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This is a broad critical survey of the research literature on child language development, providing coverage of both theoretical and empirical issues. Covering a wide range of perspectives, this text constructs a picture of how children acquire the syntax of English. The first part of the book offers an overview of the developmental data pertaining to a range of syntactic phenomena, including word order, subject drop, embedded clauses, wh-questions, inversion, relative clauses, passives, and anaphora. Part Two considers the various theories which have been advanced to explain the facts of development as well as the learnability problem, reporting on work in the mainstream formulist framework, but also considering the results of alternative approaches. A reference for specialists in the field of Language acquisition, this text aims to provide an introduction to the acquisition of syntax for students and researchers in psychology, linguistics and cognitive science.
Structuring Sense explores the difference between words however defined and structures however constructed. It sets out to demonstrate over three volumes that the explanation of linguistic competence should be shifted from lexical entry to syntactic structure, from memory of words to manipulation of rules. Its reformulation of how grammar and lexicon interact has profound implications for linguistic, philosophical, and psychological theories about human mind and language. Hagit Borer departs from language specific constructional approaches and from lexicalist approaches to argue that universal hierarchical structures determine interpretation, and that language variation emerges from the morphological and phonological properties of inflectional material. Taking Form, the third and final volume of Structuring Sense, applies this radical approach to the construction of complex words. Integrating research in syntax and morphology, the author develops a new model of word formation, arguing that on the one hand the basic building blocks of language are rigid semantic and syntactic functions, while on the other hand they are roots, which in themselves are but packets of phonological information, and are devoid of both meaning and grammatical properties of any kind. Within such a model, syntactic category, syntactic selection and argument structure are all mediated through syntactic structures projected from rigid functions, or alternatively, constructed through general combinatorial principles of syntax, such as Chomsky's Merge. The meaning of 'words', in turn, does not involve the existence of lexemes, but rather the matching of a well-defined and phonologically articulated syntactic domain with conceptual Content, itself outside the domain of language as such. In a departure from most current models of syntax but in line with many philosophical traditions, then, the Exo-Skeletal model partitions 'meaning' into formal functions, on the one hand, and Content, on the other hand. While the former are read off syntactico-semantic structures as is usually assumed, Content is crucially read off syntactico-phonological structures.
Parameters have lain at the core of linguistic research in the generative tradition for decades. The theoretical questions they have raised are deep and broad: this reference text investigates how contemporary linguistics has best tried to answer them. This book looks at how parameters might be properly defined and what their locus might be :lexical information, functional heads, the computational system, the phonological branch of the grammar. What kind of data forms trigger acquisition of a parameter? Are parameters necessary or can we study languages without making reference to them? The questions looked at are not just theoretical: how can a theory of parameters be used to help understand second language acquisition, and what contributions can it make to the study of language typology? This is the right time to gather all this information, dispersed in many different kinds of publications by single authors and groups, into one comprehensive volume.
Anaphora is the study of referential relationships in language.
Given the great flowering of the study of this topic in the last
decade, it is time for a book that reports on the major results of
recent research and sets the stage for further inquiry.
The authors represented in "Anaphora: A Reference Guide" are
among the world's leading researchers on anaphora and are ideally
suited to meet this goal. Their work draws on theoretical
principles and methodologies in linguistics, cognitive psychology,
and philosophy, as well as the integrated, broad perspective of
These stimulating reports of cutting-edge research will be useful to both undergraduate and graduate students and will find a large audience among professional researchers of anaphora and scholars who want to catch up on what is new and exciting in the area.
"Understanding English Grammar" presents a linguistic introduction
to the structure of English that is accessible to students who have
had little or no opportunity to study the language. The book
features information about the essentials of English words,
sentences, and sounds within a framework derived from modern
linguistic theory. The volume also provides students with an
introduction to the scholarly study of language and a comprehensive
exploration of English grammar.
"Understanding English Grammar" is designed as a teaching tool;
there are numerous exercises at the end of each chapter, a list of
further readings, and an indexed glossary. This second edition has
been updated throughout with additional examples and enhanced
discussion, as well as an increased emphasis on the study of
The bookis supported by an instructor's manual.
This book studies the properties of imperative clauses in the context of a theory of Universal Grammar. Daniela Isac argues that the specificity of imperative clauses cannot be the result of a unique imperative Force feature; instead, the `type' of imperative clauses can be traced back to a plurality of finer grained features, such as Modality and phi-features, hosted by the Mod, Infl, and Speech Event heads, among others. The data are drawn from a wide range of languages including various Romance, Slavic, and Germanic languages, as well as Finnish and Inuktitut. The analysis accounts for recurrent patterns in the interaction of imperative mood with phenomena like negation, restrictions on grammatical subjects, and the possibility of embedding imperative clauses. The approach, which focuses exclusively on morphosyntactic rather than semantic features, is potentially transferable to the analysis of other clause types, such as exclamatives, interrogatives, and declaratives.
