e-book On information structure, meaning and form: generalizations across languages

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Subject index. Du kanske gillar. Japanese from Zero! Inbunden Engelska, Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar. This collection of articles offers a new and compelling perspective on the interface connecting syntax, phonology, semantics and pragmatics.

Andrej L. Malchukov

At the core of this volume is the hypothesis that information structure represents the common interface of these grammatical components. Information structure is investigated here from different theoretical viewpoints yielding typologically relevant information and structural generalizations. In the volume's introductory chapter, the editors identify two central approaches to information structure: the formal and the interpretive view. The remainder of the book is organized accordingly. The first part examines information structure and grammar, concentrating on generalizations across languages.

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On information structure, meaning and form: generalizations across languages

New articles by this author. New citations to this author. New articles related to this author's research. Email address for updates. My profile My library Metrics Alerts. Sign in. After reviewing the status of segment categories and their phonetic basis in contemporary phonological theory we present crosslinguistic evidence of pervasive variation in both phonetic realization and phonological distribution patterns, evidence that supports the template construct. In Explaining Language Change , I develop an evolutionary model of language change.

This model is based on the philosopher of science David Hull's generalized analysis of selection, which is abstracted from biological specifics. In this model, I identify the replicators - the central units that evolve - as linguistic structures in utterances; they are replicated every time we open our mouths to speak. The interactors - whose behavior causes replicators to be replicated differentially - as the speakers who choose alternative forms to express meanings in particular social contexts.

Variation is generated by phonetic factors in replication for sound change and functional factors for grammatical change. Selection, that is, differential replication, is driven by social factors. In this paper, this model is outlined and updated, and used to address a number of outstanding issues in historical linguistics, including the role of children in language change, the invisible hand, the use of phylogeny reconstruction algorithms in genetic historical linguistics, the significance of convention and intentional behavior in language change, types of grammatical change, the integration of internal and external factors, the integration of sociohistorical linguistics and 'traditional' historical linguistics, and finally the integration of synchronic and diachronic linguistics.

This chapter describes an evolutionary framework for analyzing language change that integrates functional-typological and variationist sociolinguistic approaches to historical linguistics.


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The model is evolutionary in that it is a theory of how Hull's generalized analysis of selection is to be applied to the processes of language change in contemporary human languages, such as the history of English. As such, the evolutionary framework is not a theory of how the ultimately biological ability for human language evolved, though it has important implications for such a theory.

Nor is it a theory of the relationship between human linguistic prehistory and human biological prehistory, though it implies certain ways to apply biological methods to linguistic problems. Instead, it is a theory of language change that takes as its starting point variation across individual speech events, across speech communities in a society, and across languages. I focus on functional-typological approaches to language and language change and how they are integrated in an evolutionary framework. We present a mathematical formulation of a theory of language change.

The theory is evolutionary in nature and has close analogies with theories of population genetics. The mathematical structure we construct similarly has correspondences with the Fischer-Wright model of population genetics, but there are significant differences.

Kerstin Schwabe and Susanne Winkler - AbeBooks

The continuous time formulation of the model is expressed in terms of a Fokker-Planck equation. This equation is exactly soluble in the case of a single speaker and can be investigated analytically in the case of multiple speakers who communicate equally with all other speakers and give their utterances equal weight. Whilst the stationary properties of this system have much in common with the single-speaker case, time-dependent properties are richer. In the particular case where linguistic forms can become extinct, we find that the presence of many speakers causes a two-stage relaxation, the first being a common marginal distribution that persists for a long time as a consequence of ultimate extinction being due to rare fluctuations.

Fifty years ago, Joseph Greenberg put forward the now widely-accepted classification of African languages. This book charts the progress of his work on language classification in Oceania, the Americas, and Eurasia, in which he proposed the language families Indo-Pacific, Amerind and Eurasiatic. It shows how he established and deployed three fundamental principles: that the most reliable evidence for genetic classification is the pairing of sound and meaning; that nonlinguistic evidence such as skin colour or cultural traits, should be excluded from the analysis; and that the vocabulary and inflections of a very large number of languages should be simultaneously compared.

The volume includes Joseph Greenberg's substantive contributions to the debate his work provoked and concludes with his writings on the links between genetic linguistics and human history. William Croft's introduction focuses on the substance and the development of Professor Greenberg's thought and research within the context of the discussion they stimulated.

He also includes a bibliography of scholarly reactins to and developments of Joseph Greenberg's work and a comprehensive bibliography of his publications in books and journals.

Cognitive linguistics argues that language is governed by general cognitive principles, rather than by a special-purpose language module. This introductory textbook surveys the field of cognitive linguistics as a distinct area of study, presenting its theoretical foundations and the arguments supporting it. Clearly organized and accessibly written, it provides a useful introduction to the relationship between language and cognitive processing in the human brain.

It covers the main topics likely to be encountered in a course or seminar, and provides a synthesis of study and research in this fast-growing field of linguistics. The authors begin by explaining the conceptual structures and cognitive processes governing linguistic representation and behavior, as well as syntactic representation and analysis, focusing on the closely related frameworks of cognitive grammar and construction grammar. This much-needed introduction will be welcomed by students in linguistics and cognitive science. Radical Construction Grammar is a model of construction grammar.

I will take as a starting point the hypotheses of "vanilla [basic] construction grammar" and briefly outline the differences between it and RCG. Vanilla construction grammar makes the following hypotheses about the nature of syntactic representation: i a uniform representation of grammatical structures - constructions - as symbolic units of varying degrees of schematicity and complexity; ii organization of constructions into taxonomic networks a third hypothesis shared by some but not all models is a usage-based approach to grammatical organization.

RCG proposes three further hypotheses about grammatical representation: a constructions are the basic units of representation; grammatical categories are defined in terms of the constructions in which they occur and in terms of semantic maps on conceptual space; b syntactic relations between elements of a construction are unnecessary given the presence of symbolic relations between the elements and the components of the construction's semantic structure; c syntactic constructions do not form discrete language-independent structural types, but vary across languages along dimensions of syntactic space.

For each hypothesis of RCG, logical arguments and a tiny sample of typological arguments in favor will be presented.

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Comparison of the grammars of human languages reveals systematic patterns of variation. Typology and universals research uncovers those patterns, to formulate universal constraints on language and seek their explanation. A comprehensive introduction to the method and theory used in typology-universals research is presented. The theoretical issues raised range from the most fundamental - on what basis can the grammars of diverse languages be compared?

[Introduction to Linguistics] (OLD) Word Order, Grammar, and Phrase Structure Rules

Language universals in phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics are extensively illustrated. The second edition has been thoroughly revised and rewritten, to bring in typological research in the past decade, including new methodologies such as the semantic map model and questions of syntactic argumentation; discussion of current debates over deeper explanations for specific classes of universals, and comparison of the typological and generative approaches to language.

Verbs appear to change their meaning when put into particular constructions. For example, bake means 'bake x and give x to someone' in the ditransitive construction. Two alternative analyses have been proposed: to derive the meaning of bake in the ditransitive construction by a lexical rule, or to have the meaning of bake in the ditransitive construction be predictable from the semantics of the construction. An analysis of the behavior of different verb classes in the ditransitive construction indicates that both analyses are partly right.

The ability to enter the ditransitive construction is verb-class-specific, or even verb-specific, but the meaning of the verb class found in the ditransitive is peculiar to the ditransitive construction and clearly involves a family resemblance to the meaning of other verb classes found in the construction. I argue that the simplest way to capture these facts is to represent verb-class-specific constructions and verb-specific constructions in the grammar of English.

Linguistics and evolutionary biology have substantially diverged until recently.