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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

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Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington

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New from Oxford University Press!


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!


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.

Book Information


Title: Signal, Meaning, and Message
Subtitle: Perspectives on sign-based linguistics
Edited By: Ricardo Otheguy
Nancy Stern
Wallis Reid
Series Title: Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 48

This is the second volume of papers on sign-based linguistics to emerge from Columbia School linguistics conferences. One set of articles offers semantic analyses of grammatical features of specific languages: English full-verb inversion; Serbo-Croatian deictic pronouns; English auxiliary do; Italian pronouns egli and lui; the Celtic-influenced use of on (e.g., ‘he played a trick on me’); a monosemic analysis of the English verb break. A second set deals with general theoretical issues: a solution to the problem that noun class markers (e.g. Swahili) pose for sign-based linguistics; the appropriateness of statistical tests of significance in text-based analysis; the word or the morpheme as the locus of paradigmatic inflectional change; the radical consequences of Saussure’s anti-nomenclaturism for syntactic analysis; the future of ‘minimalist linguistics’ in a maximalist world. A third set explains phonotactic patterning in terms of ease of articulation: aspirated and unaspirated stop consonants in Urdu; initial consonant clusters in more than two dozen languages. An introduction highlights the theoretical and analytical points of each article and their relation to the Columbia School framework. The collection is relevant to cognitive semanticists and functionalists as well as those working in the sign-based Jakobsonian and Guillaumist frameworks.

Table of Contents

List of contributors vii•viii
Introduction ix•xxi
Part I. Theoretical and Methodological Issues (What) do noun class markers mean?
Ellen Contini-Morava 3•64
Rethinking the Place of Statistics in Columbia School Analysis
Joseph Davis 65•90
The Linguistic Sign in its Paradigmatic Context: Autonomy Revisited
Mark J. Elson 91•109
Part II. Sign-Based Linguistic Analyses
A Surpassingly Simple Analysis
Joseph Davis 113•136
Serbo-Croatian Deixis: Balancing Attention with Difficulty in Processing
Radmila J. Gorup 137•155
Do • One Sign, One Meaning?
Walter Hirtle 157•169
Data, Comprehensiveness, Monosemy
Charles Ruhl 171•189
Phonology As human Behavior: Initial Consonant Clusters Across Languages
Yishai Tobin 191•255
Celtic Sense in Saxon Garb
Michael P. Wherrity 257•271
Problems of Aspiration in Modern Standard Urdu
Abdul Azim 273•307
Part III. Columbia School in the Context of 20th Century Linguistics
Cognitive and Semiotic Modes of Explanation in Functional Grammar
Alan Huffman 311•337
The Future of a Minimalist Linguistics in a Maximalist World
Robert S. Kirsner 339•371
Saussurean Anti-Nomenclaturism in Grammatical Analysis: A Comparative Theoretical Perspective
Ricardo Otheguy 373•403
Index of Names 405
Index of Subjects 409

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Functional & Systemic Ling
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 902721557X
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xxii, 413 pp.
Prices: EUR 110.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1588112896
ISBN-13: 9781588112897
Pages: xxii, 413 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 176