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Review of  A Grammar of Basque


Reviewer: Georges Rebuschi
Book Title: A Grammar of Basque
Book Author: Jon Ortiz De Urbina
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Subject Language(s): Basque
Book Announcement: 14.3478

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Review:
Hualde, José Ignacio, and Jon Ortiz de Urbina, ed. (2003) A Grammar of
Basque, Mouton de Gruyter Mouton Grammar Library 26.

Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/14/14-1944.html

Georges Rebuschi, Université de Paris III & CNRS, UMR 7107.


1. INTRODUCTION

This book, to which several scholars (among whom the editors
themselves) have contributed chapters and/or subsections, is intended
to provide its readers with a self-contained (and as exhaustive as
possible) description of the Basque language, taking into account the
three main dimensions of variation: dialectal, stylistic, and
diachronic.


2. SUMMARY

In chapter 1, 'Introduction' (J.I. Hualde, 1-14), after general
information concerning the language is provided, the aims of this
grammar are defined: the contributors ''have been guided by a concern
with analytical rigor and attention to fine points of
grammar. However, [they] have also avoided all unnecessary
formalism. [Henceforth], this book should be perfectly accessible to
any linguist regardless of theoretical orientation.'' (p.14)

Chapter 2, 'Phonology,' consists of three sections.

Sec. 2.1, 'Segmental phonology' (J.I. Hualde, 15-65), starts with an
inventory of the Gipuzkoan-High Navarrese-standard Basque phonemes,
soon compared to those of others dialects: Zuberoan, for instance, has
a distinctive feature of aspiration, voiced fricatives, and a
nasalized laryngeal aspiration ''always flanked by nasalized vowels''
(p. 25). Next, syllable structure is examined, and the main
phonological alternations affecting both consonants and vowels.

Sec. 2.2, 'Accentuation' (J.I. Hualde, 65-72), is dealt with in lesser
detail, but the patterns exhibited by four (sub- )dialects, Northern
Bizkaian, Western Gipuzkoa (i.e. eastern Bizkaian), ''central'' (real
Gipuzkoan) and Zuberoan (the easternmost dialect) are described. The
first variety is typologically the most interesting: many words lack
inherent, lexical accent (although some declensional suffixes do
assign an accent); in this case, it is a phrase which will (in
isolation or under focus) will be pitch- accented: there is a rise on
the second syllable and a tonal plateau up to the final syllable,
which is characterized by a falling contour. But if a word is
inherently accented, or inherits an accent from a suffix, it will
carry an independent pitch salience (on the same final syllable in the
Gernika variety, but on the penultimate in Lekeitio, as indicated in
Sec. 2.3). In the central variety, most polysyllabic words are
accented on the second syllable, whereas in Zuberoan it is typically
the penultimate syllable which is stressed, final accent generally
resulting from the contraction of two identical vowels.

Sec. 2.3, 'Intonation' (G. Elordieta, 72-112). This domain must, of
course, also be approached from a dialectal viewpoint. Here again,
coastal Bizkaian is the most interesting, and is described in detail
(sub-variety of Lekeitio, 73-102, with 24 F0 figures). Speakers
identify the last accented syllable of the phrase that immediately
precedes the verb complex (either the inflected lexical verb, or the
participle+auxiliary sequence) as the most prominent one. Words that
are not lexically accented (e.g. _semien_ below) cannot be stressed
or accented; thus, in answering the question 'Whose house have you
seen?' it is impossible to utter (1), and the pattern (2) is forced
(capitals indicate the accented vowel):

(1) *Neure semiEn etxia ikusi dot
my son-genitive house seen I-have
(2) Neure semien etxiA ikusi dot
'I've seen my SON's house'

It is also worthwhile noting that the normal downstep affecting the
high-tone plateau of a (focused) phrase may be interrupted by a
contrastive/corrective high tone on the corrected word (if it can be
accented at all), a phenomenon that does NOT affect replies to
questions.

Chapter 3, although entitled 'Morphology' (113-360), in fact covers a
much wider domain.

