Language Universals and Variation

Overview

Issues addressed in this contributed volume include lexical semantics, morphosyntax, and phonology based on the broad theme of formal approaches to language universals and variation. Aspects of natural language variation are investigated from a formal theoretical perspective, including the Principles and Parameters/Minimalist Program, Lexical Functional Grammar and Optimality Theory. A wide range of languages and language families are considered, including Amharic, Arabic, Bantu, Berber, Chamorro, English, ...

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Overview

Issues addressed in this contributed volume include lexical semantics, morphosyntax, and phonology based on the broad theme of formal approaches to language universals and variation. Aspects of natural language variation are investigated from a formal theoretical perspective, including the Principles and Parameters/Minimalist Program, Lexical Functional Grammar and Optimality Theory. A wide range of languages and language families are considered, including Amharic, Arabic, Bantu, Berber, Chamorro, English, French, Japanese, Malyalam, Polish, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, and Warlpiri.

This is an important addition to the growing body of literature on language universals and variation from formal theoretical perspectives. It will be a useful reference to linguistics specialists and other cognitive scientists. The topics covered are also diverse, ranging from pronominal clitic variation in dialects of Spanish to passives in Bantu and Polish and the typology of Wh-in-situ questions and vowel place constraints.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Specialists in the several areas of linguists from Australia, North America, and Japan apply formal approaches to universals and variations across natural languages. They address a minimalist program of principles and parameters, lexical functional grammar, and optimality theory. Readers are expected to be familiar with the basic frameworks. Among the topics are ingestive predicates as a case of quirky alternatives to transitivity, syntactic constraints in a free- word-order language, and vowel place contrasts. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275976835
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

MENGISTU AMBERBER is a lecturer in linguistics at the School of Modern Language Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

PETER COLLINS is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Head of the Linguistics Department at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
1 Quirky Alternations of Transitivity: The Case of Ingestive Predicates 1
Ingestives in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective 4
Ingestives and Ambitransitivity 10
Ingestives as Three-Place Predicates 12
2 Explaining Clitic Variation in Spanish 21
Overview of the Third Person Clitic Paradigm in Spanish 22
Overview of the Etymological and the Referential Dialects 22
Accounting for the Etymological Dialect and Referential A Dialects 25
Contact Dialects 28
3 Slavic Passives, Bantu Passives, and Human Cognition 41
A Framework 42
Slavic 45
Bantu 49
Small Clauses 54
Prototypicality 56
4 The Split VP Hypothesis: Evidence from Language Acquisition 61
The Split VP Hypothesis 63
Preverbal Objects 67
A Split VP Account 71
Further Prediction 74
Clausal Architecture 75
5 Syntactic Constraints in a "Free Word Order" Language 83
Composition of Warlpiri AUX 86
Syntactic Constraints on the Position of AUX 92
Negative AUX 112
A Comparative Overview 117
6 On the Range and Variety of Cases Assigned by Adpositions 131
Type I--Languages with One (Main) Adpositional Case 132
Type II--Languages with More Than One Adpositional Case 143
Toward a Minimalist Account of Adpositional Case 150
7 Optimality and Three Western Austronesian Case Systems 155
Background: Case System Typology, Optimality and Austronesian 156
Three Western Austronesian Case Systems in OT 160
8 Affixes, Clitics, and Bantu Morphosyntax 185
Morpholexical versus Morphosyntactic Processes 186
Verbal Suffixation 188
Verbal Prefixation 192
Affixes versus Clitics 193
Clitics and Inflectional Morphology 194
On the Architecture of Universal Grammar 197
Acquired Language Deficit 199
Language Change 201
Language Acquisition 202
Parsing Strategies for Bantu 204
9 Two Types of Wh-In-Situ 211
Lexical Properties 213
Syntactic Properties 215
Toward a Nonunitary Account 219
Null Operator Movement as Feature Movement 225
10 Vowel Place Contrasts 239
Evidence for Peripheral 241
The Phonetic Realization of Peripheral Vowels 260
Conclusions and Consequences 263
Author Index 271
Index of Languages and Language Families 273
Subject Index 275
About the Editors and Contributors 279
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