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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

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The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

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The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Book Information

   

Title: Syntactic Complexity
Subtitle: Diachrony, acquisition, neuro-cognition, evolution
URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=TSL%2085
Series Title: Typological Studies in Language 85
Description:

Complex hierarchic syntax is considered one of the hallmarks of human
language. The highest level of syntactic complexity, recursive-embedded
clauses, has been singled out by some for a special status as the apex of
the uniquely-human language faculty-evolutionary but somehow immune to
adaptive selection. This volume, coming out of a symposium held at Rice
University in March 2008, tackles syntactic complexity from multiple
developmental perspectives. We take it for granted that grammar is an
adaptive instrument of communication, assembled upon the pre-existing
platform of pre-linguistic cognition. Most of the papers in the volume deal
with the two grand developmental trends of human language:
diachrony, the communal enterprise directly responsible for
fashioning synchronic morpho-syntax; and ontogeny, the individual
endeavor directly responsible for the acquisition of competent grammatical
performance. The genesis of syntactic complexity along these two
developmental trends is considered alongside with the cognition and
neurology of grammar and of syntactic complexity, and the evolutionary
relevance of diachrony, ontogeny and pidginization is argued on general
bio-evolutionary grounds. Lastly, several of the contributions to the
volume suggest that recursive embedding is not in itself an adaptive
target, but rather the by-product of two distinct adaptive gambits: the
recruitment of conjoined clauses as modal operators on other clauses and
the subsequent condensation of paratactic into syntactic structures.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Psycholinguistics
Syntax
Cognitive Science
Language Acquisition
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027229996
ISBN-13: 9789027229991
Prices: EuropeEURO 110.00
U.S.$ 165.00
 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9027230005
ISBN-13: 9789027230003
Prices: EuropeEURO 36.00
U.S.$ 54.00
 
Format: Electronic
ISBN:
ISBN-13: 9789027290144
Prices: EuropeEURO 110.00
U.S.$ 165.00