It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
The Cambridge Handbook of Communication Disorders examines the full range of developmental and acquired communication disorders and provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the epidemiology, aetiology and clinical features of these disorders.
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.