LINGUIST List 25.1154

Sat Mar 08 2014

Books: A typology of marked-S languages: Handschuh

Editor for this issue: Justin Petro <>

Date: 08-Mar-2014
From: Sebastian Nordhoff <>
Subject: A typology of marked-S languages: Handschuh
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Title: A typology of marked-S languages
Series Title: Studies in Diversity Linguistics No. 1
Published: 2014
Publisher: Language Science Press

Book URL:

Author: Corrinna Handschuh
Electronic: ISBN: 9783944675190 Pages: 263 Price: Europe EURO 0 Comment: Open Access

Case-systems all over the world exhibit striking similarities. In most languages intransitive subjects (S) receives less overt marking than one of the two transitive arguments agent-like A or patient-like P); the other one of these two arguments is usually encoded by the same form as S. In some languages the amount of overt marking is identical between S, A, and P. But hardly ever does the S argument receive more overt marking than A or P. Yet there are some languages that do not follow this general pattern. This book is about those languages that behave differently, the marked-S languages.

Marked-S languages are well-known to be found in East Africa, where they occur in two different language families, Afro-Asiatic and Nilo-Saharan. They can also be found in North-Western America and the Pacific region. This book is the first investigation of marked S-languages that treats the phenomenon on a global scale.

The study examines the functional distribution of the two main case-forms, the form used for S (S-case) and the case-form of the transitive argument which receives less marking (the zero-case). It offers a very fine-grained perspective considering a wide range of constructions. The contexts in which the case-marking patterns are investigated include nominal, existential and
locational predication, subjects in special discourse function (e.g. focused constituents), subjects of passives and dependent clauses, as well as the forms used for addressing someone (vocative form) and for using a noun in isolation (citation form).

Apart from the functional distribution of case forms, the formal means of marking are also considered. The main focus is on the synchronic description and comparison of marked-S languages, but historical explanations for the unusual case-marking pattern are also discussed.

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Language Family(ies): Afroasiatic

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics)
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cascadilla Press
Classiques Garnier
De Gruyter Mouton
Edinburgh University Press
Elsevier Ltd
Equinox Publishing Ltd
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Georgetown University Press
John Benjamins
Lincom GmbH
MIT Press
Multilingual Matters
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG
Oxford University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Peter Lang AG
Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
University of Toronto Press

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
International Pragmatics Assoc.
Linguistic Association of Finland
Morgan & Claypool Publishers
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Seoul National University
SIL International Publications
Universitat Jaume I
University of Nebraska Press
Utrecht institute of Linguistics

Page Updated: 08-Mar-2014