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Evolutionary Syntax

By Ljiljana Progovac

This book "outlines novel and testable hypotheses, contains extensive examples from many different languages" and is "presented in accessible language, with more technical discussion in footnotes."

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The Making of Vernacular Singapore English

By Zhiming Bao

This book "proposes a new theory of contact-induced grammatical restructuring" and "offers a new analytical approach to New English from a formal or structural perspective."

Book Information


Title: Meaning and Universal Grammar
Subtitle: Theory and Empirical Findings Volume I
Edited By: Cliff Goddard
Anna Wierzbicka
Series Title: Studies in Language Companion Series

This book develops a bold new approach to universal grammar, based on research findings of the natural semantic metalanguage (NSM) program. The key idea is that universal grammar is constituted by the inherent grammatical properties of some 60 empirically established semantic primes, which appear to have concrete exponents in all languages. For six typologically divergent languages (Mangaaba-Mbula, Mandarin Chinese, Lao, Malay, Spanish and Polish), contributors identify exponents of the primes and work through a substantial set of hypotheses about their combinatorics, valency properties, complementation options, etc. Each study can also be read as a semantically-based typological profile. Four theoretical chapters by the editors describe the NSM approach and its application to grammatical typology. As a study of empirical universals in grammar, this book is unique for its rigorous semantic orientation, its methodological consistency, and its wealth of cross-linguistic detail.

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1588112640
ISBN-13: 9781588112644
Pages: xvi, 337 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 162