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By Stephen Spector

A guide to English grammar and usage for the twenty-first century, pairing grammar rules with interesting and humorous quotations from American popular culture.

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The Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages

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Book Information


Title: Structure in Language
Subtitle: A Dynamic Perspective
Written By: Thomas Berg
Series Title: Routledge Studies in Linguistics

Please note: This is a new edition of a previously announced text.

Now in Paperback, this book examines one of the allegedly unique features of human language: structure sensitivity. Its point of departure is the distinction between content and structural units, which are defined in psycholinguistic terms. The focus of the book is on structural representations, in particular their hierarchicalness and their branching direction. Structural representations reach variable levels of activation and are therefore gradient in nature. Their variable strength is claimed to account for numerous effects including differences between individual analytical levels, differences between languages as well as pathways of language acquisition and breakdown. English is found to be consistent in its branching direction and to have evolved its branching direction in line with the cross-level harmony constraint. Structure sensitivity is argued to be highly variable both within and across languages and consequently an unlikely candidate for a defining property of human language.

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
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Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780415542241
Pages: 396
Prices: U.K. £ 26.00
U.S. $ 42.95