The Semantics of Clause Linking

The Semantics of Clause Linking : A Cross-Linguistic Typology

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This book is a cross-linguistic examination of the different grammatical means languages employ to represent a general set of semantic relations between clauses. The investigations focus on ways of combining clauses other than through relative and complement clause constructions. These span a number of types of semantic linking. Three, for example, describe varieties of consequence - cause, result, and purpose - which may be illustrated in English by, respectively: Because Johnhas been studying German for years, he speaks it well; John has been studying German for years, thus he speaks it well; and John has been studying German for years, in order that he should speak it well. Syntactic descriptions of languages provide a grammatical analysis of clause types. The chapters inthis book add the further dimension of semantics, generally in the form of focal and supporting clauses, the former referring to the central activity or state of the biclausal linking; and the latter to the clause attached to it. The supporting clause may set out the temporal milieu for the focal clause or specify a condition or presupposition for it or a preliminary statement of it, as in Although John has been studying German for years (the supporting clause), he does not speakit well (the focal clause). Professor Dixon's extensive opening discussion is followed by fourteen case studies of languages ranging from Korean and Kham to Iquito and Ojibwe. The book's concluding synthesis is provided by Professor Aikhenvald.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0191569909
  • 9780191569906

About Robert M. W Dixon

R. M. W. Dixon was co-founder of the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology. He has published grammars of a number of Australian languages (including Dyirbal and Yidi ), in addition to A Grammar of Boumaa Fijian (University of Chicago Press, 1988), The Jarawara Language of Southern Amazonia (OUP, 2004) and A Semantic Approach to English Grammar (OUP, 2005). His works on typological theory include Where Have all the Adjectives Gone? and other Essays in Semantics and Syntax (Mouton, 1982) and Ergativity (CUP, 1994). The Rise and Fall of Languages (CUP, 1997) expounded a punctuated equilibrium model for language development; this is the basis for his detailed case study Australian Languages: their Nature and Development (CUP, 2002). The first two volumes of his magisterial work, Basic Linguistic Theory, are due to be published by OUP in 2009. Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald was co-founder of the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology. She has worked on descriptive and historical aspects of Berber languages and has published, in Russian, a grammar of Modern Hebrew (1990). She is a major authority on languages of the Arawak family, from northern Amazonia, and has written grammars of Bare (1995, based on work with the last speaker who has since died), and Warekena (1998), plus A Grammar of Tariana, from Northwest Amazonia (CUP, 2003; paperback 2007), in addition to essays on various typological and areal features of South American languages. Her lengthy grammar, The Manambu Language from East Sepik, Papua New Guinea was published by Oxford University Press in 2008. Other monographs with OUP are Classifiers: a Typology of Noun Categorization Devices (2000, paperback 2003), Language Contact in Amazonia (2002), Evidentiality (2004, paperback 2006), and Imperatives and Commands (due in 2009).show more