LINGUIST List 8.997

Fri Jul 4 1997

Books: Linguistic Theory

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Message 1: New Books: Linguistic Theory

Date: Wed, 02 Jul 1997 14:38:44 -0400
From: Tony Schiavo <>
Subject: New Books: Linguistic Theory

John Benjamins Publishing would like to call your attention to the
following new titles in the field of Linguistic Theory:


Feng-hsi Liu
due 1997 viii, 183 pp. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 16
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 900 7 Price: US$84.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 2737 3 Price: Hfl. 160,--
John Benjamins Publishing web site:
For further information via e-mail:

Scope and Specificity is an investigation of quantifier scope
interaction in natural language, with special reference to English and
Chinese. In particular, it is concerned with semantic properties of
NPs. Quantifier scope plays an important role in current theories of
syntax and semantics. However, most studies of quantifier scope are
only concerned with the behavior of a small number of quantifiers,
e.g. 'every', 'some', 'all'. As a result, the generalizations made on
the basis of these quantifiers often do not hold when a wider range of
quantifiers is considered. In this study a wide variety of NP types
are examined with respect to how they interact with other NPs. The key
concept explored is that of semantic scope
dependency/independence. NPs are considered according to two
properties: whether they can induce scope-dependency and whether they
can be scope-dependent. By observing how in basic sentences NPs behave
with respect to the two properties, the author presents a picture of
quantifier scope much different from what has been assumed in the


Galia Hatav
due 1997 x, 210 pp. Studies in Language Companion Series, 34
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 845 0 Price: US$85.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 3037 4 Price: Hfl. 150,--
John Benjamins Publishing web site:
For further information via e-mail:

Tense, aspect and modality are among the most challenging areas of
language. Similarly, the semantics of the verbal system in biblical
Hebrew has been investigated since the Middle Ages. Galia Hatav
provides extensive critical overviews of research in both areas, and
suggests a new approach for analyzing the biblical Hebrew verb system,
showing it to be tenseless. The overall approach adopted in the book
is basically of truth conditional semantics, and adheres closely to
Kamp's DRT (Discourse Representation Theory). For each phenomenon
covered, the relevant literature is surveyed and critically discussed,
with reference to English, and when relevant to other languages,
too. The conclusions arrived at are then applied to biblical Hebrew.
However, despite the sophisticated semantic theory the book is also
meticulous in its attention to philological details of the Hebrew
text, lending to a particulary harmonious combination of formal and
discourse approach. The biblical Hebrew part of the book will be of
interest mainly to Hebraists, but linguists dealing with temporality
in general may find it useful as an interesting illustration for a
tenseless exotic language. This title will be of interest both to
linguists working on temporality, as a general phenomenon in language,
and Hebraists investigating the semantics of the verbal forms in
biblical Hebrew.


Zygmunt Frajzyngier
1996 xviii, 501 pp. Studies in Language Companion Series, 32
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 843 4 Price: $128.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 3035 8 Price: Hfl. 225,--
John Benjamins Publishing web site:
For further information via e-mail:

The general objective of this study is a systematic examination of the
processes involved in the formation and evolution of complex sentence
constructions in a group of genetically related languages. The Chadic
language group, at about 140 languages, constitutes the largest and
most diversified branch of the Afroasiatic family. One of the findings
of the present work is that languages starting from the same base may
develop quite different morphological and syntactic structures. With
respect to issues of general linguistic interest, the book deals with
motivations for grammaticalization: It is proposed that one of the
most important motivations is satisfaction of the principle of well
formedness, that is, that every element in an utterance must have its
role transparent to the hearer either by inherent lexical properties
or by grammatical means. In the present work both aspects of
grammaticalization, viz. the emergence of grammatical constructions
and the emergence of grammatical morphemes, are given equal weight. In
addition to semantic metaphor and metonymy as mechanisms in the
processes of grammaticalization, the present work develops the notion
of semiotic metonymy, whereby a part of a sign performs the function
of the sign. It is shown that semiotic metonymy plays an important
role in the grammaticalization of grammatical morphemes and
constructions into other morphemes and constructions. The book also
shows that unindirectionality is not a governing principle with
respect to the development of grammatical morphemes into other
grammatical morphemes; rather, there is considerable evidence and
theoretical justification for the bidirectionality principle.

- ------------------------------------------------------------
Anthony P. Schiavo Jr Tel: (215) 836-1200
Publicity/Marketing Fax: (215) 836-1204
John Benjamins North America e-mail:
PO Box 27519 
Philadelphia PA 19118-0519 

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