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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'Body as subject'
Author: IritMeir
Institution: 'University of Haifa'
Author: CarolA.Padden
Institution: 'University of California'
Author: MarkAronoff
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: 'http://www.linguistics.stonybrook.edu/Users/maronoff/'
Institution: 'Stony Brook University'
Author: WendySandler
Institution: 'University of Haifa'
Linguistic Field: 'Morphology; Typology'
Abstract: The notion of subject in human language has a privileged status relative to other arguments. This special status is manifested in the behavior of subjects at the morphological, syntactic, semantic and discourse levels. Here we present evidence that subjects have a privileged status at the lexical level as well, by analyzing lexicalization patterns of verbs in three different sign languages. Our analysis shows that the sub-lexical structure of iconic signs denoting states of affairs in these languages manifests an inherent pattern of form–meaning correspondence: the signer's body consistently represents one argument of the verb, the subject. The hands, moving in relation to the body, represent all other components of the event – including all other arguments. This analysis shows that sign languages provide novel evidence in support of the centrality of the notion of subject in human language. It also solves a typological puzzle about the apparent primacy of object in sign language verb agreement, a primacy not usually found in spoken languages, in which subject agreement generally ranks higher. Our analysis suggests that the subject argument is represented by the body and is part of the lexical structure of the verb. Because it is always inherently represented in the structure of the sign, the subject is more basic than the object, and tolerates the omission of agreement morphology.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 43, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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