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The Social Origins of Language

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Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


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Title: Manifestations of Genericity
Written By: Yael Greenberg
Series Title: Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics
Description:

Manifestations of Genericity offers a unified analysis of minimally contrasting generic sentences with indefinite singular (IS) and bare plural (BP) subjects-as in "A bird flies" versus "Birds fly"-within the framework of formal semantics. Beyond the classic distinction between quantificational and kind predication genericity, there is another important distinction in the generic domain, namely the distinction between two types of quantificational, modalized (I-) generalizations: "in virtue of" generalizations, expressed by both IS and BP sentences, and "descriptive" generalizations, expressed by BP sentences alone. Thus, "A bird flies" asserts that the generalization is nonaccidentally true in virtue of some property, associated with the CN subject, whereas "Birds fly" can also merely assert that the generalization is nonaccidentally true, with no implication of an "in virtue of" property.

Where previous theories have either assigned IS and BP sentences identical representations or two completely different (roughly quantificational and predicational) representations, this book treats both sentences as having the same basic quantificational-modalized structure-thus capturing the strong semantic similarities between them. Additionally, this study accounts for semantic differences by arguing that IS and BP sentences express different kinds of modality, and that the modalized Gen operator is restricted by a different accessibility relation in each case.

When combined with independent semantic and pragmatic mechanisms, the difference in accessibility relations makes correct and precise predications as to a wide range of both old and newly observed semantic, pragmatic and distributional differences between IS and BP sentences. In this book, Yael Greenberg discusses and clarifies a number of controversial issues and phenomena in the generic literature, including the existence of "episodic genericity," existential presuppositions, and contextual restrictions of generics.

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
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): Semantics
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0415967775
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 240
Prices: U.S. $ 75