In this important and pioneering book Frederick Newmeyer takes on the question of language variety. He considers why some language types are impossible and why some grammatical features are more common than others. The task of trying to explain typological variation among languages has been mainly undertaken by functionally-oriented linguists. Generative grammarians entering the field of typology in the 1980s put forward the idea that cross-linguistic differences could be explained by linguistic parameters within Universal Grammar, whose operation might vary from language to language. Unfortunately, this way of looking at variation turned out to be much less successful than had been hoped for. Professor Newmeyer's alternative to parameters combines leading ideas from functionalist and formalist approaches which in the past have been considered incompatible. He throws fresh light on language typology and variation, and provides new insights into the principles of Universal The book is written in a clear, readable style and will be readily understood by anyone with a couple of years' study of linguistics. It will interest a wide range of scholars and students of language, including typologists, historical linguists, and theorists of every shade.
Direct object omission is a general occurrence, observed in varying degrees across the world's languages. The expression of verbal transitivity in small children begins with the regular use of verbs without their object, even where object omissions are illicit in the ambient language. Grounded in generative grammar and learnability theory, this book presents a comprehensive view of experimental approaches to object acquisition, and is the first to examine how children rely on the lexical, structural and pragmatic components to unravel the system. The results presented lead to the hypothesis that missing objects in child language should not be seen as a deficit but as a continuous process of knowledge integration. The book argues for a new model of how this aspect of grammar is innately represented from birth. Ideal reading for advanced students and researchers in language acquisition and syntactic theory, the book's opening and closing chapters are also suitable for non-specialist readers.
Where is the locus of language variation? In the grammar, outside the grammar or somewhere in between? Taking up the debate between system- and usage-based approaches, this volume provides new discussions of fundamental issues of language variation. It includes several highly insightful theoretical contributions as well as innovative empirical studies considering different types of data, the role of priming in language change and rare phenomena.
The book presents new and stimulating approaches to the study of language evolution and considers their implications for future research. Leading scholars from linguistics, primatology, anthroplogy, and cognitive science consider how language evolution can be understood by means of inference from the study of linked or analogous phenomena in language, animal behaviour, genetics, neurology, culture, and biology. In their introduction the editors show how these approaches can be interrelated and deployed together through their use of comparable forms of inference and the similar conditions they place on the use of evidence. The Evolutionary Emergence of Language will interest everyone concerned with this intriguing and important subject, including those in linguistics, biology, anthropology, archaeology, neurology, and cognitive science.
Reflecting a multitude of developments in the study of language change and variation over the last ten years, this extensively updated second edition features a number of new chapters and remains the authoritative reference volume on a core research area in linguistics. A fully revised and expanded edition of this acclaimed reference work, which has established its reputation based on its unrivalled scope and depth of analysis in this interdisciplinary field Includes seven new chapters, while the remainder have undergone thorough revision and updating to incorporate the latest research and reflect numerous developments in the field Accessibly structured by theme, covering topics including data collection and evaluation, linguistic structure, language and time, language contact, language domains, and social differentiation Brings together an experienced, international editorial and contributor team to provides an unrivalled learning, teaching and reference tool for researchers and students in sociolinguistics
The Routledge Handbook of Phonetics provides a comprehensive and up-to-date compilation of research, history and techniques in phonetics. With contributions from 41 prominent authors from North America, Europe, Australia and Japan, and including over 130 figures to illustrate key points, this handbook covers all the most important areas in the field, including: • the history and scope of techniques used, including speech synthesis, vocal tract imaging techniques, and obtaining information on under-researched languages from language archives; • the physiological bases of speech and hearing, including auditory, articulatory, and neural explanations of hearing, speech, and language processes; • theories and models of speech perception and production related to the processing of consonants, vowels, prosody, tone, and intonation; • linguistic phonetics, with discussions of the phonetics-phonology interface, sound change, second language acquisition, sociophonetics, and second language teaching research; • applications and extensions, including phonetics and gender, clinical phonetics, and forensic phonetics. The Routledge Handbook of Phonetics will be indispensable reading for students and practitioners in the fields of speech, language, linguistics and hearing sciences.
In John McWhorter s Defining Creole anthology of 2005, his collected articles conveyed the following theme: His hypothesis that creole languages are definable not just in the sociohistorical sense, but in the grammatical sense. His publications since the 1990s have argued that all languages of the world that lack a certain three traits together are creoles (i.e. born as pidgins a few hundred years ago and fleshed out into real languages). He also argued that in light of their pidgin birth, such languages are less grammatically complex than others, as the result of their recent birth as pidgins. These two claims have been highly controversial among creolists as well as other linguists. In this volume, Linguistic Simplicityand Complexity, McWhorter gathers articles he has written since then, in the wake of responses from a wide range of creolists and linguists. These articles represent a considerable divergence in direction from his earlier work."
This book develops a minimalist approach to cross-linguistic morphosyntactic variation. Ian Roberts argues that the essential insight of the principles-and-parameters approach to variation can be maintained - albeit in a somewhat different guise - in the context of the minimalist program for linguistic theory. The central idea is to organize the parameters of Universal Grammar (UG) into hierarchies that define the ways in which properties of individually variant categories and features may act in concert. A further leading idea, which is consistent with the overall goal of the minimalist programme to reduce the content of UG, is that the parameter hierarchies are not directly determined by UG, and are instead emergent properties stemming from the interaction of the three factors in language design. Cross-linguistic variation in word order, null subjects, incorporation, verb-movement, case/alignment, wh-movement, and negation are all analyzed in the light of this approach. This book represents a significant new contribution to the formal study of cross-linguistic morphosyntactic variation on both the empirical and theoretical levels, and will appeal to researchers and students in all areas of theoretical linguistics and comparative syntax.
This book presents the first systematic quantitative study of null subjects not only in British English, but also in the contact varieties Indian, Hong Kong and Singapore English. Analysing informal spoken language, it addresses issues relevant for language contact and World Englishes, corpus linguistics and variationist sociolinguistics, linguistic typology and syntax.
This second edition of Ian Roberts's highly successful textbook on diachronic syntax has been fully revised and updated throughout to take account of the multiple developments in the field in the last decade. The book provides a detailed account of how standard questions in historical linguistics - including word order change, grammaticalization, and reanalysis - can be explored in terms of current minimalist theory and Universal Grammar. This new edition offers expanded coverage of a range of topics, including null subjects, the Final-over-Final Condition, the diachrony of wh-movement, the Tolerance Principle, and creoles and creolization, and explores further advances in the theory of parametric variation. Each chapter includes suggestions for further reading, and the book concludes with a comprehensive glossary of key terms. Written by one of the leading scholars in the field, the volume will remain an ideal textbook for students of historical linguistics and a valuable reference for researchers and students in related areas such as syntax, comparative linguistics, language contact, and language acquisition.
Chapters in this volume describe morphology using four different frameworks that have an architectural property in common: they all use defaults as a way of discovering and presenting systematicity in the least systematic component of grammar. These frameworks - Construction Morphology, Network Morphology, Paradigm-function Morphology, and Word Grammar - display key differences in how they constrain the use and scope of defaults, and in the morphological phenomena that they address. An introductory chapter presents an overview of defaults in linguistics and specifically in morphology. In subsequent chapters, key proponents of the four frameworks seek to answer questions about the role of defaults in the lexicon, including: Does a defaults-based account of language have implications for the architecture of the grammar, particularly the proposal that morphology is an autonomous component? How does a default differ from the canonical or prototypical in morphology? Do defaults have a psychological basis? And how do defaults help us understand language as a sign-based system that is flawed, where the one to one association of form and meaning breaks down in the morphology?