LINGUIST List 9.1064

Thu Jul 23 1998

Books: Linguistic Theory

Editor for this issue: Julie Wilson <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  1. Matthew Papa, LINGUISTIC THEORY


Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 09:56:24 -0400
From: Matthew Papa <>

 Subjects, Agreement, Case and Clitics
 This collection builds on the theory of Principles and Parameters and 
 its Economy--minimalist descendants. The essays progressively develop 
 a view of syntactic structures in which syntactic properties are 
 increasingly analyzed as atomized in progressively smaller elementary 
 components and partitioned in the way these elementary components are 
 represented. Dominique Sportiche argues that as a consequence of this 
 view, languages do not differ at all in their syntactic organization. 
 Routledge Leading Linguists 
 Routledge: 1998: 448 pp
 CL: 0 415 16926 7: #D4946: $110.00
 This work examines the linguistic constructions which speakers use to 
 talk about events that occurred in the past and states which held in 
 the past. Laura Michaelis argues that the fundamental conceptual 
 division between events and states forms the basis of systems of 
 verbal aspect in all languages, and that one cannot talk about the 
 meaning of a past-tense assertion without making reference to the 
 event-state distinction. Focusing on English data, the author examines 
 the semantic and functional overlap between assertions about the past 
 and assertions involving events: when one asserts that an event of a 
 given kind exists, one is making an assertion about the past. This 
 semantic overlap can be evoked as a way of characterizing the close 
 relationship between the past-tense construction and the past-perfect 
 construction: while a past tense assertion like She left is used to 
 describe the past, a present-perfect assertion like She has left is 
 used to assert the existence of an event by invoking its aftermath 
 (her absence). Dr. Michaelis argues that the two constructions are 
 semantically equivalent, but distinguished by their function in 
 narrative. This study presents a semantic framework for analyzing all 
 aspectual constructions in terms of the event-state distinction, and 
 describes the grammatical expression of aspectual meaning in terms of 
 a theory of grammatical constructions. In this theory, grammatical 
 constructions, like words, are conventionalized form-meaning pairs, 
 which are best described not only with respect to their intrinsic 
 semantic values, but also with respect to the functional opposition in 
 which they participate. Michaelis argues that many of the otherwise 
 puzzling grammatical constraints which characterize the English 
 present-perfect construction can be motivated in terms of the 
 functional opposition between present perfect and past tense.
 Routledge Studies in Germanic Linguistics 4
 Routledge: 1998: 320 pp
 CL: 0 415 15678 5: #D4385: $90.00
 Asa Kasher, ed, PRAGMATICS
 6 Volume Set
 The purpose of this collection is to portray the development of 
 pragmatics as a science of language, in a such a way as to enable 
 readers to critically assess this theorectical development. Issues 
 explored include * presupposition * implicature * discourse * grammar 
 * communication * indexicals * psychology * sociology. This work 
 provides highly useful references and suggestions for further reading, 
 and has an exceptionally detailed subject and name index to enable 
 easy and immediate access for the reader.
 Critical Concepts 
 Routledge: 1998: 2653 pp
 CL: 0 415 11734 8: #D2960: $905.00
 For more information on these and other titles from: 
 ROUTLEDGE London * New York
 in North America: 
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The following contributing LINGUIST publishers have made their backlists available on the World Wide Web:

1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter