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Edited by Jeffrey Runner

While experimental data collection has been common in psycholinguistics for some time, only relatively recently have experimental methods been employed to collect data for research in formal linguistics. Experimental methods can be particularly useful for investigating phenomena at the interfaces of the components of grammar, where the sources of multiple types of information need to be carefully controlled. Experiments at the Interfaces, edited by Jeffrey T. Runner from the University of Rochester, brings together recent experimental research examining a variety of issues within syntax and semantics, and their interfaces with each other and with other domains of language. The volume showcases a wide range of experimental methods and illustrates how they can be applied to critical questions relevant to formal linguistics.

Contributors are: Sergey Avrutin, Molly Diesing, Sam Featherston, Micah B. Goldwater, Martin Hackl, Justin Halberda, Edwin Howard, Tim Hunter,
Arnout W. Koornneef, Hadas Kotek, Ellen F. Lau, Jeffrey Lidz, Darko Odic, Colin Phillips, Paul Pietroski, Eric Reuland, Jeffrey T. Runner,
Yasutada Sudo, Klaus von Heusinger, Matthew W. Wagers, Hanna Weiland, Frank Wijnen, Draga Zec.


Edited by Giuliano Lancioni and Lidia Bettini

This is the first monograph-length volume entirely devoted to the theoretical and empirical issues raised by the definition of ‘word’ and related concepts in Arabic, both at the historical and synchronic level. Some of the best-known scholars in the field of Arabic linguistics debate such issues as the technical definition of words and morphemes in the Arabic grammatical and rhetorical traditions, the theoretical status of the root and its interactions with morphology, the analysis of word in the computer treatment of Arabic texts, some relevant phenomena in the contact of Arabic with other languages. The result is a fresh portrait of some of the most interesting research currently under way in Arabic linguistics from different theoretical and methodological viewpoints.

Word-Class Flexibility in Classical Chinese

Verbal and Adverbial Uses of Nouns


Lukas Zadrapa

The apparent flexibility of words in Classical Chinese with respect to traditional word classes has always posed a problem in the description of this language and has caused much misunderstanding. Moreover, it has been long understudied, along with the closely related theory of Classical Chinese word classes. This work seeks to summarize previous research on this issue, re-orientate the discourse and construe a new interpretative paradigm that would lead to a more complex and realistic view. It is principally based on a multi-disciplinary approach and supported by the theoretical framework of cognitive linguistics. The study deals with the very conception of word classes, but its focus lies in the analysis of verbal and adverbial functions of nouns.

Multi-verb Constructions

A View from the Americas


Edited by Alexandra Aikhenvald and Pieter Muysken

One of the most complex topics in the study of the indigenous languages of the Americas, and indeed in the study of any language set, is the complex behaviour of multi-verb constructions. In many languages, several verbs can co-occur in a sentence, forming a single predicate. This book contains a first survey of such constructions in languages of North, Middle, and South America. Though it is not a systematic typological survey, the combined insights from the various chapters give a very rich perspective on this phenomenon, involving a host of typologically diverse constructions, including serial verb constructions, auxiliaries, co-verbs, phasal verbs, incorporated verbs, etc. Aikhenvald's long introduction puts the chapters into a single perspective.

Accent Matters

Papers on Balto-Slavic accentology


Edited by Tijmen Pronk and Rick Derksen

The accentual systems of the Baltic and Slavic languages continue to intrigue scholars of general and historical linguistics. They play an important role in the reconstruction of the linguistic ancestor of Baltic and Slavic, but also in the typological study of accentual systems. This volume contains contributions related to the accentology of the Baltic and Slavic languages by leading scholars in the field. They discuss the accentual systems that are attested in Baltic and Slavic dialects and texts, and the historical developments that led to these systems. The volume further contains contributions on similar accentual systems and developments in other languages, such as Abkhaz and the Mordvinian languages. A number of papers also deal with the role of the Balto-Slavic accents in the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European. The volume reflects the progress that has been made in the field of Baltic and Slavic accentuation during the last decades. It forms a major source for anyone interested in the latest developments and insights in the study of accentuation.

The Proto-Germanic n-stems

A study in diachronic morphophonology


Guus Kroonen

The n-stems are an intriguing part of Proto-Germanic morphology. Unlike any other noun class, the n-stems have roots that are characterized by systematic consonant and vowel alternations across the different Germanic dialects. This monograph represents a diachronic investigation of this root variation. It traces back the Germanic n-stems to their Indo-European origin, and clarifies their formal characteristics by an interaction of sound law and analogy. This book therefore is not just an attempt to account for the typology of the Germanic n-stems, but also a case study of the impact that sound change may have on the evolution of morphology and derivation.


Alastair Butler

The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies argues that constraints of interaction from semantic evaluations enforce grammatical dependency patterns that recur across natural languages and within constructions at intra and inter sentential levels as well as discourse levels. The book develops along three lines. Firstly, a handle is gained on why languages are structured around localities, with localities functioning as actions of 'reset' to permit the reuse of grammatical resources that maintain a fixed semantic contribution. Secondly, sensitivity is brought to the linear and hierarchical placement of scope information to capture ordering effects like accessibility, crossover and intervention. Thirdly, an interestingly different perspective is reached on what it means to be grammatical: rather than being a destructive feature that bans or filters out bad structure, grammaticality takes on a role of constructive guidance that keeps languages to what are generally unambiguous canonical forms that moreover guarantee required dependencies. The book will be of interest to advanced undergraduate students, post-graduate and research students and all researchers in the formal analysis of the syntax, semantics and pragmatics of natural language.


Kaoru Kiyosawa and Donna Gerdts

This book offers a comprehensive view of the morphology, syntax, and semantics of applicatives in Salish, a language family of northwestern North America. Applicative constructions, found in many polysynthetic languages, cast a semantically peripheral noun phrase as direct object. Drawing upon primary and secondary data from twenty Salish languages, the authors catalog the relationship between the form and function of seventeen applicative suffixes. The semantic role of the associated noun phrase and the verb class of the base are crucial factors in differentiating applicatives. Salish languages have two types of applicatives: relationals are formed on intransitive bases and redirectives on transitive ones. The historical development and discourse function of Salish applicatives are elucidated and placed in typological perspective.

Time, Tense and Aspect in Early Vedic Grammar

Exploring Inflectional Semantics in the Rigveda


Eystein Dahl

This book takes a fresh look at the relationship between aspect, tense and mood in Early Vedic, the language of the Rigveda. Although numerous studies have examined the functional range of individual verbal categories in this language, this work is the first attempt to approach this problem from an overall, systemic perspective. With insights from formal semantics and linguistic typology, the author demonstrates that aspect represents a grammatically relevant semantic dimension on a par with tense in the Early Vedic verbal system, thereby indicating that the language has preserved an aspectual opposition similar to the one found in Homeric Greek. Apart from these general findings, the book provides a theoretical framework designed for exploring inflectional semantics in dead languages.


Daniel Petit

The Baltic languages (Lithuanian, Latvian, Old Prussian) are well known for their archaic structure, but their contribution to Indo-European linguistics has hitherto often been underestimated. The aim of this book is to give a thorough survey of some of the major issues of Baltic linguistics. It consists of five chapters, devoted, respectively, to the problems of Baltic dialectology, to the development of the Baltic accentual system, to the fate of the neuter gender in Baltic, to the reconstruction of the Baltic verbal system and, finally, to the syntax of clitic forms in Baltic.