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Language and Reality

On an Episode in Indian Thought

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Johannes Bronkhorst

For a number of centuries Indian philosophers of all persuasions were convinced that there was a particularly close connection between language and reality, also, or even primarily, between sentences and the situations they describe. This shared conviction was responsible for a perceived problem. Different currents in Indian philosophy can be understood as different attempts to solve this problem; these include the satkāryavāda of the Sāṃkhyas, the anekāntavāda of the Jainas, the śūnyavāda of the Buddhists, and many others. By bringing to light the shared problem underlying almost all schools of Indian philosophy, this book shows the interconnectedness of currents that had hitherto been thought of as quite independent of each other.

The Language of the Sangleys

A Chinese Vernacular in Missionary Sources of the Seventeenth Century

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Henning Klöter

Handwritten in the seventeenth century, the Arte de la lengua chio chiu is the oldest extant grammar of the Chinese vernacular known as Southern Min or Hokkien, and a spectacular source text for present-day linguistics. Its author, a Spanish Dominican missionary, worked among the Chinese settlers in Manila or “Sangleys”. The first part of The Language of the Sangleys is an in-depth analysis of the Arte in its historical, social and linguistic contexts. The second part offers an annotated transcript and translation of the Arte, including facsimiles of the original manuscript, making this study eminently fit for classroom use. Combining sophisticated theory and method with meticulous philology, The Language of the Sangleys presents a fascinating, new chapter in the history of Chinese and general linguistics.

The Proto-Germanic n-stems

A study in diachronic morphophonology

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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.

Die Physiognomie der Tiere

Von der Poetik der Fauna zur Kenntnis des Menschen

Dietmar Schmidt and Dietmar Schmidt

Fragen nach den Tieren – nach ihrem Verhältnis zum Menschen, ihrem Status innerhalb der Kulturen, ihren symbolischen Besetzungen – sind in jüngster Zeit verstärkt ins Blickfeld von Literatur, Kunst und Wissenschaft gerückt. Gründe für diese Aufmerksamkeit sind nicht zuletzt in dem sich wandelnden Verhältnis zwischen dem Wissen über Tiere und ihrer Sichtbarkeit zu suchen.
Physiognomik impliziert gewöhnlich das menschliche Gesicht. Seit der Antike wurde aber die Physiognomie von Menschen stets über ihre Ähnlichkeiten mit Tieren begriffen. Die tierisch-menschlichen Ähnlichkeiten bildeten die grundlegenden Codes physiognomischer Menschenkenntnis. Immer dort, wo ungesichertes Wissen von Menschen und von menschlichen Abweichungen im Spiel ist, werden Darstellungen tierischer Physiognomie virulent.

Les modalités en français

La validation des représentations

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Laurent Gosselin

Le langage permet de communiquer des représentations, mais toujours énoncées selon un mode de validation/invalidation particulier, comme nécessaires, possibles, probables, douteuses, souhaitables, regrettables, obligatoires, redoutées, etc. Ce sont là les modalités linguistiques (au sens large). Elles sont exprimées par des marqueurs grammaticaux, des constructions syntaxiques, par l’ensemble des lexèmes, qui sont porteurs de divers types d’évaluations ; ou elles sont inférées sur la base de connaissances encyclopédiques et/ou discursives.
Cet ouvrage présente une théorie générale des modalités, appliquée au français moderne, sous la forme d’un système de règles. Dans ce cadre, sont proposées des solutions nouvelles pour résoudre des problèmes classiques de philosophie du langage (sémantique de croire/savoir, opacité référentielle, etc.) et de grammaire française (valeur de la négation, de l’interrogation, emploi du subjonctif, etc.).
Quoique le point de vue soit proprement linguistique, les relations avec les domaines connexes (pragmatique, sémiotique, rhétorique, analyse des discours, philosophie du langage, logique …) sont systématiquement précisées, dans le but d’éclairer cette dimension essentielle du jugement que constitue la validation des représentations.

