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Language Universals and Linguistic Typology : Syntax and Morphology (2ND 89 Edition)


Language Universals and Linguistic Typology : Syntax and Morphology (2ND 89 Edition) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Since its first publication, Language Universals and Linguistic Typology has become established as the leading introductory account of one of the most productive areas of linguistics—the analysis, comparison, and classification of the common features and forms of the organization of languages. Adopting an approach to the subject pioneered by Greenberg and others, Bernard Comrie is particularly concerned with syntactico-semantic universals, devoting chapters to word order, case making, relative clauses, and causative constructions. His book is informed throughout by the conviction that an exemplary account of universal properties of human language cannot restrict itself to purely formal aspects, nor focus on analysis of a single language. Rather, it must also consider language use, relate formal properties to testable claims about cognition and cognitive development, and treat data from a wide range of languages. This second edition has been revised and updated to take full account of new research in universals and typology in the past decade, and more generally to consider how the approach advocated here relates to recent advances in generative grammatical theory.

Book News Annotation:

Here, Comrie (linguistics, U. of Southern Cal.) is particularly concerned with syntactico-semantic universals, devoting chapters to word order, case marking, relative clauses, and causative constructions. This second edition takes full account of new research into generative grammatical theory. Acidic paper.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)


Includes bibliographical references (p. [236]-245) and indexes.

About the Author

Bernard Comrie is chair of the department of linguistics at the University of Southern California. He is the author of many publications including Aspect and Tense, and is editor of Studies in Language.

Table of Contents

Preface to the second edition

Preface to the first edition

Preface to the second printing

I. Language Universals

1.1. Approaches to Language Universals

1.1.1. Two major approaches

1.1.2. The data base

1.1.3. Degrees of abstractness

1.2. Classification of Language Universals

1.2.1. Formal and substantive universals

1.2.2. Implicational and non-implicational universals

1.2.3. Absolute universals and tendencies

1.3. Explanations for Language Universals

1.3.1. Common genetic origin

1.3.2. External explanations

1.4. Summary

Notes and references

2. Language Typology

2.1. Typology and Universals

2.2. Typological Parameters

2.3. Morphological Typology

2.4. Some Further Typological Parameters

Notes and references

3. Theoretical Prerequisites

3.1. Semantic Roles

3.2. Pragmatic Roles

3.3. Grammatical Relations

3.4. Morphological Cases

3.5. Illustration: English and Russian Clause Structure

Notes and references

4. Word Order

4.1. Word Order Parameters

4.2. Correlations Among Word Order Parameters

4.2.1. Greenberg's correlations

4.2.2. Generalizations of Greenberg's results

4.2.3. Critique of the generalizations

4.3. The Value of Word Order Typology

Notes and references

5. Subject

5.1. The Problem

5.2. On Definitions and Categories

5.3. Ergativity

5.4. Semantic and Pragmatic Factors

Notes and references

6. Case Marking

6.1. The Discriminatory Function of Cases

6.2. Natural Information Flow in the Transitive Construction

6.2.1. Inverse forms

6.2.2. Differential marking of A and P

6.3. Summary

Notes and References

7. Relative Clauses

7.1. Some Typological Characteristics of English Relative Clauses

7.2. Types of Relative Clause

7.2.1. Defining the notion relative clause

7.2.2. Word order and relative clause types

7.2.3. The role of the head in the relative clause

7.2.4. The role of the head in the main clause

7.3. Accessibility to Relative Clause Formation

7.3.1. Simplex sentences

7.3.2. Complex constructions

7.3.3. The distribution of relative clause types

Notes and references

8. Causative Constructions

8.1. Parameters in the Study of Causative Constructions

8.1.1. Formal parameters

8.1.2. Semantic parameters

8.2. Valency Changes in Morphological Causatives

Notes and references

9. Animacy

9.1. Introduction: The Nature of Animacy

9.2. Phenomena Controlled by Animacy

9.3. Conceptual Animacy Distinctions

9.4. Conclusions: The Nature of Animacy

Notes and references

10. Typological and Historical Linguistics

10.1. Diachronic Dimensions in Universals and Typology

10.2. Areal Typology

10.3. Typology and Reconstruction

10.3.1. Word order typology

10.3.2. Word order and morpheme order

10.4. Typology and Diachronic Explanation

Notes and references

11. Conclusions and Prospects

Map showing location of languages cited


Index of languages

Index of proper names

Index of topics

Product Details

Comrie, Bernard
University of Chicago Press
Chicago :
Grammar, Comparative and general
Historical linguistics
Universals (linguistics)
General Language Arts & Disciplines
Reference-Words Phrases and Language
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
no. 449-S
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9.03x5.98x.72 in. .80 lbs.
Age Level:
General Language Arts & Disciplines

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Linguistics
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
Reference » Words Phrases and Language

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