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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

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Book Information


Title: Semantic Role Universals and Argument Linking
Subtitle: Theoretical, Typological, and Psycholinguistic Perspectives
Edited By: Ina Bornkessel
Matthias Schlesewsky
Bernard Comrie
Angela D. Friederici
URL: http://www.degruyter.de/rs/bookSingle.cfm?id=IS-3110186020-1&l=E
Series Title: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 165

The concept of semantic roles has been central to linguistic theory for
many decades. More specifically, the assumption of such representations as
mediators in the correspondence between a linguistic form and its
associated meaning has helped to address a number of critical issues
related to grammatical phenomena. Furthermore, in addition to featuring in
all major theories of grammar, semantic (or 'thematic') roles have been
referred to extensively within a wide range of other linguistic
subdisciplines, including language typology and sycho-/neurolinguistics.

This volume brings together insights from these different perspectives and
thereby, for the first time, seeks to build upon the obvious potential for
cross-fertilisation between hitherto autonomous approaches to a common
theme. To this end, a view on semantic roles is adopted that goes beyond
the mere assumption of generalised roles, but also focuses on their
hierarchical organisation. The book is thus centred around the
interdisciplinary examination of how these hierarchical dependencies
subserve argument linking - both in terms of linguistic theory and with
respect to real-time language processing - and how they interact with other
information types in this process. Furthermore, the contributions examine
the interaction between the role hierarchy and the conceptual content of
(generalised) semantic roles and investigate their cross-linguistic
applicability and psychological reality, as well as their explanatory
potential in accounting for phenomena in the domain of language disorders.

In bridging the gap between different disciplines, the book provides a
valuable overview of current thought on semantic roles and argument
linking, and may further serve as a point of departure for future
interdisciplinary research in this area. As such, it will be of interest to
scientists and advanced students in all domains of linguistics and
cognitive science.


Ina Bornkessel, Matthias Schlesewsky, Bernard Comrie, Angela D. Friederici

Argument hierarchy and other factors determining argument realization
Dieter Wunderlich

Mismatches in semantic-role hierarchies and the dimensions of role semantics
Beatrice Primus

Thematic roles – Universal, particular, and idiosyncratic aspects
Manfred Bierwisch

Experiencer constructions in Daghestanian languages
Bernard Comrie and Helma van den Berg

Clause-level vs. predicate-level linking
Balthasar Bickel

From meaning to syntax – semantic roles and beyond
Walter Bisang

Meaning, form and function in basic case roles
Georg Bossong

Semantic macroroles and language processing
Robert D. Van Valin, Jr.

Thematic roles as event structure relations
Maria Mercedes Piñango

Generalised semantic roles and syntactic templates: A new framework for
language comprehension
Ina Bornkessel and Matthias Schlesewsky

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
Subject Language(s): Avar, Old
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110186020
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 364
Prices: Europe EURO 118.00
U.S. $ 159.30