Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


May I Quote You on That?

By Stephen Spector

A guide to English grammar and usage for the twenty-first century, pairing grammar rules with interesting and humorous quotations from American popular culture.

New from Cambridge University Press!


The Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages

Edited By Peter K. Austin and Julia Sallabank

This book "examines the reasons behind the dramatic loss of linguistic diversity, why it matters, and what can be done to document and support endangered languages."

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: Kaleidoscopic Grammar
Subtitle: Investigation into the Nature of Binarism
Written By: Junichi Toyota

This monograph deals with binary features in the evolution of human
civilisation and cognition, with a particular focus on language. Our life
is surrounded by various pairs of binary features, and this is termed
binarism in this work. Binarism is pervasive, ranging from nature
(biological) to culture (anthropological and archaeological) and without a
doubt, to language. Binarim serves as a good base for further development,
and as a system becomes more complex, binarism is broken and more complex
systems involving third or fourth options emerge.

In the case of language, the earliest human language, as argued here,
consisted only of nouns, however, these nouns had a distinction between
active and inactive nouns. The active nouns referred to action or
productivity, which later turned into verb and inactive nouns stayed as
nouns. It was during this period when language became equipped with a base
to develop further with a distinction between noun and verb. This is the
onset of various changes towards the complexity of modern languages,
essentially, kaleidoscopic grammar. Various changes in language stems from
binarism, and as languages evolve, the pairs such as noun v. verb are
broken and a grammatical system in general becomes more complex. The
importance of binarism is not restricted to language and it is a powerful
tool in evolution at different levels. The pervasiveness of binarism is a
specific feature that should not be overlooked in evolution as a whole.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
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: 1443814466
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 199
Prices: U.K. £ 34.99