Sec. 3.1, 'The Noun Phrase: nouns, determiners and modifiers; pronouns
and names' (L. Trask, 113-170), is placed under morphology probably
because morphological case in Basque (just as in, say, Hungarian, but
cf. also the Saxon genitive) is normally only marked on the very last
word of the phrase. This section satisfies the ''no unnecessary
formalism'' constraint mentioned above by providing from the start a
''template'':

(3) Complex modifier* -- DET1 -- N -- Adj* -- DET2

and thereby avoids any potential trouble raised by a possible study of
its internal organization -- cf. the remark concerning the fact that
the partitive affix _-ik_ ''cannot be added to a full NP with a
determiner, but only to a determinerless sequence of the type called
an N-bar in some theoretical frameworks'' (p. 124).

Sec. 3.2, 'Case and number inflection of noun phrases' (J.I. Hualde,
171-186), provides the lengthy paradigms of the normalized language
enacted by the Basque language Academy (Euskaltzaindia), the number of
which is justified by lexico-semantic considerations (whether the head
N is human or not), and morphophonological adjustments (whether the NP
is singular, plural, or 'indefinite', and depending on the
phonological type, consonantal or vocalic, of the very last segment,
etc.).

Sec. 3.3-4, 'Postpositions' and 'Adverbs' (J.I. Hualde, 187-190,
190-195), describe those typical VP and sentential modifiers, and
various word formation devices used to build them.

Sec. 3.5, 'Verbs', has distinct subsections written by different
contributors.

Sec. 3.5.1-3, 'Non finite forms', Finite forms', and 'Structural
analysis of basic verbal paradigms', by J.I. Hualde (196-242), have
explicit titles. Here even more than in the nominal domain, the
morphological complexity of the language is particularly conspicuous
(74 tables are provided!).

Sec. 3.5.4, 'Tense, aspect and mood' (by B. Oyharçabal, 249- 284), is
devoted to the semantic and/or cognitive content of the (synthetic or
compound) finite forms whose morphological complexity was described in
the preceding Sec. .

Sec. 3.5.5-6, 'Periphrastic constructions' and 'Semi- auxiliary verbs'
(J. Ortiz de Urbina, 284-323) do not describe what is usually known
among Basque grammarians and linguists as ''periphrastic forms''
(i.e. ''compound tenses'' in a more conservative terminology), but to
constructions which involve more than a simple lexical verb and a
possible inflected auxiliary. The coding of progressive aspect by
_ari_ (as distinct form the imperfective value of synthetic finite
forms, and of the imperfective or iterative force of the would-be
present participle) is first described; as could be expected, weather
verbs display morpho-syntactic irregularity. Next, the root-modal
notions of volition and deontic necessity as lexicalized by _nahi_ and
_behar_ are described, along with their syntactic properties, and so
are the ''modal particles'', among which positive-assertive _ba-_,
habitual _ohi_, north-eastern interrogative _-a_ and (common)
''rhetorical'' interrogative _ote_, etc.

The last three sections of chapter 3 (by J.I. Hualde) first deal with
two minor categories: 'Conjunctions and connectors' (Sec. 3.5.7,
323-328), and next with word formation ('Derivation', 328-351, and
'Compounds', 351-362), thereby completing Sec. 3.3 and 3.4.

Chapter 4 is entitled 'Syntax'.

Sec. 4.1, 'Valency and argument structure in the Basque verb', by
R. Etxepare (363-426), studies the relationship between auxiliary
selection, case-frame and valency: for instance, whereas typical
bivalent predicates have an ergative and an absolutive argument,
reflected as such in the verbal inflection, others take absolutive +
dative nominals, whilst yet another group select an ergative and a
dative argument. Semantic considerations (lexical aspect, type of
predication: stage-level vs. individual level, etc.) are explicitly
taken into account.

Sec. 4.2, 'Nominal Predication: copulative sentences and secondary
predication' (I. Zabala, 426-448), develops one dimension of the
preceding section, and acknowledges the existence of an antipassive
construction in Basque, as in (4), (702b) in the text:

(4) ni gutun asko idatzia naiz
I.ABS letter a lot.ABS write.PERF.DET am
'I have written a lot of letters'

Sec. 4.3, 'Word order' (J. Ortiz de Urbina, 428-459), has four
sections: neutral order, heavy constituents, focalization, and topics.

Sec. 4.4, 'Focalization' (R. Etxepare & J. Ortiz de Urbina, 459-516)
develops the contents of 4.3.3 and describes in considerable detail
the highly intricate relationship between Wh- questions and focusing,
Yes/No questions and verb focusing (distinguishing between
focalization on the ''event'', i.e. the content of the lexical item,
and ''positive polar emphasis''), subconstituent questions and
focusing, embedded focalization, and focalization in negative clauses.

