Subtitle: A world-wide typological study on lexeme-class-dependent deviations
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Language Typology 09
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Author: Oliver A. Iggesen, University of Bremen
Hardback: ISBN: 3895863750 Pages: 660 Price: Europe EURO 124.00
Hardback: ISBN: 3895863750 Pages: 660 Price: U.S. $ 163.68
Hardback: ISBN: 3895863750 Pages: 660 Price: U.K. £ 85.52
It is common knowledge that in a number of European languages (e.g. English) certain case categories apply only to a subset of the overall stock of nominal lexemes, while being absent from the inflectional system of the rest. Thus, not all languages make use of their noun-inflectional potential in a consistent and generalized fashion. For this principled variation in morphological behavior Oliver A. Iggesen's monograph introduces the terminological pair case-symmetry vs. case-asymmetry. Case-asymmetry has hitherto received hardly any attention in linguistic literature, neither from a theoretical nor from an empirical perspective. If ever, its occurrence in European languages has been dismissed as accidental, and extra-European instances are usually not known to scholars of linguistics.
Iggesen's book closes this gap by exploring case-asymmetry from a typological perspective on the basis of a 260-language sample. The author demonstrates that this underestimated property is indeed manifested by a considerable number of languages. Following a discussion of the theoretical foundations and implications of this concept, Iggesen provides a detailed documentation of the identified instances of case-asymmetry and introduces a meaningful typological sub-classification of the phenomenon. Furthermore, he shows that case-asymmetry is functionally motivated and integrated into the even broader domain of differential relational marking. The book is supplemented by typological maps.