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LINGUIST List 21.3311

Tue Aug 17 2010

Books: Syntax/Text/Corpus Linguistics: Breban

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <marialinguistlist.org>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
        1.    Julia Ulrich, English Adjectives of Comparison: Breban

Message 1: English Adjectives of Comparison: Breban
Date: 12-Aug-2010
From: Julia Ulrich <julia.ulrichdegruyter.com>
Subject: English Adjectives of Comparison: Breban
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Title: English Adjectives of Comparison
Subtitle: Lexical and Grammaticalized Uses
Series Title: Topics in English Linguistics [TiEL] 63
Published: 2010
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Book URL: http://www.degruyter.de/cont/fb/sk/detailEn.cfm?id=IS-9783110205800-1

Author: Tine Breban
Electronic: ISBN: 9783110216011 Pages: 395 Price: Europe EURO 98.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9783110205800 Pages: 395 Price: Europe EURO 98.00

The book is concerned with a hitherto underresearched grammaticalization
process: the development from quality-attributing adjective to determiner
in the English noun phrase. It takes a bottom-up approach, based on
extensive synchronic and diachronic corpus studies of six English
adjectives of comparison: other, different, same, identical, similar and
comparable. Their functional diversity in current English is proposed to
constitute a case of layering, representing the original descriptive use,
which expresses how like/unlike each other entities are, and a range of
grammaticalized referential uses, which contribute to the identification
and/or quantification of the entities denoted by the NP. Diachronic and
comparative data material is invoked to verify and further develop the
grammaticalization hypothesis.

The development of adjectives of comparison involves several key concepts
identified in the literature. Crucially, it is described as a case of
textual intersubjectification driven by the optimalization of
recipient-design. The actual grammaticalization paths are diverse and are
characterized by lexical as well as structural persistence, i.e. the same
lexical meaning develops into different grammatical functions in different
syntagmatic configurations.

In order to define the NP as a locus of diachronic change, this study
offers a new angle on the description of adjectives and the modelling of NP
structure. It advocates the abandonment of the traditional class-based
model in favour of a radically functional one, in which functions are
defined in terms of prototypicality so as to allow for gradience between
and within them. The described grammaticalization processes involve
developments from prototypical lexical to grammatical reference-related use
within the adjectival category, which can be the starting point of further
gradual change to determiners. The traditional relation between classes and
positions is envisaged as a correspondence between functional and syntactic
zones. The change in form concomitant with grammaticalization in the NP is
argued to consist of the reconfiguration of structural combinatorics and
progressive leftward movement.

The book is of interest to linguistic researchers and graduate students in
linguistics who focus their attention on grammaticalization and
subjectification, the functional description of adjectives, questions of
deixis and theoretical issues relating to nominal reference.

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics
                            Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:

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