Sec. 4.5. & 4.6. The sections on 'Negation' and 'Exclamatives'
(R. Etxepare, 516-564, 564-572) again offer an very detailed
description of the relevant data.

Sec. 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9, 'Impersonal clauses' (J. Ortiz de Urbina,
572-591), 'Causatives' (J. Ortiz de Urbina, 592- 607), and 'Reciprocal
and reflexive constructions' (X. Artiagoitia, 607-632), provide
supplementary information concerning the grammatical domain examined
150 pages earlier (Sec. 4.1).

Sec. 4.10. The very long section on 'Subordination' (632-844) consists
of several subsections written by various authors.

In Sec. 4.10.1, X. Artiagoitia describes 'Complementation (noun
clauses)' (634-710), as realized first by finite clauses, which he
classifies according to the type of subordinators (affixal or not)
they take, and second, as realized by non-finite structures.

Sec. 4.10.2, by the same author, tackles 'Adjunct subordination'
(710-762), and uses the same main subdivision between finite and
non-finite clauses.

Sec. 4.10.3 is devoted to 'Relatives' (B. Oyharçabal, 762-823), and
addresses in particular the question of the accessibility of the
relativized position in finite relatives, the rarely described
question of resumptive pronouns in such clauses, non-finite
(adjectival, adverbial and infinitival) relatives, headless relatives,
and finally a type of finite relative clauses only found in the
northern/eastern dialects, those using the prefixal complementizer
_bait-_.

Logically enough, the next section is devoted to 'Comparative
constructions' (J.I. Hualde & J. Ortiz de Urbina, 823-844).

Finally, Sec. 4.11, 'Coordination' (I. Amundarain, 844-892) is a
section that addresses more explicitly than most the theoretical
implications of the data: are they to be dealt with in a purely
syntactic manner, or are pragmatic factors sometimes more important
(the issue is particular visible in some cases of Gapping)?

Chapter 5 is a collection of texts, with word-for-word and ordinary
English translations (J.I. Hualde & J. Ortiz de Urbina, 893-914). All
of them have the Basque language as their theme, and the order in
which they appear reflects the general highly supple, not to say
slightly anarchistic, organization of the volume, since the first and
the last one represent the eastern dialects and date respectively back
to the 17th and the 16th century, whereas the other three are in the
standardized modern language (one by L. Michelena, the author of the
fundamental _Fonética histórica vasca_ (1976) and founding father of
the current normalization, the other two by K. Zuazo, a specialist of
Basque dialectology).

Next follow the 'Sources of examples' (914-921), the (grammatical and
linguistic) 'References' (922-934), and finally an 'Index' (935-943).


3. EVALUATION

3.1. There is no denying that this book is the most comprehensive
description of Basque ever published, and that it can very generally
be used as quite a reliable reference grammar. Importantly, some of
its sections (for instance 4.4 and 4.5) provide information that had
never been available so far. Moreover, even if the Basque Academy's /
Euskaltzaindia's (1985 sq.) grammar _EGLU_ (five volumes of which have
been published to this date) may be more detailed in some cases, one
should be reminded that (i) it is written in Basque, (ii) it is a
prescriptive grammar, and (iii) it concentrates on the written
language, i.e. that it does not take into account the fundamental
prosodic data to be found here. I must stress the fact that most
Bascologists (native speakers inclusive) will find a wealth of facts
unnoticed heretofore in this book.

There are, however, some general and specific problems that must be
raised.

3.2. Let us start with the examples and their sources, with the
references, and the intended readership.

The main problem with the examples lies in the fact that there has
clearly been no general policy concerning the establishment of a
minimal corpus common to all the non- phonetic / phonological
chapters. Admittedly, anything written in Basque by a native speaker
is Basque, by definition, but not all texts typically reflect the
dialect(s) of their authors or the period when they were written. Thus
a selection of a few books representative of at least the four main
dialects (those with a literary tradition several centuries old) would
certainly have provided a basis for a systematic comparison of the
various grammatical domains all along: if some contributors have
indeed been careful to notice the micro-parametric variations involved
as often as possible, others have done so in a much more offhand
manner.

