LINGUIST List 21.1451

Wed Mar 24 2010

Books: Historical Ling/Ling Theories: Wohlgemuth, Cysouw (Eds)

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <>

        1.    Julia Ulrich, Rethinking Universals: Wohlgemuth, Cysouw (Eds)

Message 1: Rethinking Universals: Wohlgemuth, Cysouw (Eds)
Date: 19-Mar-2010
From: Julia Ulrich <>
Subject: Rethinking Universals: Wohlgemuth, Cysouw (Eds)
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Title: Rethinking Universals Subtitle: How Rarities affect Linguistic Theory Series Title: Empirical Approaches to Language Typology [EALT] 45 Published: 2010 Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Book URL:

Editor: Jan Wohlgemuth Editor: Michael Cysouw Electronic: ISBN: 9783110220933 Pages: 288 Price: Europe EURO 99.95
Hardback: ISBN: 9783110220926 Pages: 288 Price: Europe EURO 99.95

Universals of language have been studied extensively for the last fourdecades, allowing fundamental insight into the principles and generalproperties of human language. Only incidentally have researchers looked atthe other end of the scale. And even when they did, they mostly just notedpeculiar facts as "quirks" or "unusual behavior", without making too muchof an effort at explaining them beyond calling them "exceptions" to variousrules or generalizations.

Rarissima and rara, features and properties found only in one or very fewlanguages, tell us as much about the capacities and limits of humanlanguage(s) as do universals. Explaining the existence of such rarephenomena on the one hand, and the fact of their rareness or uniqueness onthe other, is a reasonable and interesting challenge to any theory of howhuman language works.

The present volume for the first time compiles selected papers on the studyof rare linguistic features from various fields of linguistics and from awide range of languages.

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories                             Historical Linguistics                             Language Typology
Written In: English (eng )

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