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Edited by Tim Stowell and Eric Wehrli

Syntax and the Lexicon is a dynamic investigation into the role of the lexicon in syntactic theory. Twelve chapters, authored by leaders in syntactic theory, provide a detailed yet easily understandable analysis of differing views on the lexicon in the field. Lively debates pepper the volume with interactive dialogue, and volume editors Tim Stowell and Eric Wehrli provide an insightful overview and introduction to lexical theory. It presents an overview of the role of the lexicon in syntactic theory and debates between major practitioners in the field. It discusses the nature of argument and structure and debates the relation of argument nature to constituent structure and binding theory. It examines the role of NP-movement vs. lexical rules in accounting for alternations in grammatical functions.


Adriana Pols

This study examines the correlation between form and meaning of Russian prefixed imperfective verbs ending in -át'/-ját' and -yvat'/-ivat' which are derived from one and the same root (-gotóvit', podgotovlját'/podgotávlivat'). The following questions are discussed: Which factors determine the use of either the form -át' or the form in -yvat'? What is the role of the opposition determinate/indeterminate in verbs which do not express linear motion? What is the relation between prefix and suffix? (-xvalit', vosxvalját', vyxvalját'/vyxválivat', naxválivat').Is there a tendency for forms in -át' to be replaced by forms in -yvat' (prisposoblját' by prisposáblivat') or vice versa (obsú^zivat' by obsu^zdát')?
Besides present-day Russian, literary, journalistic and scientific publications from the 19th century have been examined in order to establish the dynamics of the linguistic development.


Peter Schrijver

The languages belonging to the British subgroup of Celtic, i.e. Welsh, Cornish and Breton, have been the subject of thorough research for over a century now. Yet the phonological history of the prehistoric stages of these languages and the details of their connection with the other Celtic and Indo-European languages still present numerous unsolved issues. This volume aims to tackle the most acute problems of the historical phonology of British Celtic. Also it provides an up-to-date reference guide to British historical phonology in general, as well as a study of a large body of etymologies relevant to the correct evaluation of the historical phonology. This volume is of interest for the Celtologist, the Indo-Europeanist and the general historical linguist.

Form and Function of Parasyntactic Presentation Structures

A Corpus-based Study of Talk Units in Spoken English


Joybrato Mukherjee

This study investigates prosody-syntax interactions from a functional perspective and based on authentic corpus data. Drawing on Halliday's well-known interpretation of the tone unit as an information unit, Halford's idea of a prosodically and syntactically defined talk unit and Esser's concept of abstract presentation structures, a modified talk unit model is developed. The talk unit is built up of one to many tone unit(s). The focus of both the quantitative and the functional analysis is on the interplay between prosodic status and syntactic status at tone unit boundaries by means of which talk units as parasyntactic units are established. The database is provided by a sample of about 50,000 words mainly taken from the London-Lund Corpus of Spoken English. The findings reveal that speakers have at their disposal and make use of prosody-syntax interactions in order to structure information effectively and to allow for or facilitate turn taking. This volume is not only of interest for corpus linguists, but for functionalists in general and intonationists in particular. In analysing the stylistic and pragmatic potential of talk units and applying corpus linguistic methodology, this study breaks new ground with regard to functional and empirical approaches to spoken English.

The Vedic -ya-presents

Passives and intransitivity in Old Indo-Aryan


Leonid Kulikov

This book is the first comprehensive study of the Vedic present formations with the suffix ya (‘ ya-presents’ for short), including both present passives with the accented suffix and non-passive - ya-presents with the accent on the root (class IV in the Indian tradition). It offers a complete survey of all ya-presents attested in the Vedic corpus. The main issue in the spotlight of this monograph is the relationship between form (accent placement, diathesis) and function (passive/non-passive) in the system of the - ya-presents – one of the most solidly attested present classes in Sanskrit. One of the aims of the present study is to corroborate the systematic correlation between accent placement and the passive/non-passive distinction: passives bear the accent on the suffix, while non-passives have the accent on the root. The book also focuses on the position of the passive within the system of voices and valency-changing categories in Old Indo-Aryan.


