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Basque and Romance

Aligning Grammars


Edited by Ane Berro, Fernández Beatriz and Jon Ortiz de Urbina

Aligning Grammars: Basque and Romance is a collection of articles describing and analyzing several of the most important morphosyntactic features for which the formal comparison between Basque and its surrounding Romance languages is relevant, such as word order, inflection, case, argument structure and causatives. In the context of a language virtually all of whose speakers are bilingual in either Spanish or French, the theoretically informed in-depth description offered in this volume focuses on the fine grain of linguistic structures from languages typologically quite apart but coexisting and probably interacting in the minds of speakers. It therefore aims at shedding some light on the types of interactions between different systems and on the systems themselves.
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Edited by Léa Nash and Pollet Samvelian

Complex predicates can be loosely defined as a sequence of items that behave as a single predicate, projecting a single argument structure within a clause. Each of the members of the predicate contributes part of the information ordinarily associated with a single head.
The present volume presents a collection of theoretical linguistic results on the study of complex predicates in different perspectives and with a variety of approaches. Important empirical and theoretical issues cutting across various subfields of linguistics are being addressed in this book, such as :
• Syntactic and semantic modeling of complex predicate formation: compositionality, argument structure, event structure.
• Differences between syntactic and morphological processes of lexeme formation.
• Typological and diachronic issues in complex predicate formation.
• Neo-Davidsonian analyses of abstract predicate decomposition and its morphological correlates

Contributors are: Ane Berro, Denis Creissels, Hannah Gibson, Adele Goldberg, Lutz Marten, Annie Montaut, Léa Nash, Pooja Paul, Pollet Samvelian, Peter Svenonius, and Susanne Wurmbrand.

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The Grammar of Perspective

The Sumerian Conjugation Prefixes as a System of Voice


Christopher Woods

The so-called Sumerian conjugation prefixes are the most poorly understood and perplexing elements of Sumerian verbal morphology. Approaching the problem from a functional-typological perspective and basing the analysis upon semantics, Professor Woods argues that these elements, in their primary function, constitute a system of grammatical voice, in which the active voice is set against the middle voice. The latter is represented by heavy and light markers that differ with respect to focus and emphasis. As a system of grammatical voice, the conjugation prefixes provided Sumerian speakers with a linguistic means of altering the perspective from which events may be viewed, giving speakers a series of options for better approximating in language the infinitely graded spectrum of human conceptualization and experience.

"Woods is to be commended for establishing a new precedent for analyzing Sumerian grammar which will hopefully become a model for future studies of the language."
Paul Delnero, Johns Hopkins University