Description : Comprising eleven studies on languages with designated structural topic and focus positions, this volume includes an introduction surveying the empirical and theoretical problems involved in the description of this language type. Focusing on languages outside the traditional Indo-European group, the essays look at Chadic, Somali, Basque, Catalan, Old Romance, Greek, Hungarian, Finnish, Korean, and Quechua. The papers provide interesting new empirical data, as well as a variety of means and alternatives of representing them structurally. At the same time, they address important theoretical questions in the framework of generative theory. This is the first study to apply methods of comparative syntax to the study of topic and focus.
Description : An unusual property of human language is the existence of movement operations. Modern syntactic theory from its inception has dealt with the puzzle of why movement should occur. In this monograph, Shigeru Miyagawa combines this question with another, that of the occurrence of agreement systems. Using data from a wide range of languages, he argues that movement and agreement work in tandem to achieve a specific goal: to imbue natural language with enormous expressive power. Without movement and agreement, he contends, human language would be merely a shadow of itself, with severe limitation on what can be expressed. Miyagawa investigates a variety of languages, including English, Japanese, Bantu languages, Romance languages, Finnish, and Chinese. He finds that every language manifests some kind of agreement, some in the form of the familiar person/number/gender system and others in the form of what Katalin É. Kiss calls "discourse configurational" features such as topic and focus. A key proposal of his argument is that the computational system in syntax deals with the wide range of agreement types uniformly--as if there were just one system--and an integral part of this computation turns out to be movement. Why Agree? Why Move? is unique in proposing a unified system for movement and agreement across language groups that are vastly diverse--Bantu languages, East Asian languages, Indo-European languages, and others.
Description : The volume is a collection of papers reporting the results of investigations on the interaction of discourse and sentence structure in the languages of Europe. The subjects discussed in the book include: morphosyntactic characteristics of spontaneous spoken texts; different patterns of word order in a pragmatic perspective; the coding of the pragmatic functions topic and focus in sentences with non-canonical word orders (e.g. dislocations, clefts); the range of functions of verb-subject order in declarative clauses and the notion of theticity; prosodic patterns of de-accenting of given information; deixis and anaphora; coding of definiteness and article systems. The book provides the empirical basis for the comparative survey of major phenomena found in the languages of Europe which have pragmatic relevance. Beside traditional areas of investigation at the interface between syntax and pragmatics such as dislocations, new areas are explored, such as the prosody of given information. Data are considered within a functional-typological approach.
Description : This monograph conducts a syntactic study of Tuki, a Bantu language spoken in Cameroon, from a cartographic perspective. The following domains are meticulously explored: The Complementizer Domain, the Inflectional Domain and the Verbal Domain. This study reveals that there is a relative phrase (RelP) located between ForceP and FocP. Moreover, a detailed analysis of an articulated IP provides the order of clausal functional heads that manifest aspectual morphology, which is theoretically closely related to issues in adverbial syntax. Additionally, the language under study unveils a very rich structural make up of DP and the surface word orders attested in this phrase can be accounted for in terms of snowballing movement operations along the lines previously sketched in the format of the Split DP Hypothesis. Overall, this cartographic analysis is bound to enrich our morphosyntactic knowledge of UG clausal architecture by demonstrating that its rich underlying structural skeleton is correlated by a wealthy surface structural and functional map. Edmond Biloa is professor of Linguistics and Chair of the Department of African Languages and Linguistics at the University of Yaounde I in Cameroon (Africa).
Description : The seven articles of this volume take up crucial aspects of information structure and grammatical form. Special attention is paid to the definition of topic, focus and contrast, to the language specific devices for expressing different types of these information structural notions, and to the typological characterisation of languages as to discourse configurationality. The investigation of grammatical relations includes the interplay between syntactic functions, morphological case and thematic structure, and the study of the functional and formal complexity of passive in Germanic languages.
Description : This book argues that language systems determine language use to a greater extent than is generally assumed. The author demonstrates how the typological characteristics of a language determine even the most general aspects of our stylistic preferences. Through extensive analysis of examples in German and English, the author demonstrates how analogous options of sentence structure must be surrendered in order to achieve felicitous translations. Two major aspects that determine the appropriateness of language use are examined: language processing and discourse-dependency. Essential reading for translation scholars and linguists involved in the comparative study of English and German, this book will also be of interest to scholars of psycholinguistics and cognitive science, as well as translators and linguists more generally.
Description : The contributions making up this volume in honor of Eloise Jelinek are written from a formalist perspective that deals with stereotypically functionalist questions about language. Jelinek's pioneering work in formalist syntax has shown that autonomous syntax need not exist in a vacuum. Her work has highlighted the importance of incorporating the effects of discourse and information structure on the syntactic representation. This book aims to invoke Jelinek's work either in substance or spirit. The focus is on Jelinek's influential Pronominal Argument Hypothesis as an "non-configurational" language; the influence of discourse-related interface phenomena on syntactic structure; the syntactic analysis of the grammaticalization; interactions between morphology, phonology and phonetics; and foundational issues about the link between formal grammar and function of language, as well as the methodological issues underlying the different approaches to linguistics.
Description : The book deals with some syntactic and semantic aspects of the shared Balkan Sprachbund properties. In a comprehensive introductory chapter, Tomi? offers an overview of the Balkan Sprachbund properties. Sobolev, displaying the areal distribution of 65 properties, argues for dialect cartography. Friedman, on the example of the evidentials, argues for typologically informed areal explanation of the Balkan properties. The other contributions analyze specific phenomena: polidefinite DPs in Greek and Aromanian (Campos and Stavrou), Balkan constructions in which datives combine with impersonal clitics or non-active morphology (Rivero), Balkan optatives (Ammann and Auwera), imperative force in the Balkan languages (Isac and Jakab), clitic placement in Greek imperatives (Bo kovi?), focused constituents in Romanian and Bulgarian (Hill), synthetic and analytic tenses in Romanian (D'Hulst, Coene and Avram), "purpose-like" modification in a number of Balkan languages (Bu arovska), Balkan modal existential wh -constructions (Grosu), child and adult strategies in interpreting empty subjects in Serbian/Croatian (Stojanovi? and Marelj), conditional sentences in Judeo-Spanish (Montoliu and Auwera).
Description : This study of the interaction of syntax, pragmatics, and prosody in left peripheral positions focuses on two left dislocation constructions in Czech, Hanging Topic Left Dislocation and Contrastive Left Dislocation. The structure of the left periphery is delineated through a thorough description and analysis of these constructions with respect to their syntactic behavior, discourse function and prosody. Following recent work on the Syntax-Phonology interface, prosody in these constructions is shown to interact in interesting ways with the narrow syntax. Unexpected patterns of left-edge resumption are explained through the role of the PF component of the grammar.