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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.

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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 Nominative & Accusative and Their Counterparts
Edited By: Kristin Davidse
Béatrice Lamiroy
Series Title: Case and Grammatical Relations Across Languages 4

This volume is devoted to the central cases relating to the basic oppositions between subject-object and agent-patient, viz. nominative and accusative, as well as their counterparts such as ergative and absolutive. It aims at contributing to the typological investigation of these cases by providing descriptive studies of ten different languages, not only Romance and Germanic languages, but also Polish and Basque, as well as Cora, Warrwa and Ewe. These studies show that the formal devices used to mark the two nuclear cases may be quite diverse (including non-overt and ‘configurational’ coding), but that all the languages studied crucially display a subject-object asymmetry, even languages such as Basque and Ewe for which this had been questioned. One of the most striking subthemes to emerge from this collection is the complexity of the object-zone, both with regard to formal and functional diversity. Various studies in the volume also contribute reflections, couched mainly in broadly cognitive-functional terms, about the semantic function of the subject-object contrast and why it is so central across languages.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
List of abbreviations viii
1. Introduction
Kristin Davidse and Béatrice Lamiroy 1
2. Romance transitivity
Michael D. Herslund 15
3. Objects and quasi-objects: The constellation of the object in French
Ludo Melis 41
4. A construction grammar approach to transitivity in Spanish
Nicole Delbecque 81
5. Nominative and oblique in English: reflexive clauses as a test case for distinct Agent • Patient models
Kristin Davidse 131
6. Aspects of nominative and accusative in German
Luk Draye 175
7. The Source•Path•Goal schema and the accusative in interaction with the genitive in Polish
Zofia Kaleta 201
8. Objects, verbs and categories in the Cora lexicon
Eugene H. Casad 227
9. Ergativity and accusativity in Basque
R. Larry Trask 265
10. Ergative and accusative patterning in Warrwa
William B. McGregor 285
11. Constituent order and grammatical relations in Ewe
Felix K. Ameka 319
Author index 353
Subject index 356

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: John Benjamins
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): Linguistic Theories
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: 1588111822
ISBN-13: 9781588111821
Pages: x, 363 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 169
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027228140
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: x, 363 pp.
Prices: EUR 125.00