Now, as to the question of the stratification of Pali Canon by lexical and grammatical markers.
Rhys-Davids'es Pali-English dictionary mentions the words which are used only in the later texts:
plural of "citta"
There's also a formidable work on the evolution of the Pali metre:http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/T ... utline.htm
Paul Kingsbury has done a great work on inducing the chronology through the grammatical markers:
Inducing a Chronology of the Pali Canon
Paul Kingsburyhttp://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/publications/C ... gsbury.pdf
The chronology of the Pali Canon: The case of the aorists
by Kingsbury, Paulhttp://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3073020/
The results of his work support the conclusions of Dr. Bimala Churn Law - the gradual evolution of sigmatic vs non-sigmatic aorists is evident from early to late texts, from Sutta-Nipata to Apadana.
So the thorough approach to chronological analysis of the Pali Canon, which will use grammatical, lexical and metrical markers, will make it possible to produce more accurate chronology.
It may even be possible to sort out the chronology of suttas by geographical locations, from the first Buddha's rainy season at Deer Park, to the Mahaparinibbana sutta.http://stylomilo.com/files/mv/YMBASr1/D ... ddhism.doc