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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Academic Paper


Title: Grammar and the “Timing” of Social Action: Word order and preference organization in Japanese
Author: Hiroko Tanaka
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Essex
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; General Linguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: This article explores the interconnection between grammar and the performance of preferred and dispreferred responses in Japanese. As is well known, dispreferred format turns are structurally more complex than preferred format turns, regularly delayed, accompanied by prefaces and accounts, mitigated, or made indirect. Owing to the flexibility of Japanese grammar, participants have expanded intra-turn capacity to maximize or minimize compliance with such formats. On one extreme, a dispreferred action can be massively delayed until near the turn-ending through opting for so-called canonical predicate-final word order and minimization of ellipsis. On the other extreme, a preferred action can be expedited to the very opening of a turn through non-canonical predicate-initial word order by taking advantage of word order variability and ellipsis. Such syntactic practices are interactionally managed for calibrating the timing of social action. It emerges that the canonical word order - assumed to be the generically unmarked alternative - is actually optimally tailored for the implementation of marked (dispreferred) responses, as opposed to a non-canonical word order for unmarked (preferred) responses, in the given sequential environment.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 34, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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