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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"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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Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

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New from Oxford University Press!


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.

New from Cambridge University Press!


Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Book Information


Title: The Linguistics of Sitting, Standing and Lying
Edited By: John Newman
Series Title: Typological Studies in Language

This volume explores properties of ‘sit’, ‘stand’, and ‘lie’ verbs, reflecting three of the most salient postures associated with humans. An introductory chapter by the Editor provides an overview of directions for research into posture verbs. These directions are then explored in detail in a number of languages: Dutch; Korean; Japanese; Lao; Chantyal, Magar (Tibeto-Burman); Chipewyan (Athapaskan); Trumai (spoken in Brazil); Kxoe (Khoisan); Mbay (Nilo-Saharan); Oceanic; Enga, Ku Waru (Papuan); Arrernte, Pitjantjatjara, Ngan’gityemerri (Australian). The contributors discuss data relevant to many fields of linguistic inquiry, including patterns of lexicalization (e.g., simplex or complex verb forms), morphology (e.g., state vs. action formations), grammaticalization (e.g., extension to locational predicates, aspect markers, auxiliaries, copulas, classifiers), and figurative extension. A final chapter reports on an experimental methodology designed to establish the relevant cognitive parameters underlying speakers’ judgements on the polysemy of English stand. Taken together, the chapters provide a wealth of cross-linguistic data on posture verbs.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
1. A cross-linguistic overview of the posture verbs ‘sit’, ‘stand’, and ‘lie’
John Newman 1
2. Semantics and combinatorics of ‘sit’, ‘stand’, and ‘lie’ in Lao
Nick J. Enfield 25
3. Action and state interpretations of ‘sit’ in Japanese and English
John Newman and Toshiko Yamaguchi 43
4. Posture and existence predicates in Dene Suiné (Chipewyan): Lexical and semantic density as a function of the ‘stand’/‘sit’/‘lie’ continuum
Sally Rice 61
5. Posture verbs in two Tibeto-Burman languages of Nepal
Michael Noonan and Karen Grunow-Harsta 79
6. The semantic network of Dutch posture verbs
Maarten Lemmens 103
7. The syntax and semantics of posture forms in Trumai
Raquel Guirardello-Damian 141
8. Men stand, women sit: On the grammaticalization of posture verbs in Papuan languages, its bodily basis and cultural correlates
Alan L. Rumsey 179
9. Posture, location, existence, and states of being in two Central Australian languages
Cliff Goddard and Jean Harkins 213
10. Sit right down the back: Serialized posture verbs in Ngan’gityemerri and other Northern Australian languages
Nicholas Reid 239
11. Posture verbs in Oceanic
Frank Lichtenberk 269
12. The grammatical evolution of posture verbs in Kxoe
Christa Kilian-Hatz 315
13. Posture verbs in Mbay
John M. Keegan 333
14. The posture verbs in Korean: Basic and extended uses
Jae Jung Song 359
15. Embodied standing and the psychological semantics of stand
Raymond W. Gibbs Jr. 387
Index 401

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Functional & Systemic Ling
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: 9027229570
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xii, 409 pp.
Prices: EUR 120.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1588112047
ISBN-13: 9781588112040
Pages: xii, 409 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 182