Also troubling is the fact that the reader is sometimes referred to a
dictionary -- about which s/he is not told if it is a pure collection
of attested examples, or if at least some of them have been coined
(Sarasola 1996) -- rather than to the sources that are (most probably)
provided therein: in the absence of certain morphological or lexical
clues (which the non-Bascologist cannot be expected to possess in any
case), how can the reader identify the dialect and period concerned?

Re: the grammatical and linguistic references, the situation does not
fare much better. Thus, why was it ''understood'' (so has told me one
of the contributors) that only reference to general works was welcome,
and that reference to specialized or technical papers should be as
scanty as possible? And why is it that no list of the main journals in
which expert work on the language is generally published is provided?

In connection with the latter remark, I infer from (i) the fact that
every example is first glossed word for word, and even morpheme for
morpheme, and (ii) the wealth of morphological tables, that the
editors had in mind that part of their readers would be
non-specialists. But how are such scholars supposed to benefit from
the book as it is? An introductory chapter describing the basic facts
in the light of recent, or even not too recent, typological work
should certainly have been welcome (and so would have a map helping to
spot the town of Lekeitio, or the area in which the High Navarrese
subdialect called 'Baztanese' is spoken).

>From this point of view, I would advise the potential beginner to
start with the sections on neutral and marked word order (Sec. 4.3.1,
4.3.3) and next to construct for himself/herself the arguments that
Basque sentences do have a subject on the basis the data provided in
Sec. 4.1.1 and 4.9 (but see below), so as to return to the more
fundamental typological question: is Basque an SOV language (Greenberg
1963) or a ''Discourse configurational language'' à la Kiss (ed.,
1995)? (Needless to say, the foregoing question could be rephrased in
more modern parlance, see below again).


3.3. The main criticism I feel obliged to express concerns the
potential readers with a theoretically oriented mind. The deliberate
option of ''avoid[ing] all unnecessary formalism'' quoted above in
fact results in depriving lots of linguists who are not merely
interested in picking up disconnected exotic facts from exploiting the
extraordinary wealth of data contained in the volume without
considerable effort. I will consider four examples.

3.3.1. First, I was astonished not to find any explicit discussion of
whether the notion 'subject' is operative in this language, whose
transitive constructions are not even easily classified as being
absolutive-ergative, or active- inactive (cf., after Fillmore (1968),
Dixon (1994) and Van Vallin & LaPolla (1997) for distinct functional
backgrounds, and Levin (1983) and Ortiz de Urbina (1989) for slightly
different solutions within the GB framework). Needless to say, more
recent work on different languages suggests that there probably are
several structural positions corresponding to that traditional notion
(cf. Kiss (1996), Ramchand (1996), McCloskey (1997), all published
some time before the book under reviw was written), so that a hint at
this type of question, with due reference to it in the index, would
have been extremely uselful.

3.3.2. On the internal structure of Nominal expressions. As noted
above, we are given a ''template'' -- but some Bascologists, among
whom Artiagoitia (1998) -- not to mention Artiagoitia (2003), for
obvious reasons -- have made considerable headway towards establishing
an articulated internal structure of these phrases, with first one
functional head (D°), and later two: D° and Number°. Others have
suggested the existence of a ''KP'' (''Kase Phrase''), although it is
quite probable that the Determiner should always carry a morphological
case ending or feature, as illustrated by the contrast between the
ungrammatical ex. (5), (2155) in the book, and the grammatical (6):

(5) *mendia eta hirian
mountain.DET and city.DET.LOC

(6) mendian eta hirian
mountain.DET.LOC and city.DET.LOC
'in the mountain and (in) the city'

Taken at face value, such examples could be regarded as evidence that
the absolutive case is not the absence of any case marking, but
illustrates the syntactic presence of either a zero morpheme of a Case
feature necessarily contained in the Det. Not only would the
ungrammaticality of (5) be explained straight away: this sort of
approach at least could, in my opinion, also help account for the fact
that personal pronouns cannot be modified by ordinary relative clauses
(cf. the data contributed in Sec. 4.10.3, against the theoretical
background provided e.g. by Dechaine & Wiltschko 2002), and also
provide tools to deal with the special syntactic properties of the now
extinct ''C-type pronoun'' _haina_ 'every such', to which I happen to
have devoted two papers (among which Rebuschi (1998)), and which is
merely described as an ordinary correlative pronoun (p. 819).

