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Grammaticalising the Perfect and Explanations of Language Change

Have- and Be-Perfects in the History and Structure of English and Bulgarian

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Bozhil Hristov

In Grammaticalising the Perfect and Explanations of Language Change: Have- and Be-Perfects in the History and Structure of English and Bulgarian, Bozhil Hristov investigates key aspects of the verbal systems of two distantly related Indo-European languages, highlighting similarities as well as crucial differences between them and seeking a unified approach.

The book reassesses some long-held notions and functionalist assumptions and shines the spotlight on certain areas that have received less attention, such as the role of ambiguity in actual usage. The detailed analysis of rich, contextualised material from a selection of texts dovetails with large-scale corpus studies, complementing their findings and enhancing our understanding of the phenomena. This monograph thus presents a happy marriage of traditional philological techniques and recent advances in theoretical linguistics and corpus work.

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Edited by Hans C. Boas and Marc Pierce

This volume consists of revised versions of presentations given at a roundtable on “New Directions for Historical Linguistics: Impact and Synthesis, 50 Years Later” held at the 23rd International Conference on Historical Linguistics in San Antonio, Texas, in 2017, as well as an introduction by the editors. The roundtable discussed the evolution of historical linguistics since the 1966 symposium on “Directions for Historical Linguistics,” held in Austin, Texas. Six prominent scholars of historical linguistics and sociolinguistics contributed: William Labov (the only surviving author from the 1968 volume), Gillian Sankoff, Elizabeth Traugott, Brian Joseph, Sarah Thomason, and Paul Hopper (a graduate student assistant at the original symposium).

The Development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels

Including a Concise Historical Morphology

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Benjamin Suchard

The Development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels investigates the sound changes affecting the Proto-Northwest-Semitic vocalic phonemes and their reflexes in Tiberian Biblical Hebrew. Contrary to many previous approaches, Benjamin Suchard shows that these developments can all be described as phonetically regular sound laws. This confirms that despite its unique transmission history, Hebrew behaves like other languages in this regard.
Many Hebrew sound changes have traditionally been explained as reflecting non-phonetic conditioning. These include the Canaanite Shift of *ā to *ō, tonic and pre-tonic lengthening, diphthong contraction, Philippi’s Law, the Law of Attenuation, and the apocope of short, unstressed vowels. By reconsidering reconstructions and re-evaluating phonetic conditions, this work shows how the Biblical Hebrew forms regularly derive from their Proto-Northwest-Semitic precursors.

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Christina Willis Oko

A Grammar of Darma provides the first comprehensive description of this Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Uttarakhand, India. The analysis is informed by a functional-typological framework and draws on a corpus of data gathered through elicitation, observation and recordings of natural discourse. Every effort has been made to describe day-to-day language, so whenever possible, illustrative examples are taken from extemporaneous speech and contextualized. Sections of the grammar should appeal widely to scholars interested in South Asia’s languages and cultures, including discussions of the socio-cultural setting, the sound system, morphosyntactic, clause and discourse structure. The grammar’s interlinearized texts and glossary provide a trove of useful information for comparative linguists working on Tibeto-Burman languages and anyone interested in the world’s less-commonly spoken languages.

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Ahmad Al-Jallad and Karolina Jaworska

This is the first comprehensive dictionary of the Safaitic inscriptions, comprising more than 1400 lemmata and 1500 lexical items. The dictionary includes a lengthy introduction to the inscriptions as well an outline of various aspects of the Safaitic writing tradition.

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James Essegbey

This is the first comprehensive description of Tutrugbu(Nyangbo- nyb ), a Ghana Togo Mountain( gtm ) language of the Kwa family. It is based on a documentary corpus of different genre of linguistic and cultural practices gathered during periods of immersion fieldwork. Tutrugbu speakers are almost all bilingual in Ewe, another Kwa language. The book presents innovative analyses of phenomena like Advanced Tongue Root and labial vowel harmony, noun classes, topological relational verbs, the two classes of adpositions, obligatory complement verbs, multi-verbs in a single clause, and information structure. This grammar is unparalleled in including a characterization of culturally defined activity types and their associated speech formulae and routine strategies. It should appeal to linguists interested in African languages, language documentation and typology.

The Golden Mean of Languages

Forging Dutch and French in the Early Modern Low Countries (1540-1620)

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Alisa van de Haar

In The Golden Mean of Languages, Alisa van de Haar sheds new light on the debates regarding the form and status of the vernacular in the early modern Low Countries, where both Dutch and French were local tongues. The fascination with the history, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary of Dutch and French has been studied mainly from monolingual perspectives tracing the development towards modern Dutch or French. Van de Haar shows that the discussions on these languages were rooted in multilingual environments, in particular in French schools, Calvinist churches, printing houses, and chambers of rhetoric. The proposals that were formulated there to forge Dutch and French into useful forms were not directed solely at uniformization but were much more diverse.

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Edited by Angela Ralli

This volume provides an unprecedented collection of data from Asia Minor Greek, namely from Cappadocian, Pharasiot, Silliot, Smyrniot, Aivaliot, Bithynian, Pontic, Propontis Tsakonian and the dialect of Adrianoupolis. It offers fresh and original reflections on the study of morphology, dialectology and language contact by examining issues regarding inflection, derivation and compounding, dealt with by Metin Bağrıaçık, Marianna Gkiouleka, Aslı Göksel, Mark Janse, Brian D. Joseph, Petros Karatsareas, Nikos Koutsoukos, Io Manolessou, Theodore Markopoulos, Dimitra Melissaropoulou, Nikos Pantelidis and Angela Ralli. An in-depth investigation of phenomena aims to increase our understanding of language change. They result either from a natural evolution of Asia Minor Greek, or from the interaction between the fusional Greek and the agglutinative Turkish or the semi-analytical Romance.

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Zev Handel

In the more than 3,000 years since its invention, the Chinese script has been adapted many times to write languages other than Chinese, including Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Zhuang. In Sinography: The Borrowing and Adaptation of the Chinese Script, Zev Handel provides a comprehensive analysis of how the structural features of these languages constrained and motivated methods of script adaptation. This comparative study reveals the universal principles at work in the borrowing of logographic scripts. By analyzing and explaining these principles, Handel advances our understanding of how early writing systems have functioned and spread, providing a new framework that can be applied to the history of scripts beyond East Asia, such as Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform.

Language Contact in Siberia

Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic Loanwords in Yeniseian

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Bayarma Khabtagaeva

This monograph dicsusses phonetic, morphological and semantic features of the ‘Altaic’ Sprachbund (i.e. Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic) elements in Yeniseian languages (Kott, Assan, Arin, Pumpokol, Yugh and Ket), a rather heterogeneous language family traditionally classified as one of the ‘Paleo-Siberian’ language groups, that are not related to each other or to any other languages on the face of the planet.
The present work is based on a database of approximately 230 Turkic and 70 Tungusic loanwords. A smaller number of loanwords are of Mongolic origin, which came through either the Siberian Turkic languages or the Tungusic Ewenki languages. There are clear linguistic criteria, which help to distinguish loanwords borrowed via Turkic or Tungusic and not directly from Mongolic languages.
One of the main outcomes of this research is the establishment of the Yeniseian peculiar features in the Altaic loanwords. The phonetic criteria comprise the regular disappearance of vowel harmony, syncope, amalgamation, aphaeresis and metathesis. Besides, a separate group of lexemes represents hybrid words, i.e. the lexical elements where one element is Altaic and the other one is Yeniseian.
This book presents a historical-etymological survey of a part of the Yeniseian lexicon, which provides an important part of the comparative database of Proto-Yeniseian reconstructions.