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Edited by Dieter Hillert

The innovative element of this volume is its overview of the fundamental psycholinguistic topics involved in sentence processing. While most psycholinguistic studies focus on a single language and induce a general model of universal sentence processing, this volume proposes a cross-linguistic approach. It contains two distinct features first embraced in the 18th century by brothers Freiherr Wilhelm von Humboldt and Alexander von Humboldt. First, it offers a linguistic theory that characterizes universal cognitive features of the human language processor (or the mind and its biological source), independent of a single language structure. Second, it contains a language theory which considers the diversity of linguistic structures and provides a powerful theory of language processing. Contributors cover a wide range of topics, including word recognition, fixed expressions, grammatical constraints, empty categories, and parsing. Their research involves analyses of 12 languages. This book provides an overview of central psycholinguistic topics in sentence processing; and combines deductive and inductive methods in fashioning an innovative approach. The contributors address word recognition, fixed expressions, grammatical constraints, empty categories, and parsing. Its original papers form a coherent presentation.


Edited by Peter Culicover and Louise McNally

The Limits of Syntax is a collection of original, never before published essays. Each essay explores the ways in which greater incorporation of nonsyntactic explanations into linguistic research may deepen our understanding of problematic linguistic phenomena and, at the same time, strengthen syntactic research. To clarify the limits of syntactic explanation, these essayists investigate four areas. The first is a set of general issues related to the theory of grammar and the place of syntax in it. The second set develops an explanation of the power of semantics pragmatics within a syntactic theory. The third addresses the status of syntactic constraints, and the fourth seeks to explain the triggering of movement in the so-called Minimalist Program and its derivational approach to syntactic representations. It seeks to refine the theory of syntax and encourages more adequate characterization of linguistic phenomena. The original papers form a coherent presentation.


Hans van Halteren

This book is about syntactic databases (a.k.a. treebanks), collections of text material in which the syntactic relations have been made visible. It starts off with a general intro-duction to the subject and then continues with three in-depth investigations of more specialized aspects.
In the introduction, syntactic databases are first placed in the larger context of linguistic databases, text collections with a broader linguistic annotation than just a syntactic one. Then some examples of syntactic databases are given, illustrating the range of annotation actually encountered. The introduction is completed with an investigation of database management systems for syntactic databases.
The first in-depth investigation concerns the treatment of ambiguous structures in syntactic analysis trees, focussing on a very efficient representation for such structures and the means to create this representation. Next, classroom use of syntactic databases is examined. A computer program for this purpose, CLUES, is discussed, along with a suggested series of syntax exercises. The final subject is the importance of including function and attribute information in the annotation of texts. The central line of investigation here is a probabilistic parsing experiment in which the use of function and attribute information is the main variable.

From Ælfric to the New York Times

Studies in English Corpus Linguistics


Edited by Udo Fries, Viviane Müller and Peter Schneider

The twenty papers of this volume - published to honour Gunnel Tottie - are of interest to everyone concerned with the study of the English language. The collection is a convincing argument for an approach to language studies based on the analysis of computerized corpora.
Though this is not an introduction to the field but a series of highly specialized studies, readers get a good overview of the work being done at present in English computer corpus studies. English corpus linguistics, though basically concerned with the study of varieties of English, goes far beyond the simple ordering and counting of large numbers of examples but is deeply concerned with linguistic theory - based on real language data.
The volume includes sections on corpora of written and spoken present-day English, historical corpora, contrastive corpora, and on the application of corpus studies to teaching purposes.

Jan Aarts, Inge de Mönnink and Herman Wekker


Rick Derksen

During the past decades Balto-Slavic accentology has become increasingly important for the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European. This study tries to provide an explanation for the phenomenon of metatony in Baltic, i.e. the phenomenon that in certain Baltic forms a morpheme shows the reflex of the Balto-Slavic circumflex intonation where we would expect the reflex of the acute intonation ( métatonie douce) or vice versa (métatonie rude). The subject necessarily involves an inquiry into the origin of the Lithuanian and Latvian tone systems. Furthermore, it requires the assessment of a large number of etymologies. In the final chapter of the book, the developments which are considered to be relevant to the rise of metatony are incorporated into a relative chronology.
The investigation is based on a comprehensive collection of data, including evidence from Lithuanian and Latvian dialects and Old Lithuanian. In comparison with earlier studies on the subject, the Latvian evidence plays an essential role. This book tries to demonstrate that the value of Latvian data for Balto-Slavic accentology has hitherto not been fully recognized.


Anna Cardinaletti

These previously unpublished articles offer a cross-linguistic perspective on small clauses. They discuss subjects such as the different types of small clauses across languages and lexical items, the internal syntax of small clauses and their structure, and the general topic of the grammar of predication, ranging from a total questioning of the existence of small clauses to claims that they exist in every predication context. The editors' cross-linguistic approach addresses syntactic and lexical issues as well as the relationships between small clauses and language acquisition among children. It surveys the problems raised by small clauses in light of recent developments in the principles and parameter model. The data is drawn from Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, and Swedish. The contributions share theoretical assumptions about small clauses. The cross-linguistic comparison offers the potential for defining variable and static elements of small clauses, as well as distinguishing ways that they resemble full clauses.


Peter Schrijver

The languages belonging to the British subgroup of Celtic, i.e. Welsh, Cornish and Breton, have been the subject of thorough research for over a century now. Yet the phonological history of the prehistoric stages of these languages and the details of their connection with the other Celtic and Indo-European languages still present numerous unsolved issues. This volume aims to tackle the most acute problems of the historical phonology of British Celtic. Also it provides an up-to-date reference guide to British historical phonology in general, as well as a study of a large body of etymologies relevant to the correct evaluation of the historical phonology. This volume is of interest for the Celtologist, the Indo-Europeanist and the general historical linguist.


Edited by Ferenc Kiefer and Katalin Kiss

Hungarian syntax has played a vital, albeit much debated role in linguistic theory since the early 1980s. Volume 27 of "Syntax and Semantics" is the result of a project on Hungarian syntax launched in the early 1980s at the Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The volume illuminates relevant and insightful aspects of Hungarian syntax. It assumes the basic theoretical claims and the basic methodology of generative linguistic theory, and shows that descriptive grammar is best approached by posing theoretically interesting questions. It features comprehensive coverage of Hungarian syntax and presents a complete analysis of salient questions and theories. It offers new insights into Hungarian syntax and discusses the important role Hungarian syntax has played in linguistic theory throughout the past decade.


Edited by Tim Stowell and Eric Wehrli

Syntax and the Lexicon is a dynamic investigation into the role of the lexicon in syntactic theory. Twelve chapters, authored by leaders in syntactic theory, provide a detailed yet easily understandable analysis of differing views on the lexicon in the field. Lively debates pepper the volume with interactive dialogue, and volume editors Tim Stowell and Eric Wehrli provide an insightful overview and introduction to lexical theory. It presents an overview of the role of the lexicon in syntactic theory and debates between major practitioners in the field. It discusses the nature of argument and structure and debates the relation of argument nature to constituent structure and binding theory. It examines the role of NP-movement vs. lexical rules in accounting for alternations in grammatical functions.