3.3.3. Consider next the detailed description of the Basque linguist
Luis/ Koldo Mitxelena's own reaction to a ''freak'' he had
spontaneously produced in a written text he was editing, and
nonetheless found acceptable (p. 784, ex. (1893)):

(7) Ez nituen aurkitu [bila
not AUX find searching
nenbilTZan] argitasunak
1A.SG.walk.PL.PST.COMP explanations
'I didn't find the explanations I was looking for.'

What is astonishing here is to find the unaccusative root -_bil-_
followed by a plural marker, _-(t)z-_ (_ibili_ is a verb that can be
used in ''progressive periphrases'', as is explained in Sec. 3.5.5.1),
which clearly cross-references the abstract relative operator (or the
''head'' _argitasunak_ itself for the ''Head Raising Analysis''
supporters). (Note by the way that the same type of agreement with
_joan_ 'go' was already noted in Lafitte's ([1942]1960) grammar, and
made public to the community of linguists by Anderson (1976).)

Now, what is the use of introducing and discussing such examples, if
they are not examined within a framework that explicitly deals with
the loci at which Specifier-head Agreement can take place,
independently of whether there has been syntactic movement or base
generation/ external merge? Furthermore, how could theoretical
linguists become aware that such issues are indirectly dealt with at
all?

3.3.4. Last but not least, let's examine the treatment of
focalization. As I have already acknowledged, the description of this
phenomenon is remarkably detailed. However, a first difficulty is due
to the fact that the prosodic description in Sec. 2.3.1, which is
nearly 30 pages long, concerns a dialect totally distinct from the one
on which the detailed syntactic account of the contraints that govern
focusing, and the placement of focused phrases, is based (Sec. 4.4):
even the average Bascologist would have enjoyed the ''cooperation'' of
the authors (announced in the Introduction, Sec. 1) to extend either
to Elordieta examining the prosody of (eastern) Gipuzcoan (in
Sec. 4.4, focalization is only marked by capitals), or to Etxepare &
Ortiz de Urbina carrying an investigation of finer syntactic details
of northern Bizkaian.

But there is more to it. The absence of ''unnecessary formalism'',
probably forced onto many of the contributors, results in the almost
general absence of bracketing in Sec. 4.4 (exceptions are to be found
on pp. 490-491, where they merely help identify indirect questions, as
well as in the preceding subsection, devoted to word order, where they
suggest an analysis à la Rizzi (1997) for the left periphery of
clauses), whence the absence of any discussion concerning the the
identification of the position occupied by the focused
phrase(s). Basque, like Hungarian, is known for placing both
Wh-phrases and focused phrases left- adjacent to the verb, a
parallelism underlined in examples (784-791) for instance, but what
happens when there are several Wh-Ps or several focused phrases?
Today, following Kiss (1993), it is generally assumed (but see
Comorovski 1996 for a divergent view) that a typical (though not
unique, since one specific pair of entities may be targeted)
interpretation of multiple Wh- questions obtains by translating the
first Wh-P into a universal quantifier. It follows that the reply --
a list of pairs -- will consist in the association of a contrastive
topic with its associated (contrastive) focus -- but, crucially, if
the first Wh-P is interpreted as a quantifier, it just cannot sit in
the specifier of a Topic(alization) Phrase! Now this approach is
compatible with Ortiz de Urbina's statement that ''[m]arked topics to
the left are always associated with a focalized element'' to their
right (p. 456), but is hardly compatible with Etxepare and (the same)
Ortiz de Urbina's analysis of sentences like (8) (their (796)) as
exhibiting ''two emphasized constituents'' (unless ''emphasized''
means something different from ''focalized'', but we are not told so)
-- cf. also the Lekeitio Basque examples provided in the question /
answer pair on p. 85, which are characterized as ''cases of multiple
foci''.

(8) KOTXEA ETXEAN utzi nuen atzo
car at.home leave AUX yesterday
(ez giltza bulegoan).
not key office.the.in
'I left THE CAR AT HOME yesterday, not the key in
the office.'

>From this point of view, it would also have been interesting to find
hints at the possible (in)applicability of Rizzi's (1997) important
work concerning the left periphery of clauses, already alluded to
above, since it is not obvious that all Wh-Ps occupy the same
position, or that Rizzi's FP's specifier is indistinct from that of a
quantifier phrase. Moreover, one might wonder whether there is actual
multiple _syntactic_ focalization in such cases (see Comorovski,
op. cit., on this), or whether only the first focused phrase (or Wh-P)
moves towards the left periphery: the authors correctly observe
[p. 498] that in case of multiple Wh- questions, only the word order
observed in pragmatically _unmarked_ sentences (subject < indirect
object < direct object < verb) occurs (the case of second Wh-Ps as
sentence tails, illustrated on p. 499, could thus be analysed as the
failure of the verb+auxiliary complex to raise to C° or whatever other
functional head can be assumed in the left periphery of the clause).


