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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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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

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: The Syntax of Nonsententials
Subtitle: Multidisciplinary perspectives
Edited By: Ljiljana Progovac
Kate Paesani
Eugenia Casielles
Ellen Barton
URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=LA%2093
Series Title: Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 93

This volume brings the data that many in formal linguistics have dismissed
as peripheral straight into the core of syntactic theory. By bringing
together experts from syntax, semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of
language, language acquisition, aphasia, and pidgin and creole studies, the
volume makes a multidisciplinary case for the existence of nonsententials,
which are analyzed in various chapters as root phrases and small clauses
(Me; Me First!; Him worry?!; Class in session), and whose distinguishing
property is the absence of Tense, and, with it, any syntactic phenomena
that rely on Tense, including structural Nominative Case. Arguably, the
lack of Tense specification is also responsible for the dearth of
indicative interpretations among nonsententials, as well as for their heavy
reliance on pragmatic context. So pervasive is nonsentential speech across
all groups, including normal adult speech, that a case can be made that
continuity of grammar lies in nonsentential, rather than sentential speech.

Table of contents

Preface ix
Ljiljana Progovac, Kate Paesani, Eugenia Casielles and Ellen Barton 1–9
1. Toward a nonsentential analysis in generative grammar
Ellen Barton 11–31
2. The syntax of nonsententials: Small clauses and phrases at the root
Ljiljana Progovac 33–71
3. "Small structures": A sententialist perspective
Jason Merchant 73–91
4. Neither fragments nor ellipsis
Robert J. Stainton 93–116
5. Big questions, small answers
Eugenia Casielles 117–145
6. Extending the nonsentential analysis: The case of special registers
Kate Paesani 147–182
7. The narrowing acquisition path: From expressive small clauses to
Christopher Potts and Thomas Roeper 183–201
8. Nonsententials in second language acquisition
Nicola Work 203–227
9. How language adapts to the brain: An analysis of agrammatic aphasia
Herman Kolk 229–258
10. Nonsententials and agrammatism
Patricia Siple 259–281
11. Reduced syntax in (prototypical) pidgins
Donald Winford 283–307
12. Copula variation in Guyanese Creole and AAVE: Implications for
nonsentential grammar
Walter F. Edwards 309–322
Epilogue: Wherefrom and whereto?
Ljiljana Progovac, Kate Paesani, Eugenia Casielles and Ellen Barton 323–353
Index 355–372

"Altogether this is a fascinating volume, especially given the breathtaking
range of data and subfields that it brings together in order to explore the
syntactic structures and cognitive processes that may underlie the
production and comprehension of ‘fragments’. There is so much to learn from
the individual chapters and from the volume as a whole. A momentous and
provocative piece of work."
Michel DeGraff, MIT

"According to Richard Montague, the task of syntax is to give a recursive
definition of the set of well-formed expressions of every category of a
given language; for compositional semantics that is a very natural
perspective, since it is not only sentences that have meanings. But few
linguists made much of this aspect of Montague’s approach. I was happy when
I first encountered Ellen Barton’s work on non-sentential constituents
around 1989. I had long believed that there are non-trivial speech acts
involving non-elliptical non-sentential constituents, but the topic never
got to the top of my agenda, so I am immensely grateful that such an
excellent team of linguists has put together such a strong collection of
papers invoking such a breadth of perspectives. I hope this book unleashes
a flood of new work on this important topic."
Barbara H. Partee, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Pidgins & Creoles
Generative Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Creole English, Guyanese
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: 9027233578
ISBN-13: 9789027233578
Pages: 372
Prices: U.S. $ 169
Europe EURO 125.00