This new edition is concerned primarily with the learned vocabulary of English - the words borrowed from the classical languages. It surveys the historical events that define the layers of vocabulary in English, introduces some of the basic principles of linguistic analysis, and is a helpful manual for vocabulary discernment and enrichment. The new edition has been updated with a discussion of the most recent trends of blending and shortening associated with texting and other forms of electronic communication and includes a new classification of the types of allomorphy. It discusses important topics such as segment sonority and the historical shifting of long vowels in English, and includes a new section on Grimm's law, explaining some of the more obscure links between Germanic and Latinate cognates. Exercises accompany each chapter and an online workbook contains readings and exercises to strengthen knowledge acquired in the classroom.
This volume explores the expression of the concepts count and mass in human language and probes the complex relation between seemingly incontrovertible aspects of meaning and their varied grammatical realizations across languages. In English, count nouns are those that can be counted and pluralized (two cats), whereas mass nouns cannot be, at least not without a change in meaning (#two rices). The chapters in this volume explore the question of the cognitive and linguistic universality and variability of the concepts count and mass from philosophical, semantic, and morpho-syntactic points of view, touching also on issues in acquisition and processing. The volume also significantly contributes to our cross-linguistic knowledge, as it includes chapters with a focus on Blackfoot, Cantonese, Dagaare, English, Halkomelem, Lithuanian, Malagasy, Mandarin, Ojibwe, and Persian, as well as discussion of several other languages including Armenian, Hungarian, and Korean. The overall consensus of this volume is that while the general concepts of count and mass are available to all humans, forms of grammaticalization involving number, classifiers, and determiners play a key role in their linguistic treatment, and indeed in whether these concepts are grammatically expressed at all. This variation may be reflect the fact that count/mass is just one possible realization of a deeper and broader concept, itself related to the categories of nominal and verbal aspect.
What do speakers of English know in order to produce utterances that other speakers will understand? Construction Grammar explains how knowledge of language is organized in speakers' minds. The central and radical claim of Construction Grammar is that linguistic knowledge can be fully described as knowledge of constructions, which are defined as symbolic units that connect a linguistic form with meaning. The implications of this claim are far-reaching: in Construction Grammar, not only lexical items, but also syntactic patterns are seen as symbolic, meaningful units. Instead of being meaningless structural templates, syntactic patterns actively contribute to the overall meaning of an utterance. Knowledge of language is thought of as a vast repository of interrelated symbolic units, and nothing else in addition. This book expands on this idea and familiarizes readers with the central concepts of Construction Grammar, as applied to English constructions. In the process, it explains how the theory of Construction Grammar relates to issues of language processing, language acquisition, and language variation and change.
Grammatical Framework is a programming language designed for writing grammars, which has the capability of addressing several languages in parallel. This thorough introduction demonstrates how to write grammars in Grammatical Framework and use them in applications such as tourist phrasebooks, spoken dialogue systems, and natural language interfaces. The examples and exercises presented here address several languages, and the readers are shown how to look at their own languages from the computational perspective.
This book brings together research on the topic of causation from experts in the fields of linguistics, philosophy, and psychology. It seeks to arrive at a more sophisticated understanding both of how causal concepts are expressed in causal meanings, and how those meanings in turn are organized into structures. Chapters address some of the most exciting current issues in the field, including the relata of causal relations; the representation of defeasible causation within verb phrases and at the level of modality; the difference between direct and indirect causal chains; and the representation of these chains in syntax. The book examines data from a wide variety of languages, such as Tohono O'odham, Finnish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Hindi, and Karachay-Balkar, and will be of interest to syntacticians and semanticists, as well as psycholinguists and philosophers, from graduate level upwards.
This book is all about ellipsis in natural language - the phenomena in which words and phrases go missing in the linguistic signal, but are nonethe less interpreted by the receiver, eg in the following sentence, the second instance of read is understood whether or not it is spoken Claire read a book and Heather [read] a magazine. Contemporary theoretical linguistics has described several forms of ellipsis in English, and different syntactic mechanisms have been proposed which account for their structures. Kirsten Gengel investigates pseudogapping, which, she proposes, is one variety of ellipsis. At the heart of her discussion lies the interaction between focus and deletion. Her analysis - which draws on new research in Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, and Dutch, as well as data from Portuguese, French, and English - provides a novel approach to not only this particular form of ellipsis but to the derivation of ellipsis in general, and has the potential of unifying several elliptical phenomena in generative grammar.
