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Evolutionary Syntax

By Ljiljana Progovac

This book "outlines novel and testable hypotheses, contains extensive examples from many different languages" and is "presented in accessible language, with more technical discussion in footnotes."

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The Making of Vernacular Singapore English

By Zhiming Bao

This book "proposes a new theory of contact-induced grammatical restructuring" and "offers a new analytical approach to New English from a formal or structural perspective."

Book Information


Title: Languages Within Language. An evolutive approach.
Written By: Ivan F├│nagy
Series Title: Foundations of Semiotics 13

There is little hope of reconstructing by means of comparative or typological studies a lingua adamica essentially different from present-day languages. The distant preverbal past is however still present in live speech. Phonetic, syntactic and semantic rule transgressions, far from being products of a deficient output, are governed by a universal iconic apparatus, a sort of 'anti-grammar' or 'proto-grammar' which enables the speaker and the poet to express preconscious and subconscious mental contents that could not be conveyed by means of the grammar of any language. Secondary messages, generated by the proto-grammar are integrated into the primary grammatical message. The two messages whose structural and semantic divergence represents a chronological distance of hundreds of thousands of years, constitute a dialectic unity which characterize natural languages. The evolutive approach offers a different, perhaps better understanding of questions related to dynamic synchrony, vocal and verbal style, poetic language, language change.

Chapters on: Diversity of the lexicon - Dual encoding: vocal style -
Syntactic gesturing - Syntactic regressions - Prosodic expression of emotions - Poetry and vocal art - Situation and meaning - A hidden presence: verbal magic - Playing with language: joke and metaphor -
Metaphor: a research instrument - Dynamics of poetic language -
Semantic structure of possessive constructions - Semantic structure of punctuation marks - Why gestures? - Between acts and words - Language within language: dynamics, change and evolution.

Publication Year: 2001
Publisher: John Benjamins
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Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1556190387
ISBN-13: 9781556190384
Pages: 828
Prices: U.S. $ 203