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Robin D. Rollinger

One of the most important students of Franz Brentano was Anton Marty, who made it his task to develop a philosophy of language on the basis of Brentano’s analysis of mind. It is most unfortunate that Marty does not receive the attention he deserves, primarily due to his detailed and distracting polemics. In the analysis presented here his philosophy of language and other aspects of his thought, such as his ontology (which ultimately diverges from Brentano’s), are examined first and foremost in their positive rather than critical character. The analysis is moreover supplemented by translations of four important works by Marty, including his entire work On the Origin of Language. These are in fact the first English translations of any substantial writings by him. The resulting picture that emerges from the analysis and translations is that Marty has much to say that proves to be of enduring interest for the philosophy of language on a range of topics, especially the meanings of statements, of emotive expressions, and of names as regards both their communicative and their ontological aspects. The volume will be of interest not only to philosophers and historians of philosophy, but also to historians of linguistics and psychology.

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Amal Marogy

This book presents a comprehensive portrait of the Kitāb Sībawayhi. It offers new insights into its historical and linguistic arguments and underlines their strong correlation. The decisive historical argument highlights al-Ḥīra’s role, not only as the centre of pre-Islamic Arabic culture, but also as the matrix within which early Arab linguistics grew and developed. The Kitāb’s value as a communicative grammar forms the crux of the linguistic argument. The complementarity of syntax and pragmatics is established as a condition sine qua non for Sībawayhi’s analysis of language. The benefits of a complementary approach are reflected in the analysis of nominal sentences and related notions of ibtidā’ and definiteness. The pragmatic principle of identifiability is uncovered as the ultimate determiner of word order.

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Yishai Peled

Sentence types and word-order patterns in Arabic have been a matter of debate and
controversy for a long period of time. They were hotly discussed by the medieval Arab grammarians and continue to be a major topic of discussion among modern scholars. This book describes the development of the medieval grammarians' theory of sentence types; a development from the theory of ‘amal, which lies at the heart of medieval Arabic grammatical tradition.
Each major topic is discussed with a view to explore the basic principles underlying the medieval grammarians' arguments. Special attention is given to conceptual problems arising from conflicts with the theory of ‘amal. This is followed by an assessment of the contributions made by modern scholars to the analysis and description of the constructions involved. Modern Arabists and linguists are shown to have concentrated on word-order patterns rather than on sentence types, placing special emphasis on the functional aspects of word order variations in Arabic.

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Edited by Colin Barr Grant and Donal McLaughlin

This uniquely interdisciplinary collection of essays derives in part from a two-day international conference held at Heriot-Watt University in November 1999 and conceived as a critical forum for the discussion of the concept of interaction. The collection satisfies a continuing need for interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research in the humanities and stems from an awareness of the growing currency of interactionist theories in several fields and the need to make a critical contribution to such theories and related concepts such as intersubjectivity and dialogism. Rather than advancing an apologetic view of interaction as something given, the contributors carefully consider and challenge commonly held epistemological and theoretical assumptions relating to the interaction concept. Interaction, if it is to be a meaningful concept, must be seen in terms of its modes (e.g. linguistic, media-based), units (language, logic, communication), objectives (understanding, consensus, stability) and fields of operation (face-to-face interaction, translation, social codification). This collection is intended to offer a provisional response to the question posed by one of its contributors, ‘What does it mean today that communication as the mechanism of social co-ordination has itself become complex?’. It means that erstwhile certainties of meaning transmission, stability, duality or dichotomy, identity and difference can be challenged and theoretically modelled in new contexts. Interdisciplinarity is one means by which to illuminate this complexity from several sides in the pursuit of theoretical blind spots in the field of critical communication studies. The book will be of particular interest to researchers and students in communication theory, linguistics, translation studies, logic, social psychology, discourse studies, European Studies, philosophy and semiotics.