What do we mean when we say things like 'If only we knew what he was up to!' Clearly this is more than just a message, or a question to our addressee. We are expressing simultaneously that we don't know, and also that we wish to know. Several modes of encoding contribute to such modalities of expression: word order, subordinating subjunctions, sentences that are subordinated but nevertheless occur autonomously, and attitudinal discourse adverbs which, far beyond lexical adverbials of modality, allow the speaker and the listener to presuppose full agreement, partial agreement under presupposed conditions, or negotiation of common ground. This state of the art survey proposes a new model of modality, drawing on data from a variety of Germanic and Slavic languages to find out what is cross-linguistically universal about modality, and to argue that it is a constitutive part of human cognition.
This volume provides a comprehensive reference grammar of Gothic, the earliest attested language of the Germanic family (apart from runic inscriptions), dating to the fourth century. The bulk of the extant Gothic corpus is a translation of the Bible, of which only a portion remains, and which has been the focus of most previous works. This book is the first in English to also draw on the recently discovered Bologna fragment and Crimean graffiti, original Gothic texts that provide more insights into the language. Following an overview of the history of the Goths and the origin of the Gothic language, Gary Miller explores all the major topics in Gothic grammar, beginning with the alphabet and phonology, and proceeding through subjects such as case functions, prepositions and particles, compounding, derivation, and verbal and sentential syntax. He also presents a selection of Gothic texts with notes and vocabulary, and ends with a chapter on linearization, including an overview of Gothic in its Germanic context. The Oxford Gothic Grammar will be an invaluable reference for all Indo-Europeanists, Germanic scholars, and historical linguists, from advanced undergraduate level upwards.
This authoritative introduction explores the four main non-transformational syntactic frameworks: Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical-Functional Grammar, Categorial Grammar, and Simpler Syntax. It also considers a range of issues that arise in connection with these approaches, including questions about processing and acquisition. * An authoritative introduction to the main alternatives to transformational grammar * Includes introductions to three long-established non-transformational syntactic frameworks: Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical-Functional Grammar, and Categorial Grammar, along with the recently developed Simpler Syntax * Brings together linguists who have developed and shaped these theories to illustrate the central properties of these frameworks and how they handle some of the main phenomena of syntax * Discusses a range of issues that arise in connection with non-transformational approaches, including processing and acquisition
This book is an introduction to the relationship between the morphosyntactic properties of sentences and their associated illocutionary forces or force potentials. The volume begins with several chapters dedicated to important theoretical and methodological issues, such as sentence and utterance meaning, illocutionary force, clause types, and cross-linguistic comparison. The bulk of the book is then composed of chapter-length case studies that systematically investigate typologically prominent clause types and their forces, such as declaratives and assertions, interrogatives and questions, and imperatives and commands. These case studies begin with an overview of the necessary theoretical foundations, followed by a discussion of the grammatical structures of English, and an assessment of the relevant cross-linguistic facts. Each chapter ends with a succinct summary of the most important findings, practice exercises, and recommendations for further reading and research. Overall, the book works towards developing a gradient model of clause types that goes substantially beyond the traditional distinction between major and minor clause types. It draws on insights from linguistics, philosophy, and sociology, and may be used as a textbook for undergraduate or graduate courses in semantics, pragmatics, and morphosyntax.
This book offers an original account of the dynamics of syntactic change and the evolving structure of Old Spanish that combines rigorous manuscript-based investigation, quantitative analysis and a syntactic approach grounded in Minimalist thinking. Its analysis of both successful and failed changes demonstrates the degree of unpredictability caused by the interaction of competing factors and will shed fresh light on the assumed unidirectionality of linguistic change. Importantly, it reveals that Old Spanish and modern Spanish are more similar to one another than is usually supposed and demonstrates that many of the differences between the two varieties are quantitative rather than qualitative. This theoretically sophisticated examination of historical corpora will provide an invaluable resource for students and scholars of Old and modern Spanish, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics and syntax.
