Linguistic Diversity and Language Theories

Linguistic Diversity and Language Theories

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From the refinement of general methodology, to new insights of synchronic and diachronic universals, to studies of specific phenomena, this collection demonstrates the crucial role that language data play in the evolution of useful, accurate linguistic theories. Issues addressed include the determination of meaning in typological studies; a refined understanding of diachronic processes by including intentional, social, statistical, and level-determined phenomena; the reconsideration of categories such as sentence, evidential or adposition, and structures such as compounds or polysynthesis; the tension between formal simplicity and functional clarity; the inclusion of unusual systems in theoretical debates; and fresh approaches to Chinese classifiers, possession in Oceanic languages, and English aspect. This is a careful selection of papers presented at the International Symposium on Linguistic Diversity and Language Theories in Boulder, Colorado. The purpose of the Symposium was to confront fundamental issues in language structure and change with the rich variation of forms and functions observed across more

Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 157.48 x 241.3 x 35.56mm | 725.74g
  • John Benjamins Publishing Co
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1588115771
  • 9781588115775

Table of contents

1. Introduction (by Frajzyngier, Zygmunt); 2. What are we typologists doing? (by Lazard, Gilbert); 3. The canonical approach in typology* (by Corbett, Greville G.); 4. What is an empirical theory of linguistic meaning a theory of? (by Raccah, Pierre-Yves); 5. Language processes, theory and description of language change, and building on the past: Lessons from Songhay (by Nicolai, Robert); 6. On the part played by human conscious choice in language structure and language evolution (by Hagege, Claude); 7. The challenge of polygrammaticalization for linguistic theory: Fractal grammar and transcategorical functioning (by Robert, Stephane); 8. On discourse frequency, grammar, and grammaticalization (by Pustet, Regina); 9. On the assumption of the sentence as the basic unit of syntactic structure (by Mithun, Marianne); 10. Adpositions as a non-universal category (by DeLancey, Scott); 11. Understanding antigemination (by Blevins, Juliette); 12. What it means to be rare: The variability of person marking (by Cysouw, Michael); 13. The principle of Functional Transparency in language structure and in language evolution (by Frajzyngier, Zygmunt); 14. The importance of discourse analysis for linguistic theory: A Mandarin Chinese Illustration (by Tao, Liang); 15. Compounding theories and linguistic diversity (by Soegaard, Anders); 16. Inalienability and possessum individuation* (by Lichtenberk, Frantisek); 17. Resultativeness in English: A sign-oriented approach (by Gorlach, Marina); 18. Encoding speaker perspective: Evidentials (by Haan, Ferdinand de); 19. Distinguishing between referential and grammatical function in morphological typology (by Vajda, Edward J.); 20. Indexshow more