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Andrew Byrd

In The Indo-European Syllable Andrew Miles Byrd investigates the process of syllabification within Proto-Indo-European (PIE), revealing connections to a number of seemingly unrelated phonological processes in the proto-language.

Drawing from insights in linguistic typology and synchronic theory, he makes two significant advances in our understanding of PIE phonology. First, by analyzing securely reconstructable consonant clusters at word’s edge, he devises a methodology which allows us to predict which types of consonant clusters could occur word-medially in PIE. Thus, a number of previously disconnected phonological rules can now be understood as being part of a conspiracy motivated by violations in syllable structure. Second, he uncovers evidence of morphological influence within the syllable, created by processes such as quantitative ablaut. These advances allow us to view PIE as a synchronic grammar, one which can be described by -- and contribute to -- modern linguistic theory.


Zev Handel

forcefully implies that constraints of human cognition and linguistic typology have a determinative influence on how early logo-syllabic writing can develop and be adapted. From the perspective of the Sinographic cosmopolis, the story of the spread of the Chinese-character script has two complementary and

Time, Tense and Aspect in Early Vedic Grammar

Exploring Inflectional Semantics in the Rigveda


Eystein Dahl

This book takes a fresh look at the relationship between aspect, tense and mood in Early Vedic, the language of the Rigveda. Although numerous studies have examined the functional range of individual verbal categories in this language, this work is the first attempt to approach this problem from an overall, systemic perspective. With insights from formal semantics and linguistic typology, the author demonstrates that aspect represents a grammatically relevant semantic dimension on a par with tense in the Early Vedic verbal system, thereby indicating that the language has preserved an aspectual opposition similar to the one found in Homeric Greek. Apart from these general findings, the book provides a theoretical framework designed for exploring inflectional semantics in dead languages.

Jason D. Haugen and Michael Everdell

language families, understanding the diachronic developmental pathways of suppletive morphology is also more broadly relevant to linguistic typology and theories of morphology. Several recent large-scale survey works have sought out a deeper understanding of the attested patterns of suppletion in the

Cliff Goddard and Anna Wierzbicka

form [ this someone’s] something , proposing a set of interrelated semantic schemas for them. Before that, however, we want to explain a major difference between the nsm approach to “possession” and the mainstream view in linguistic typology. We will do this in Section 2. To anticipate, from the


Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon

Dynamics of Morphological Productivity

The Evolution of Noun Classes from Latin to Italian


Francesco Gardani

In Dynamics of Morphological Productivity, Francesco Gardani explores the evolution of the productivity of the noun inflectional classes of Latin and Old Italian, covering a span of almost 2,000 years – an absolute novelty for the theory of diachrony and for Latin and Italo-Romance linguistics. By providing an original set of criteria for measuring productivity, based on the investigation of loanword integration, conversions, and class shift, Gardani provides a substantial contribution to the theory of inflection, as well as to the study of the morphological integration of loanwords. The result is a wealth of empirical facts, including data from the contact languages Etruscan, Ancient Greek, Germanic, Arabic, Byzantine Greek, Old French and Provençal, accompanied by brilliant and groundbreaking analyses.

Wei Zheng

In light of Chinese historical phonology, modern dialects, languages of Chinese minorities and field phonetics, this paper discusses (1) the development of the Yi-initial words from Old Chinese to Middle Chinese, (2) the development of the Lai-initial words from Middle Chinese to modern dialects, (3) the phonological behavior of segment l in different syllabic positions from the perspective of evolutionary phonology. Such evolutionary developments as palatalization, velarization, nasalization, labiodentalization, fricativization, strengthening and so on can be identified for approximant l. This provides an important panchronic and typological perspective for the interpretation of both diachronic changes and synchronic variation.

John McWhorter

Benjamins. Ansaldo, Umberto and Stephen J. Matthews. 2001. Typical creoles and simple languages: The case of Sinitic. Linguistic Typology 5(3/4): 311–325. Baker, Philip. 1990. Off target? Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 5: 107–119. Baker, Philip. 1993. Australian influence on Melanesian Pidgin