Possessives in English: An Exploration in Cognitive Grammar

Overview

The possessive morpheme in English occurs in a variety of constructions - prenominal possessives (the man's hat, the plane's arrival), postnominal possessives (a friend of mine), -ing nominalizations (without my saying so), and possessive compounds (a girls' school). What does this morpheme actually mean, what is its syntactic category, what is its semantic contribution to the expressions in which it occurs, and how can various restrictions on its use be accounted for? Dr Taylor proposes a unitary account of the ...
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Overview

The possessive morpheme in English occurs in a variety of constructions - prenominal possessives (the man's hat, the plane's arrival), postnominal possessives (a friend of mine), -ing nominalizations (without my saying so), and possessive compounds (a girls' school). What does this morpheme actually mean, what is its syntactic category, what is its semantic contribution to the expressions in which it occurs, and how can various restrictions on its use be accounted for? Dr Taylor proposes a unitary account of the possessive morpheme. He takes as his theoretical framework Cognitive Grammar, as developed over the past 15 years by Ronald Langacker and others. In the earlier chapters of the book he introduces and motivates the conceptual apparatus of the theory, and in later chapters he develops a coherent account of the full range of possessive constructions in English. A special feature of the book is that it offers a wide-ranging critique of both traditional and more recent accounts of possessive expressions. Focusing particularly on Government and Binding theory, the author highlights the profound conceptual differences underlying the two theoretical approaches represented by GB and Cognitive Grammar, while also observing some points of convergence between them.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Possessives in English by John R.Traylor is a significant contribution to the study of the English possessive and seems destined to become one of the keystone texts for theory and research in cognitive grammar."-Chaoqun Xie, Fujian Teachers University, China
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198299820
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Otago
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Table of Contents

1. Preliminaries
2. Theoretical Orientation
3. Some Basic Notions of Cognitive Grammar
4. Syntax in Cognitive Grammar
5. The Constituent Structure of Prenominal Possessives
6. Prenominal Possessives: Some Generative Approaches
7. Specificity and Definiteness of Prenominal Possessives
8. Possessors as Topics
9. The Cue Validity of the Possessor
10. Ing-nominalizations
11. Possessive Compounds
12. Other Possessive Constructions
13. Possession

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