This is the most comprehensive survey ever published of auxiliary verb
constructions, as in 'he could have been going to drink it' and 'she does
eat cheese'. Drawing on a database of over 800 languages Dr Anderson
examines their morphosyntactic forms and semantic roles. He investigates
and explains the historical changes leading to the cross-linguistic
diversity of inflectional patterns, and he presents his results within a
new typological framework.
The book's impressive range includes data on variation within and across
languages and language families. In addition to examining languages in
Africa, Europe, and Asia the author presents analyses of languages in
Australasia and the Pacific and in North, South, and Meso-America. In doing
so he reveals much that is new about the language families of the world and
makes an important contribution to the understanding of their nature and
evolution. His book will interest scholars and researchers in language
typology, historical and comparative linguistics, syntax, and morphology.