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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

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Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Universality and Demarcation of Lexical Categories Cross-Linguistically Add Dissertation
Author: Lindsay Morcom Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Oxford, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics
Completed in: 2009
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax; Typology;
Subject Language(s): Michif
Language Family(ies): Salishan
Director(s): Mary Dalrymple
Aditi Lahiri
Paloma Bellido

Abstract: Drawing data from a variety of sources, this thesis compares functional
evidence regarding lexical categories from a number of Salish and
Wakashan languages, as well as from the Michif language. It then
applies Prototype Theory to examine the structure of the lexicons of
these languages. They are described in terms of prototype categories
that overlap to varying extents, with each category and each area of
overlap defined by a central set of prototypical features.

A high degree of gradience appears to exist between categories in
Salish and Wakashan languages, with no clear boundary between
categories or areas of overlap, indicating that lexical categories in
these languages, rather than being clearly demarcated, are instead
fuzzy categories with very little distinguishing them. Categories in
Michif, on the other hand, exhibit far less overlap. This variation is
compared to variation in conceptual categories across languages, and
challenges the notions of the universality of clearly demarcated lexical
categories and the existence of separately stored language module in
the human mind.

In spite of the variation in lexical category demarcation observed
across the languages studied, it is possible to demarcate the
categories of Noun and Verb to at least some extent in all languages,
as well as a category of Adjective in some languages. This supports
the proposed universality of the categories of Noun and Verb, as well
as the implicational universals proposed in the Amsterdam Model of
Parts of Speech (Hengeveld 1992a, b). It is also possible to identify a
number of defining characteristics for each lexical category that appear
to hold across languages. Since similar characteristics can be
identified across languages for all categories, but the categories
themselves display varying degrees of overlap in individual languages,
this research supports the proposal that language universals, rather
than consisting of structures, rules, and categories that are identical in
all languages, are rather collections of prototypical characteristics for
grammatical categories that are similar across languages (Croft 2000).