Featured Linguist!

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



Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:

$34638

Still Needed:

$40362

Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington


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


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

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.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

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.


Academic Paper


Title: Body as subject
Author: Irit Meir
Institution: University of Haifa
Author: Carol A. Padden
Institution: University of California
Author: Mark Aronoff
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.linguistics.stonybrook.edu/Users/maronoff/
Institution: Stony Brook University
Author: Wendy Sandler
Institution: University of Haifa
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Typology
Abstract: The notion of subject in human language has a privileged status relative to other arguments. This special status is manifested in the behavior of subjects at the morphological, syntactic, semantic and discourse levels. Here we present evidence that subjects have a privileged status at the lexical level as well, by analyzing lexicalization patterns of verbs in three different sign languages. Our analysis shows that the sub-lexical structure of iconic signs denoting states of affairs in these languages manifests an inherent pattern of form–meaning correspondence: the signer's body consistently represents one argument of the verb, the subject. The hands, moving in relation to the body, represent all other components of the event – including all other arguments. This analysis shows that sign languages provide novel evidence in support of the centrality of the notion of subject in human language. It also solves a typological puzzle about the apparent primacy of object in sign language verb agreement, a primacy not usually found in spoken languages, in which subject agreement generally ranks higher. Our analysis suggests that the subject argument is represented by the body and is part of the lexical structure of the verb. Because it is always inherently represented in the structure of the sign, the subject is more basic than the object, and tolerates the omission of agreement morphology.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 43, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



Back
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page