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Evolutionary Syntax

By Ljiljana Progovac

This book "outlines novel and testable hypotheses, contains extensive examples from many different languages" and is "presented in accessible language, with more technical discussion in footnotes."

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The Making of Vernacular Singapore English

By Zhiming Bao

This book "proposes a new theory of contact-induced grammatical restructuring" and "offers a new analytical approach to New English from a formal or structural perspective."

Book Information


Title: Subjects and Universal Grammar
Subtitle: An Explanatory Theory
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 113

The 'subject' of a sentence is a concept that presents great challenges
to linguists. Most languages have something which looks like a subject, but
subjects differ across languages in their nature and properties, making
them an interesting phenomenon for those seeking linguistic universals.
This pioneering volume addresses ‘subject’ nature from a simultaneously
formal and typological perspective. Dividing the subject into two distinct
grammatical functions, it shows how the nature of these functions explains
their respective properties, and argues that the split in properties shown
in 'ergative' languages (whereby the subject of intransitive verbs is
marked as an object) results from the functions being assigned to different
elements of the clause. Drawing on data from a typologically wide variety
of languages, including English, Hebrew, Tagalog, Inuit and Acehnese, it
explains why, even in the case of very different languages, certain core
properties can be found.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): English
Inuktitut, Eastern Canadian
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0521122953
ISBN-13: 9780521122955
Prices: U.K. £ 19.99
U.S. $ 36.99