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Book Information


Title: Objects and Information Structure
Written By: Mary Dalrymple
Irina Nikolaeva
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics, 131

In many languages, the objects of transitive verbs are either marked by
grammatical case or agreement on the verb, or they remain unmarked: this is
differential object marking. This book is a cross-linguistic study of how
differential object marking is affected by information structure, the structuring of
the utterance in accordance with the informational value of its elements and
contextual factors. Marked objects tend to be associated with old information or
information that the sentence is about, while unmarked objects tend to express
new information. The book also sheds light on grammatical patterning in
languages with differential object marking: in some languages marked and
unmarked objects have identical grammatical properties, whereas in other
languages marked objects are more active in syntax. Finally, it provides a
theory of the historical changes that lead to the emergence of various patterns
of differential object marking.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521199859
ISBN-13: 9780521199858
Prices: U.K. £ 60.00
U.S. $ 99.00