Anyone who has studied linguistics in the last half-century has been
affected by the work of David Perlmutter. One of the era's most versatile
linguists, he is perhaps best known as the founder (with Paul Postal) of
Relational Grammar, but he has also made contributions to areas ranging
from theoretical morphology to sign language phonology. "Hypothesis
A/Hypothesis B" (the title evokes Perlmutter's characteristic style of
linguistic argumentation) offers twenty-three essays by Perlmutter’s
colleagues and former students.
Many of the contributions deal with the study of the world's languages
(including Indo-European languages, sign language, and languages of the
Americas), reflecting the influence of Perlmutter's cross-linguistic
research and meticulous analysis of empirical data. Other topics include
grammatical relations and their mapping; unaccusatives, impersonals, and
the like; complex verbs, complex clauses, and Wh-constructions; and the
nature of sign language. Perlmutter, currently Professor Emeritus at the
University of California, San Diego, and still actively engaged in the
field, opens the volume with the illuminating and entertaining essay, "My
Path in Linguistics."
Contributors: Judith Aissen, Mark Aronoff, Leonard H. Babby, Nicoleta
Bateman, J. Albert Bickford, Sandra Chung, William D. Davies, Stanley
Dubinsky, Katarzyna Dziwirek, Patrick Farrell, Donald G. Frantz, Donna B.
Gerdts, Alice C. Harris, Brian D. Joseph, Géraldine Legendre, Philip S.
LeSourd, Joan Maling, Stephen A. Marlett, Diane Lillo-Martin, James
McCloskey, Richard P. Meier, Irit Meir, John C. Moore, Carol A. Padden,
Maria Polinsky, Eduardo P. Raposo, Richard A. Rhodes, Wendy Sandler, Paul
Smolensky, Annie Zaenen