Jungian Collective Unconscious?

            With that in mind, look at the table below comparing Synchronic with Diachrony...

Diachrony                    Synchrony

made up of the

mechanisms,     like the waves,        data to give evidence of the mechanisms,

i.e, processes and tendencies                i.e, to infer their existence

in the grammar

etymological definition                    the specific definitions,

= spirit of the word;                            the secret to their unity being that they

“spirit” in the sense of life                        are all metaphoric extensions of the

THROUGH TIME, i.e,                                    etymological definition

literally, diachrony

to know your opponent is the        Sausure’s conception of language

sure way to predict the next                knowable being just like the present

move in chess, and therefore win            state of a chess board is not enough,

                                                                      is not the living essence, spirit, of Language

not graspable, yet you can get        the graspable snippets, which are just

the FEEL of it, can experience it -        conceptualization, which are just

to know this is to know a language        interpretations; diachrony itself, as a

from the inside, i.e, to be a living                concept, is not true diachrony; the essence

speaker of the living language,                        of synchrony is that it is a concept, not

to be truly fluent in it                                                the known itself

universals                                        particulars/the realm of becoming/illusion/


grammar theories = attempts to                the “sweepingness” of the theory must “scoop

conceptualize by making the most                up” the most data/partiuclars to be the most

general and sweeping concepts                        truth-like; this is the process of inferring

possible - the most general that can                        the diachrony from the synchronic bits,

stand without contradicting anything                            i.e, an attempt to overcome the conceptual

known is the best - but not because                                    by means of making a more open concept

it itself is true - as a concept it cannot

ever be true - but because as being

being the more general, is the most

encompassing, and therefore the

most universal-like, and hence the

most truth-like; this theory can only

ever be figurative

cannot be grasped/conceptualized,        synchrony = conceptualization,

but can be gotten the feel of,                        and thus only an interpretation

known through getting in touch                            of the part of a gigantic unknown

with something from the unconscious,                        whole


                                                                        prescriptive grammar is an IMPOSITION

                                                                                on the inner living organism of

                                                                                        language, with a conceptualization of

                                                                                                what must be imposed in something

                                                                                                    being concept, that’s alive, and comes

                                                                                                from something broader than

                                                                                    consciousness, from behind it,

                                                                from the source of words... the mind.

I am continuing my search for what makes diachrony REAL. My first theory must be united with this model.