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"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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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: Aspects of Split Ergativity
Written By: Jessica L Coon
URL: http://global.oup.com/academic/product/aspects-of-split-ergativity-9780199858736?q=9780199858736&lan
Description:

In languages with aspect-based split ergativity, one portion of the grammar follows an ergative pattern, while another shows a "split." In this book, Jessica Coon argues that aspectual split ergativity does not mark a split in how case is assigned, but rather, a split in sentence structure. Specifically, the contexts in which we find the appearance of a nonergative pattern in an otherwise ergative language involve added structure--a disassociation between the syntactic predicate and the stem carrying the lexical verb stem.

The book begins with an analysis of split person marking patterns in Chol, a Mayan language of southern Mexico. Here appearance of split ergativity follows naturally from the fact that the progressive and the imperfective morphemes are verbs, while the perfective morpheme is not. The fact that the nonperfective morphemes are verbs, combined with independent properties of Chol grammar, results in the appearance of a split.

This book further surveys aspectual splits in a variety of unrelated languages and offers an explanation for the universal directionality of split ergativity: in splits, ergativity is always retained in the perfective aspect. Following Laka's (2006) proposal for Basque, Coon proposes that the cross-linguistic tendency for imperfective aspects to pattern with locative constructions is responsible for the biclausality which causes the appearance of a nonergative pattern. Building on Demirdache and Uribe-Etxebarria's (2000) prepositional account of spatiotemporal relations, Coon proposes that the perfective is never periphrastic--and thus never involves a split--because there is no preposition in natural language that correctly captures the relation of the assertion time to the event time denoted by the perfective aspect.

Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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): Syntax
Typology
Subject Language(s): Basque
Chol, Tila
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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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9780199858743
Prices: U.S. $ 99.00

 
 
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780199858736
Prices: U.S. $ 39.95