Edited by Hilde Hasselgård, Stig Johansson, Bergljot Behrens and Cathrine Fabricius-Hansen

The present volume draws together contributions from a number of scholars with an interest in empirical, cross-linguistic description. Most of the papers were first presented at the symposium Information Structure in a Cross-linguistic Perspective held in Oslo in November/December 2000. The descriptions are functionally oriented, and their common focus is how information structure – in a broad sense – can be compared across languages. 'Information structure' has been approached in a variety of ways by the authors, so as to give a broad picture of this fundamental principle of text production, involving the way in which a speaker/writer chooses to present a message in terms of given/new information, focus, cohesion, and point of view. Central to much of the research is the problem of establishing criteria for isolating linguistic constraints on language use from cultural-linguistic conventions in text production. The linguistic comparison includes English, German and/or one of the Scandinavian languages, with sidelights to other languages. Most of the papers are text- or corpus-based, and the ongoing work on parallel corpora in Scandinavia is reflected in several contributions.

Functional Structure in Morphology and the Case of Nonfinite Verbs

Theoretical Issues and the Description of the Danish Verb System


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.

Multiple Object Constructions in P’orhépecha

Argument Realization and Valence-Affecting Morphology


Alejandra Capistrán

In Multiple Object Constructions in P’orhépecha, Capistrán offers a detailed description of double and triple object clauses in P’orhépecha, a Mesoamerican isolate with a case system lacking an accusative-dative distinction. Regarding argument realization, Capistrán discusses alternating constructions and a construction split triggered by the person hierarchy. Valence-affecting operations—applicative, causative/instrumental and part-whole lexical suffixes—are examined, highlighting the person features of applicative suffixes and the complex part-whole morphology. Capistrán’s analysis demonstrates that in P’orhépecha most object coding properties show a neutral pattern, while all behavioral properties present asymmetries that shape a secundative pattern or PO/SO alignment. Capistrán argues that the strong tendency in P’orhépecha to determine PO selection according to a thematic ranking helps explain the (un)grammaticality of tritransitive constructions.

The Genitive Case in Dutch and German

A Study of Morphosyntactic Change in Codified Languages


Alan Scott

In The Genitive Case in Dutch and German: A Study of Morphosyntactic Change in Codified Languages, Alan K. Scott offers an account of the tension that exists between morphosyntactic change and codification, focusing on the effect that codification has had on the genitive case and alternative constructions in both languages. On the basis of usage data from a wide variety of registers, from the 16th century to the present day, Alan K. Scott demonstrates that codification has preserved obsolescent morphological genitive constructions in Dutch and German while suppressing their potential replacements, and shows that, despite its association with norm-conformant language, the genitive is used to a surprisingly large extent in informal early modern Dutch and modern German sources.

The Progressive in Modern English

A Corpus-Based Study of Grammaticalization and Related Changes


Svenja Kranich

This book constitutes the first full-length diachronic treatment of the English progressive from Old English to Present-day English, focusing on the crucial phase of its grammaticalization between the 17th and 20th centuries. It uses data from the British component of ARCHER-2 (A Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers, version 2) to uncover the details of this long-term grammaticalization process, tracing the development of the construction from a stylistic device to a fully-fledged aspect marker. Illustrated by a wealth of examples, the work offers new results concerning the preferred linguistic environments and the development of the functions of the progressive. In contrast to previous studies, the author shows that there are certain restrictions to context expansion in grammaticalization. She argues convincingly that the persistent reluctance of the progressive to occur in certain contexts does not point to incomplete grammaticalization, but can instead be explained as a product of its particular functions. The author also challenges the tenet that grammaticalization is generally accompanied by subjectification.