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LINGUIST List 20.1789

Sat May 09 2009

Books: Syntax/Cognitive Science: Givón, Shibatani (Eds)

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <hannahlinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Paul Peranteau, Syntactic Complexity: Givón, Shibatani (Eds)

Message 1: Syntactic Complexity: Givón, Shibatani (Eds)
Date: 08-May-2009
From: Paul Peranteau <paulbenjamins.com>
Subject: Syntactic Complexity: Givón, Shibatani (Eds)
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Title: Syntactic Complexity
Subtitle: Diachrony, acquisition, neuro-cognition, evolution
Series Title: Typological Studies in Language 85
Published: 2009
Publisher: John Benjamins
                http://www.benjamins.com/

Book URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=TSL%2085

Editor: T. Givón
Editor: Masayoshi Shibatani
Electronic: ISBN: 9789027290144 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 165.00
Electronic: ISBN: 9789027290144 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 110.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027229991 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 110.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027229991 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 165.00
Paperback: ISBN: 9789027230003 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 36.00
Paperback: ISBN: 9789027230003 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 54.00
Abstract:

Complex hierarchic syntax is considered one of the hallmarks of human
language. The highest level of syntactic complexity, recursive-embedded
clauses, has been singled out by some for a special status as the apex of
the uniquely-human language faculty-evolutionary but somehow immune to
adaptive selection. This volume, coming out of a symposium held at Rice
University in March 2008, tackles syntactic complexity from multiple
developmental perspectives. We take it for granted that grammar is an
adaptive instrument of communication, assembled upon the pre-existing
platform of pre-linguistic cognition. Most of the papers in the volume deal
with the two grand developmental trends of human language:
diachrony, the communal enterprise directly responsible for
fashioning synchronic morpho-syntax; and ontogeny, the individual
endeavor directly responsible for the acquisition of competent grammatical
performance. The genesis of syntactic complexity along these two
developmental trends is considered alongside with the cognition and
neurology of grammar and of syntactic complexity, and the evolutionary
relevance of diachrony, ontogeny and pidginization is argued on general
bio-evolutionary grounds. Lastly, several of the contributions to the
volume suggest that recursive embedding is not in itself an adaptive
target, but rather the by-product of two distinct adaptive gambits: the
recruitment of conjoined clauses as modal operators on other clauses and
the subsequent condensation of paratactic into syntactic structures.

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
                            Historical Linguistics
                            Language Acquisition
                            Linguistic Theories
                            Psycholinguistics
                            Syntax

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=41600


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