Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


May I Quote You on That?

By Stephen Spector

A guide to English grammar and usage for the twenty-first century, pairing grammar rules with interesting and humorous quotations from American popular culture.

New from Cambridge University Press!


The Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages

Edited By Peter K. Austin and Julia Sallabank

This book "examines the reasons behind the dramatic loss of linguistic diversity, why it matters, and what can be done to document and support endangered languages."

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: Category Neutrality
Subtitle: A Type-Logical Investigation
Written By: Neal Whitman
Series Title: Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics

'Feature neutrality' is an issue that has received much attention among linguists. For example, consider the sentence, 'I have never, and will never, put my name on this document.' Here, the verb 'put' acts simultaneously as a past participle (as in 'have never put') and a base form (as in 'will never put'), and is therefore said to be neutral between the two forms. Similar examples have been found for many languages.

The accepted wisdom is that neutrality is possible only for morphosyntactic features such as verb form, gender, number, declension class-not at the level of gross syntactic category, where the semantic differences are more significant. In other words, it has been claimed that 'category neutrality,' where a word or phrase is used simultaneously with more than one syntactic category, does not exist. (A famous example is the glaring ungrammaticality of this sentence, in which 'can' is used simultaneously as a main verb and auxiliary verb: 'I can tuna and get a new job.') In this book, however, Neal Whitman shows that category neutrality does exist in English. This not only challenges the current thinking, but also raises foundational questions about the nature of ambiguity.

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0415970946
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 320
Prices: U.S. $ 90.00