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Ancient Texts and Modern Readers

Studies in Ancient Hebrew Linguistics and Bible Translation

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Edited by Gideon Kotzé, Christian S. Locatell and John A. Messarra

The chapters of this volume address a variety of topics that pertain to modern readers’ understanding of ancient texts, as well as tools or resources that can facilitate contemporary audiences’ interpretation of these ancient writings and their language. In this regard, they cover subjects related to the fields of ancient Hebrew linguistics and Bible translation. The chapters apply linguistic insights and theories to elucidate elements of ancient texts for modern readers, investigate how ancient texts help modern readers to interpret features in other ancient texts, and suggest ways in which translations can make the language and conceptual worlds of ancient texts more accessible to modern readers. In so doing, they present the results of original research, identify new lines and topics of inquiry, and make novel contributions to modern readers’ understanding of ancient texts.

Contributors are Alexander Andrason, Barry L. Bandstra, Reinier de Blois, Lénart J. de Regt, Gideon R. Kotzé, Geoffrey Khan, Christian S. Locatell, Kristopher Lyle, John A. Messarra, Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé, Jacobus A. Naudé, Daniel Rodriguez, Eep Talstra, Jeremy Thompson, Cornelius M. van den Heever, Herrie F. van Rooy, Gerrit J. van Steenbergen, Ernst Wendland, Tamar Zewi.

Secondary Content

The Semantics and Pragmatics of Side Issues

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Edited by Daniel Gutzmann and Katharina Turgay

In addition to expressing some main content, utterances often convey secondary content, which is content that is not their “main point”, but which rather provides side or background information, is less prominent than the main content, and shows distinctive behavior with respect to its role in discourse structure and which discourse moves it licenses. This volume collects original research papers on the semantics and pragmatics of secondary content. By covering a broad variety of linguistic phenomena that convey secondary content – including expressives, various particles, adverbials, pronouns, quotations, and dogwhistle language – the contributions show that secondary content is pervasive throughout different aspects of natural language and provide new insight into the nature of secondary content through new semantic and pragmatic analyses.

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Edited by Adeline Patard, Rea Peltola and Emmanuelle Roussel

The volume proposes original semantic analyses on items marking grammatical aspect. The contributions deal with structurally divergent languages, setting to the fore some less studied forms coding aspect, revisiting or challenging certain conventionalized views on aspectual categories and shedding light on interactions between aspect and modality, another multifaceted semantic category. In doing so, the volume is intended to emphasize the diversity of aspectual systems and the fuzzy semantics of grammatical aspect and help the reader to make their own mind on a topic traditionally viewed as a subcategory of verbal aspect together with lexical aspect.

Contributors are Denis Apothéloz, Trang Phan and Nigel Duffield, Galia Hatav, Jens Fleischhauer and Ekaterina Gabrovska, Stephen M. Dickey, Adeline Patard, Laura Baranzini, Jaroslava Obrtelova.

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Edited by Manuela E. B. Giolfo and Kees Versteegh

This volume contains sixteen contributions from the fourth conference on the Foundations of Arabic linguistics (Genova, 2016), all having to do with the development of linguistic theory in the Arabic grammatical tradition, starting from Sībawayhi's Kitāb (end of the 8th century C.E.) and its continuing evolution in later grammarians up till the 14th century C.E. The scope of this volume includes the links between grammar and other disciplines, such as lexicography and logic, and the reception of Arabic grammar in the Persian and Malay linguistic tradition.

Saussure and Sechehaye: Myth and Genius

A Study in the History of Linguistics and the Foundations of Language

Pieter Seuren

In this book, Pieter Seuren argues that Ferdinand de Saussure has been grossly overestimated over the past century, while his junior colleague Albert Sechehaye has been undeservedly ignored. Saussure was anything but the great innovator he is generally believed to be. Sechehaye was a genius providing many trenchant analyses and anticipating many modern insights. The lives and works of both men are discussed in detail and they are placed in the cultural, intellectual and social environment of their day. Much attention is paid to the theoretical issues involved, in particular to the notion and history of structuralism, to the great subject-predicate debate that dominated linguistic theory at the time, and to questions of methodology in the theory of language.

Semantic Syntax

Second Revised Edition

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Pieter Seuren

This book presents a detailed formal machinery for the conversion of the Semantic Analyses (SAs) of sentences into surface structures of English, French, German, Dutch, and to some extent Turkish. The SAs are propositional structures consisting of a predicate and one, two or three argument terms, some of which can themselves be propositional structures. The surface structures are specified up to, but not including, the morphology. The book is thus an implementation of the programme formulated first by Albert Sechehaye (1870-1946) and then, independently, by James McCawley (1938-1999) in the school of Generative Semantics. It is the first, and so far the only formally precise and empirically motivated machinery in existence converting meaning representations into sentences of natural languages.

Ten Lectures on Quantitative Approaches in Cognitive Linguistics

Corpus-linguistic, experimental, and statistical applications

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Stefan Th. Gries

This series of lectures provides an overview of the author's work on quantitative applications in cognitive linguistics by discussing a wide range of studies involving corpus-linguistic as well as experimental work. After a discussion of how corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, and psycholinguistics relate to each other, the author discusses empirical and statistical studies of a wide variety of phenomena including morphophonology (morphological blends and alliteration effects), corpus-based cognitive semantics, frequency and association at the syntax-lexis interface. The book concludes with chapters exemplifying the role that bottom-up approaches can take, the role of statistical methods more generally, and the role of converging evidence from corpus and experimental data.The lectures for this book were given at The China International Forum on Cognitive Linguistics in May 2013.

In the e-book version all handouts have been made available at the back. All audio of the lectures as well as the handouts are available for free, in Open Access, here.

Functional Structure in Morphology and the Case of Nonfinite Verbs

Theoretical Issues and the Description of the Danish Verb System

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Peter Juul Nielsen

In this book, Peter Juul Nielsen examines the foundations of morphological theory from a structural-functional perspective on language as a sign system. He offers a framework for the analysis of morpheme relations based on a thorough discussion of syntagmatic and paradigmatic structure, indexical relations, zero as meaningful absence and morphological relations across grammatical categories. It is argued that when paradigmatically related morphological structures have different syntactic functions, the semantics of the paradigmatic opposition consists in the specification of functional potential. The framework is applied in three detailed studies of Danish nonfinite verbs presenting new accounts of their morphological structure, semantic coding and paradigmatic organisation.

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Edgar Onea

In Potential Questions at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface Edgar Onea proposes a novel component for question under discussion based discourse pragmatic theories thereby combining such theories with new ideas from inquisitive semantics. He shows how potential questions account for an entire range of grammatical phenomena. These phenomena include the semantics of indefinite determiners, the meaning contribution of nominal appositives, specificational constructions and non restrictive relative clauses.


This book delivers a comprehensive and empirically rich investigation into the role of questions in natural language interpretation. Drawing on data from German, English, Hungarian and Russian, Edgar Onea's study significantly broadens our understanding of conventional sensitivity to questions through formally rigorous analyses of specificational particles, parentheticals and indefinites. The Potential Questions framework offers a new and exciting perspective on utterance meanings as not just addressing, but also raising questions, with important consequences for integrated analyses of discourse structure and discourse relations. This book is essential reading for anybody interested in the semantics-pragmatics interface.

Judith Tonhauser, The Ohio State University

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Edited by Olga Borik and Berit Gehrke

This volume brings together recent research on the semantics and syntax of pseudo-incorporation (PI), which is a construction of crucial significance for linguistic explorations as it brings together several fundamental areas of linguistic research, such as morphology, argument structure, modification, discourse and information structure. The main purpose of the book is to further improve our understanding of the phenomenon, expand the domain of inquiry by bringing into focus new empirical data from a wide array of languages, offer new formal analyses of PI, and strengthen the links with other related phenomena, such as bare nominals. Focusing on various properties of PI the articles in this volume set an excellent ground for further expansion of research in PI and related topics.

Contributors are Michael Barrie, Olga Borik, Veneeta Dayal, Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin, Werner Frey, Berit Gehrke, Ion Giurgea, Audrey Li, Fereshteh Modarresi, Olav Mueller-Reichau, Natalia Serdobolskaya, and Henriëtte de Swart.