By R. M. W. Dixon
In Basic Linguistic Theory R. M. W. Dixon presents a brand new and primary characterization of the character of human languages and a finished consultant to their description and research. In 3 truly written and obtainable volumes, he describes how most sensible to head approximately doing linguistics, the main passable and ecocnomic how you can paintings, and the pitfalls to prevent. within the first quantity he addresses the method for recording, analysing, and evaluating languages. He argues that grammatical buildings and principles will be labored out inductively at the foundation of proof, explaining intimately the stairs during which an attested grammar and lexicon can outfitted up from saw utterances. He exhibits how the grammars and phrases of 1 language could be in comparison to others of an analogous or assorted households, explains the tools all for cross-linguistic parametric analyses, and describes the best way to interpret the implications. quantity 2 and quantity three (to be released in 2011) provide in-depth excursions of underlying rules of grammatical association, in addition to the various proof of grammatical edition. 'The job of the linguist,' Professor Dixon writes, 'is to provide an explanation for the character of human languages - each one considered as an built-in procedure - including a proof of why every one language is how it is, allied to the extra medical objectives of prediction and evaluation.'
Basic Linguistic Theory is the positive final result of a lifetime's puzzling over each element and manifestation of language and immersion in linguistic fieldwork. it's a one-stop textual content for undergraduate and graduate scholars of linguistics, in addition to for these in neighbouring disciplines, equivalent to psychology and anthropology.
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Additional info for Basic Linguistic Theory, Volume 2: Grammatical Topics
Class (i) has been recognized by grammarians (since Roman times) as a special word class of ‘interjections’—aha, wow, phew, yuk, and so on in English, with a corresponding set of conventionalized exclamations in every other language. There is now an obvious question to address—are these interjections each a phonological word, or each a grammatical word, or both, or neither? Looking ﬁrst at ‘grammatical word’—generally, no morphological processes can apply to an interjection. It can make up a complete utterance, and one may always pause after it.
And clitics may combine together in special ways. Most clitics either add on to the end of the host word (these are ‘enclitics’) or to the beginning (‘proclitics’). ’). In almost every case, a proclitic will precede preﬁxes and an enclitic will follow suﬃxes (as in the Yidiñ example just given). It is sometimes said that Portuguese constitutes an exception to this principle, in that a pronominal clitic can intervene between verb root and future tense suﬃx. However, the facts are as follows. Future tense marking in present-day Portuguese has developed from a periphrastic form involving the verbal inﬁnitive plus an inﬂected form of the verb ‘have’.
Does the diﬀerence between Chinese and English just described relate to a cognitive diﬀerence between the language communities? Work is also needed on the role of ‘word’ in language acquisition. Studies of how children learn a language appear seldom to ﬁrst establish what types of words the language has, and then to study how children acquire units of the various types. Although phrases can be borrowed, the most common type of loan form is a word. But is it phonological word or grammatical word that is the basis for loans?
Basic Linguistic Theory, Volume 2: Grammatical Topics by R. M. W. Dixon