Describing Morphosyntax

Describing Morphosyntax : A Guide for Field Linguists

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Current estimates are that around 3,000 of the 6,000 languages now spoken may become extinct during the next century. Some 4,000 of these existing languages have never been described, or described only inadequately. This book is a guide for linguistic fieldworkers who wish to write a description of the morphology and syntax of one of these many under-documented languages. It uses examples from many languages both well known and virtually unknown; it offers readers one possible outline for a grammatical description, with many questions designed to help them address the key topics. The appendices offer guidance on text and elicited data, and on sample reference grammars which readers might wish to consult.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 17 tables 67 exercises
  • 1139927442
  • 9781139927444

Review quote

"...a comprehensive field researcher's guide to the description of undocumented & near extinct languages." T. Rosenberg, LLBA "I would rate this book highly as an important part of a practical strategy for writing the description of the morphosyntax of a field language." Austin Hale, Notes on Linguistics "...Describing Morphosyntax is an excellent guide not only for field linguists but also for all linguists who are interested in fascinating aspects of grammar." Word
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Table of contents

Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Demographic and ethnographic information; 2. Morphological typology; 3. Grammatical categories; 4. Constituent order typology; 5. Noun and noun-phrase operations; 6. Predicate nominals and related constructions; 7. Grammatical relations; 8. Voice and valence adjusting operations; 9. Other verb and veb-phrase operations; 10. Pragmatically marked structures; 11. Clause combinations; 12. Conclusions: the language in use; Appendices; References; Index of languages, language families, and language areas; Subject index.
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