This book explores the boundaries of the category of gender and their theoretical significance within the framework of Canonical Typology. Grammatical gender is a famously puzzling category: although it has been widely explored from a typological perspective, studies are constantly identifying exciting and unexpected patterns in gender systems, many of which cannot be easily classified or straightforwardly analysed. Some of these patterns stretch or even threaten to cross the largely unexplored outer boundaries of the category. In the canonical approach, morphosyntactic features like gender are established in terms of a canonical ideal: the clearest instance of the phenomenon. The canonical ideal is a clustering of properties that serves as a baseline to measure the actual examples observed. In this volume, international experts use this approach to analyse a range of gender systems that diverge from the canonical ideal, and to determine to what extent each component property of these systems can be considered canonical. Chapters explore a wide range of typologically diverse languages from all over the world, from South America to Melanesia, and from Central Italy to Northern Australia. The book will be of interest to all linguists working in the field of typology, from graduate level upwards, as well as to morphologists and syntacticians of all theoretical stripes who have an interest in grammatical gender.
This volume contains selected papers from a symposium on "Internal Reconstruction in Indo-European: Methods, Results and Problems," which formed a subsection of the 16th International Conference on Historical Linguistics held at the University of Copenhagen. Internal reconstruction is what the historical linguist resorts to when the possibilities of more traditional comparative reconstruction have been exhausted. This is certainly the case at the level of the protolanguage. When Proto-Indo-European has been reconstructed on the basis of a painstaking comparative analysis of the entire data field drawing on the full range of extant IE languages, there are, quite often, questions still left unanswered. Comparable methods can be applied to later stages of the language where the immediate prehistory is not accessible or corroboration is wanted. Today, internal reconstruction is routinely applied at all levels of historical linguistic analysis as one of the tools that open up the linguistic
This book explores the results of language contact in Michif, an endangered Canadian language that is traditionally claimed to combine a French noun phrase with a Cree verb phrase, and is hence usually considered a 'mixed' language. Carrie Gillon and Nicole Rosen provide a detailed account of the Michif noun phrase in which they examine issues such as the mass/count distinction, plurality, gender, articles, and demonstratives. Their analysis reveals that while parts of the Michif noun phrase have French lexical sources, and the language has certain features that are borrowed from French, its syntax in fact looks very much like that found in other Algonquian languages. The final chapter of the book discusses the wider implications of these findings: the authors argue that contact does not create a whole new language category and that Michif should instead be considered an Algonquian language with French contact influence; they also extend their analysis to other mixed languages and creoles. The book will be of interest to Algonquian scholars, formal linguists in the fields of syntax, morphology, and semantics, and to all those working on issues of language contact.
Creek (or Muskogee) is a Muskogean language spoken by several thousand members of the Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole nations of Oklahoma and by several hundred members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This volume is the first modern grammar of Creek, compiled by a leading authority on the languages of the southern United States. Intended for scholars, students, and Creek instructors, this reference grammar describes all the major morphological and syntactic patterns in the language. Special attention is given to pitch accent and tone, active agreement, locative prefixes, tense, aspect, and switch reference. The description covers several hundred years of documentation and draws heavily on materials written by Creek speakers. It is likely to be the definitive source on the language for years to come.
Even though the range of phenomena syntactic theories intend to account for is basically the same, the large number of current approaches to syntax shows how differently these phenomena can be interpreted, described, and explained. The goal of the volume is to probe into the question of how exactly these frameworks differ and what if anything they have in common.Descriptions of a sample of current approaches to syntax are presented by their major practitioners (Part I) followed by their metatheoretical underpinnings (Part II). Given that the goal is to facilitate a systematic comparison among the approaches, a checklist of issues was given to the contributors to address. The main headings are Data, Goals, Descriptive Tools, and Criteria for Evaluation. The chapters are structured uniformly allowing an item-by-item survey across the frameworks. The introduction lays out the parameters along which syntactic frameworks must be the same and how they may differ and a final paper draws some conclusions about similarities and differences.The volume is of interest to descriptive linguists, theoreticians of grammar, philosophers of science, and studies of the cognitive science of science.
This volume presents a crosslinguistic survey of the current theoretical debates around copular constructions from a generative perspective. Following an introduction to the main questions surrounding the analysis and categorization of copulas, the chapters address a range of key topics including the existence of more than one copular form in certain languages, the factors determining the presence or absence of a copula, and the morphology of copular forms. The team of expert contributors present new theoretical proposals regarding the formal mechanisms behind the behaviour and patterns observed in copulas in a wide range of typologically diverse languages, including Czech, French, Korean, and languages from the Dene and Bantu families. Their findings have implications beyond the study of copulas and shed more light on issues such as agreement relations, the nature of grammatical categories, and nominal predicates in syntax and semantics.
The Dane C W Smith was one of the first professors of Slavic philology. His Polish Grammar from 1845 was at the time regarded as the best and was a mark of particular interest in the Polish language. As a National Liberal and an advocate of Scandinavia, he sympathised with the oppressed Poles' fight for freedom. The book contains a collection of letters from the correspondence between C W Smith and his Polish friends.
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