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A Graph-Theoretic Analysis of Sentence Structure
What is the most descriptively and explanatorily adequate format for syntactic structures and how are they constrained? Different theories of syntax have provided various answers: sets, feature structures, tree diagrams… Building on formal and empirical insights from a wide variety of approaches spanning more than 70 years (including Transformational Grammar, Relational Grammar, Lexical-Functional Grammar, and Tree Adjoining Grammar), this monograph develops a new, mathematically grounded, framework in which objects known as graphs, and the constraints that follow from them, are argued to provide the best characterisation of the system of expressions and relations that make up natural language grammars. This new approach is motivated and exemplified via detailed and formally explicit analyses of major syntactic phenomena in English and Spanish.
The book investigates multiple aspects of the patterning of Determiner Phrases (DP) in Bangla and develops a set of proposals to model the underlying syntactic structure of such elements. A broad aspect of this book is to re-assert the existing argument in the DP literature that DPs appear to share a parallel structure to the clauses. The book in particular shows that the Bangla DP-internal phrasal movements are instances of discourse driven phenomena. This further leads to project a fine structure of nominal left-periphery in the Bangla DP, that has been argued in the background of the cross-linguistic evidence drawn from Gungbe, Greek, Albanian, and Russian languages. The central theoretical discussion of the book primarily revolves around the key conceptual domains of adjective movement, ellipsis, definiteness, and wh-movement in the Bangla DP.
Cerea, madamin, andoma bin? Less than a century ago, this was one of the most frequent greetings heard in Piedmont, a region in northwest Italy. Today, however, Piedmontese is severely endangered.
This volume presents the first widely accessible and comprehensive grammatical description of the contemporary koine, covering its phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics and typology, and drawing examples from both oral and written sources. Data on the history of the language and the local dialects and notes on revitalization efforts are also included.
Animacy influences the grammar of languages in different ways, although it often goes unnoticed. Did you know that in English there is a strong tendency towards using the Saxon genitive ’s with humans instead of the preposition of? Have you ever hear that some Chinantecan languages encode the animate/inanimate distinction in almost every word, and that in Hatam only human nouns distinguish plural number? This book offers for the first time a comprehensive cross-linguistic study of its effects on morphological systems. How do real data fit the theorethical definition of animacy? Do we observe different types of animacy? Which techniques are employed to encode it? Which categories and features are affected, and how? Data from more than 300 languages provide answers to these (and other) questions.
This book offers a comprehensive survey of the agreement phenomena found in written and spoken Arabic. It focuses on both the synchronic description of these agreement systems, and the diachronic question of how they evolved. To answer these questions, large amounts of data have been collected and analysed, ranging from 6th century poetry and Quranic Arabic to the contemporary dialects. The results presented by the authors of this research greatly improve our understanding of Arabic syntax, and challenge some well-established views. Can Arabic be envisioned as possessing more than only two genders? Are some contemporary dialects more similar to the pre-Classical version of the language than MSA is? And is the Standard rule prescribing feminine singular agreement with nonhuman plurals a more recent development than previously thought?
Resultative, End-state, Benefactive, Causative, Monitoring, and Directional
In this book, Eladio Mateo Toledo presents a description and analysis of resultatives, end-states, monitoring constructions, causatives, and directional constructions in the Mayan language Q’anjob’al spoken in the northwest of Guatemala. Although causatives (analyzed as clause union) and directionals (analyzed as serial verbs) have long been studied in Mayan languages, no Mayan language has been shown to have an extensive list of complex predicates. This volume contains the first coherent account of a series of complex predicates in a Mayan language. The book shows that complex predicates in Q’anjob’al use one of two predicative frames, a verb+verb frame or a nonverbal+verb frame, and that only five general parameters explain their formal and semantic properties.
Volume Editors: and
The volume brings together contributions by scholars working in different theoretical frameworks interested in systematic explanation of language change and the interrelation between current linguistic theories and modern analytical tools and methodology; the integrative basis of all work included in the volume is the special focus on phenomena at the interface of semantics and syntax and the implications of corpus-based, quantitative analyses for researching diachrony.
The issues addressed in the 13 papers include the following: explanations of change in the interface of semantics and syntax; universal constraints and principles of language change (e.g., economy, reanalysis, analogy) and the possibility of predicting language change; constructional approaches to change and their relation to corpus-based research; language contact as an explanation of change and approaches to historical bilingualism and language contact, all on the basis of empirical corpus findings; the challenges of creating diachronic corpora and the question of how quantitative linguistics and diachronic corpora inform explanations of language change variation.
The disappearance of the French simple past has been hotly debated since the early 20th century. This volume offers an overview of its fortunes since French emerged as a language, provides a description of its distinctive features, and discusses the potential impact of its supposed demise on the whole French verb system. These assumptions are tested against a large corpus of contemporary texts. The study concludes that, despite the erosion of its meaning and its increasingly infrequent use, the simple past tense is still used by native speakers in various contexts, and no single substitute has yet emerged. Nevertheless, the simple past may be evolving into a stylistic marker, making it fertile ground for future cross-linguistic studies.