4. CONCLUSION

For reasons of space, I will not discuss finer points of Basque
grammar on which I disagree: for instance, is _-zki-_ an allomorph of
the absolutive plural marker in a ditransitive verb when a dative
suffix follows, as indicated in table 82 for _di-zki-ogu_ 'we have
them to him/her' (p. 211, where the word is segmented as noted here),
when (i) _-z-_ is indubitably a plural agreement morpheme in itself,
and (ii) _-ki-_ clearly functions as a dative flag without any present
plural morpheme, as in examples provided on pp. 207, 209 and 235? Is
there really something as specific as ''ergative displacement'' in the
past and irrealis tenses (see Rebuschi 1999 on this topic as well as
on _-z+ki-_)? Are all headless relative clauses built on the same
pattern, with an invisible nominal head syntactically present? Given
the size and coverage of the book, it would necessarily take us too
far away, and it is only normal that people should disagree from time
to time.

On the contrary, I wish to repeat that this book is by far the best
description of Basque currently available: linguists who wish to have
more than a vague idea of the way Basque works will find plenty of
data that are most unexpected, especially if their cross-linguistic
culture is basically ''western Indo-European'' (probably excluding the
Celtic languages...).

My only basic regret, then, is that the contributors should have been
so strongly advised to pay as little heed as possible to current
linguistic theorizing and disputes (in spite of the research they are
independently engaged in!). Admittedly, linguistic theories are not
unified, and change constantly. But is that reason good enough to
systematically ignore the progress that has been made in the last 30
years (apart from phonetic techniques), and/or to pretend that the
average linguist has never heard of X- bar theory (whether he accepts
it or not being quite a different matter)? Does it make the book any
easier to read? In other words, can we expect the general and/or
theoretical linguist to read the 940 pages of the book carefully and
then spend more time trying to identify, not to mention solving, some
of the (many) puzzles that Basque grammar raises, when it would have
been so easy to make explicit allusions to the conceptual problems
involved? And will it render it easier to read in ten years' time?
Here again, individual opinions are, of course, necessarily subjective
and divergent, but I will have stated mine clearly.


REFERENCES

Anderson, S. 1967. 'On the Notion of Subject in Ergative
languages'. In C.N. Li (ed.), _Subject and Topic_ (New York: Academic
Press), 1-23.

Artiagoitia, X. 1998. 'Determinatzaile sintagmaren hipotesia euskal
gramatikan' [=The DP hypothesis in Basque grammar]. _Uztaro_ 27, 33-61
[San Sebastian].

Artiagoitia, X. 2002. 'The functional structure of the Basque noun
phrase'. In X. Artiagoitia et al. (eds.), _Erramu Boneta: Festschrift
for Rudolf P. G. de Rijk_ (San- Sebastián/Donostia & Vitoria/Gasteiz:
Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa & Univer-sidad del País Vasco,
Supplements of ASJU 44), 73-90.

Comorovski, I. 1996. _Interrogative Phrases and the Syntax-Semantics
Interface_. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Dechaine, R.-M., & M. Wiltschko. 2002. 'Decomposing
Pronouns'. _Linguistic Inquiry_ 33.3, 409-442.

Dixon, R.M.W. 1994. _Ergativity_. Cambridge: CUP.

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ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER


Georges Rebuschi is professor of general linguistics at the
Sorbonne Nouvelle (Univ. de Paris III). He was appointed
honorary member of Euskaltzaindia (the Basque Academy) in
2002. His main interests are syntactic parametrization, and
the syntax/semantics interface. He published a collection
of papers devoted to Basque linguistics in 1997, and co-
edited a book on the _Grammar of Focus_ with Benjamins in
1999. He is currently working on Basque diachronic syntax
(especially on quantification, relativization, and correlative
sentences), on the syntactic typology of left-dislocated clauses,
and on the general questions raised by "conjunctions" and their
semantic (i.e. logical, and not so logical) counterparts.


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