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Edited by Manuel Sartori, Manuela E.B. Giolfo and Philippe Cassuto

This volume includes the reflections of leading researchers on Arabic and Semitic languages, also understood as systems and representations. The work first deals with Biblical Hebrew, Early Aramaic, Afroasiatic and Semitic. Its core focuses on morpho-syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, rhetoric and logic matters, showing Arabic grammar's place within the system of the sciences of language. In the second part, authors deal with lexical issues, before they explore dialectology. The last stop is a reflection on how Arabic linguistics may prevent the understanding of the Arabs' own grammatical theory and the teaching and learning of Arabic.

Functional Structure in Morphology and the Case of Nonfinite Verbs

Theoretical Issues and the Description of the Danish Verb System

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Peter Juul Nielsen

In this book, Peter Juul Nielsen examines the foundations of morphological theory from a structural-functional perspective on language as a sign system. He offers a framework for the analysis of morpheme relations based on a thorough discussion of syntagmatic and paradigmatic structure, indexical relations, zero as meaningful absence and morphological relations across grammatical categories. It is argued that when paradigmatically related morphological structures have different syntactic functions, the semantics of the paradigmatic opposition consists in the specification of functional potential. The framework is applied in three detailed studies of Danish nonfinite verbs presenting new accounts of their morphological structure, semantic coding and paradigmatic organisation.

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Edgar Onea

In Potential Questions at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface Edgar Onea proposes a novel component for question under discussion based discourse pragmatic theories thereby combining such theories with new ideas from inquisitive semantics. He shows how potential questions account for an entire range of grammatical phenomena. These phenomena include the semantics of indefinite determiners, the meaning contribution of nominal appositives, specificational constructions and non restrictive relative clauses.


This book delivers a comprehensive and empirically rich investigation into the role of questions in natural language interpretation. Drawing on data from German, English, Hungarian and Russian, Edgar Onea's study significantly broadens our understanding of conventional sensitivity to questions through formally rigorous analyses of specificational particles, parentheticals and indefinites. The Potential Questions framework offers a new and exciting perspective on utterance meanings as not just addressing, but also raising questions, with important consequences for integrated analyses of discourse structure and discourse relations. This book is essential reading for anybody interested in the semantics-pragmatics interface.

Judith Tonhauser, The Ohio State University

A Functional Account of Marathi's Voice Phenomena

Passives and Causatives in Marathi

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Prashant Pardeshi

A Functional Account of Marathi's Voice Phenomena offers a comprehensive account of the formal and semantic aspects of the two most prominent voice phenomena in Marathi: the passive and the causative. Previous studies offer many partial insights into various aspects of Marathi’s passives and causatives. However, a comprehensive description of the formal, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of Marathi’s passives and causatives as not been available so far. Attempting to fill this gap, the present monograph offers a description in the functional-typological framework. At the same time it introduces the reader to the rich tradition of grammatical studies in Marathi, which up to now have remained inaccessible to those who are unfamiliar with the language.

Classical Greek Syntax

Wackernagel's Law in Herodotus

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David Goldstein

In Classical Greek Syntax: Wackernagel's Law in Herodotus, David Goldstein offers the first theoretically-informed study of second-position clitics in Ancient Greek and challenges the long-standing belief that Greek word order is ‟free” or beyond the reach of systematic analysis. On the basis of Herodotus’ Histories, he demonstrates that there are in fact systematic correspondences between clause structure and meaning. Crucial to this new model of the Greek clause is Wackernagel’s Law, the generalization that enclitics and postpositives occur in ‟second position,” as these classes of words provide a stable anchor for analyzing sentence structure. The results of this work not only restore word order as an interpretive dimension of Greek texts, but also provide a framework for the investigation of other areas of syntax in Greek, as well as archaic Indo-European more broadly.

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Nerida Jarkey

In Serial Verbs in White Hmong Nerida Jarkey investigates verb serialization, a highly productive grammatical strategy in this dynamic Southeast Asian language in which multiple verbs are simply concatenated within a single clause to depict a single event. The investigation identifies four major types of serial verb construction (SVC) in White Hmong and finds that the key function of all these types is to depict a single event in an elaborate and vivid way, a much-favoured method of description in this language. These findings concerning the nature and function of SVCs in White Hmong contribute to broader discussions on the nature of events as both cognitive and cultural constructs.

Moribund Germanic Heritage Languages in North America

Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Findings

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Edited by B. Richard Page and Michael T. Putnam

The contributions in Moribund Germanic Heritage Languages in North America advance the ever-expanding research program in formal and theoretical treatments of heritage language grammars through in-depth empirical investigations. The core focus on moribund varieties of heritage Germanic languages extends beyond the exploration of the individual heritage language grammars and contributes to larger discussions in the field of Germanic linguistics.

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Edited by Marilyn Manley and Antje Muntendam

Quechua Expressions of Stance and Deixis explores the semantics and pragmatics of Southern Quechua and Ecuadorian Quichua expressions, considered as markers of stance and deixis. This volume is the first to study a broad range of stance/deictic phenomena in Peruvian and Bolivian Quechua and Ecuadorian Quichua in-depth, with examples that have been elicited as well as captured from natural discourse. Each chapter investigates these expressions through fieldwork and experimental studies, many employing original methodologies. As such, this work stands as an important contribution to the study of an endangered language.

Multiple Object Constructions in P’orhépecha

Argument Realization and Valence-Affecting Morphology

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Alejandra Capistrán

In Multiple Object Constructions in P’orhépecha, Capistrán offers a detailed description of double and triple object clauses in P’orhépecha, a Mesoamerican isolate with a case system lacking an accusative-dative distinction. Regarding argument realization, Capistrán discusses alternating constructions and a construction split triggered by the person hierarchy. Valence-affecting operations—applicative, causative/instrumental and part-whole lexical suffixes—are examined, highlighting the person features of applicative suffixes and the complex part-whole morphology. Capistrán’s analysis demonstrates that in P’orhépecha most object coding properties show a neutral pattern, while all behavioral properties present asymmetries that shape a secundative pattern or PO/SO alignment. Capistrán argues that the strong tendency in P’orhépecha to determine PO selection according to a thematic ranking helps explain the (un)grammaticality of tritransitive constructions.

The Verb and the Paragraph in Biblical Hebrew

A Cognitive-Linguistic Approach

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Elizabeth Robar

"Research on the function and semantics of the verbal system in Hebrew (and Semitics in general) has been in constant ferment since McFall’s 1982 work The Enigma of the Hebrew Verbal System. Elizabeth Robar's analysis provides the best solution to this point, combining cognitive linguistics, cross-linguistics, diachronic and synchronic analysis. Her solution is brilliant, innovative, and supremely satisfying in interpreting all the data with great explanatory power. Let us hope this research will be quickly implemented in grammars of Hebrew."

Peter J. Gentry, Donald L. Williams Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY.

In The Verb and the Paragraph in Biblical Hebrew, Elizabeth Robar employs cognitive linguistics to unravel the notorious grammatical quandary in biblical Hebrew: explaining the waw consecutive, as well as other poorly understood verbal forms (e.g. with paragogic suffixes).

She explains that languages must communicate the shape of thought units: including the prototypical paragraph, with its beginning, middle and ending; and its message. She demonstrates how the waw consecutive is both simpler and more nuanced than often argued. It neither foregrounds nor is a preterite, but it enables highly embedded textual structures. She also shows how allegedly anomalous forms may be used for thematic purposes, guiding the reader to the author’s intended interpretation for the text as it stands.