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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'The Conceptual Structure of German Impersonal Constructions'
Author: MichaelB.Smith
Email: click here to access email
Institution: 'Oakland University'
Linguistic Field: 'Morphology; Syntax'
Subject Language: 'German'
Abstract: German impersonal constructions manifest an array of morphosyntactic properties, such as so-called expletive dummy subjects, 3rd person singular verb agreement, and, in some cases, experiencer nominals bearing "quirky" case (usually dative), that have traditionally been regarded as purely accidental, idiosyncratic, or semantically vacuous. This article argues that these properties typically associated with impersonal constructions in German can be semantically motivated and explained within the theoretical framework of Cognitive Grammar (see Langacker 1987a, 1991a, 1991b). Within this framework, it is assumed that morphosyntactic markers are meaningful and polysemous: they are complex conceptual categories with distinct but related senses radiating from a prototypical sense. As a result, impersonal constructions and their component substructures are seen to be meaningful in their own right in reflecting a particular way of construing a scene, rather than as epiphenomena of autonomous syntactic processes.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 17, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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