New books: Functional Linguistics

Tony Schiavo tony at BENJAMINS.COM
Wed May 21 19:19:14 UTC 1997


Functional Linguistics

Edna Andrews & Yishai Tobin (eds.)
This volume contains papers presented at a symposium in honor of Cornelis
H. van Schooneveld and invited papers on the topics of invariance,
markedness, distinctive feature theory and deixis. It is not a Festschrift
in the usual sense of the word, but more of a collection of articles which
represent a very specific way of defining and viewing language and
linguistics. The specific approach presented in this volume has its origins
and inspirations in the theoretical and methodological paradigm of European
Structuralism in general, and the sign-oriented legacy of Ferdinand de
Saussure and Charles Sanders Peirce and the functional and
communication-oriented approach of the Prague School in particular.
The book is divided in three sections: Theoretical and Methodological
Overview: Cornelis H. van Schooneveld; Anatoly Liberman; Petr Sgall; Alla
Bemova and Eva Hajicova; Robert Kirsner. Studies in Russian and Slavic
Languages: Edna Andrews; Lawrence E. Feinberg; Annie Joly Sperling; Ronald
E. Feldstein; Irina Dologova and Elena Maksimova&&; Stefan M. Pugh.
Applications to Other Languages, Language Families, and Aphasia: Ellen
Contini-Morava; Barbara A. Fennell; Victor A. Friedman; Robert Fradkin;
Yishai Tobin; Mark Leikin.
1996 xxviii, 432 pp. Studies in Functional & Structural Linguistics, 43
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 268 1  Price: US$99.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 1552 9  Price: Hfl. 175,--

Barbara Fox (ed.)
The last 15 years has seen an explosion of research on the topic of
anaphora. Studies of anaphora have been important to our understanding of
cognitive processes, the relationships between social interaction and
grammar, and of directionality in diachronic change. The contributions to
this volume represent the "next generation" of studies in anaphora -
defined broadly here as those morpho-syntactic forms available to speakers
for formulating reference - taking as their starting point the foundation
of research done in the 1980s. These studies examine in detail, and with a
richness of methods and theories, what patterns of anaphoric usage can
reveal to us about cognition, social interaction, and language change.
1996  xii, 518 pp.  Typological Studies in Language, 33
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 641 5  Price: US$115.00
Paper: 1 55619 642 3  Price: $34.95
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 2927 9  Price: Hfl. 200,--
Paper: 90 272 2928 7  Price: Hfl. 70,--

Ruqaiya Hasan, Carmel Cloran & David G. Butt (eds.)
This volume focuses on the relation between theory and description by
examining aspects of transitivity in different languages. Transitivity --
or case grammar, to use the popular term -- has always occupied a
center-stage position in linguistics, not least because of its supposedly
privileged relation to states of affairs in the real world. Using a
systemic functional perspective, the ten papers in this volume make a
contribution to this scholarship by focusing on the transitivity patterns
in language as the expression of the experiential metafunction. The
contributors provide functional descriptions of the various categories of
process, their participants and circumstances, including phenomena such as
di-transitivity, causativity, the get-passive, etc. The chapters point to
the nature of the linguistic fact which is linked ineluctably on the one
hand to the nature of the theory and on the other to the speakers'
experience of the world in which they live.
The majority of papers included in the volume derive from the 19th
International Systemic Functional Congress at Macquarie University.
1996  xxxvi, 381 pp.  Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 121
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 575 3  Price: $85.00
Rest of the world: 90 272 3624 0  Price: Hfl. 150,--

Maura Velazquez-Castillo
This volume is an exhaustive study of linguistic structures in Paraguayan
GuaranĂ­ which are directly or indirectly associated with the semantic
domain of inalienability. Constructions analyzed in the book include
adnominal and predicative possessive constructions, noun incorporation, and
possessor ascension. Examples are drawn from a rich data base that
incorporate native speaker intuitions and resources in the construction of
illustrative linguistic forms as well as the analysis of the communicative
use of the forms under study. The book provides a complete picture of
inalienability as a coherent integrated system of grammatical and semantic
oppositions in a language that has received little attention in the
theoretical linguistic literature.
The analysis moves from general principles to specific details of the
language while applying principles of Cognitive Grammar and Functional
Linguistics. There is an explicit aim to uncover the particularities of
form-meaning connections, as well as the communicative and discourse
functions of the structures examined. Other approaches are also considered
when appropriate, resulting in a theoretically informed study that contains
a rich variety of considerations.
1996  xvi, 274 pp.  Studies in Language Companion Series, 33
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 844 2  Price: US$99.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 3036 6  Price: Hfl. 175,--

Alan Huffman
1996 xii, 381 pp. Studies in Language Companion Series, 30
US/CANADA: Cloth: 1 55619 382 3  Price: US$120.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 3033 1  Price: 200,--
John Benjamins Publishing web site:
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This book offers an analysis of the French clitic object pronouns 'lui' and
'le' in the radically functional Columbia school framework, contrasting
this framework with sentence-based treatments of case selection. It
suggests that features of the sentence such as subject and object
relations, normally taken as pretheoretical categories of observation about
language, are in fact part of a theory of language which does not withstand
empirical testing. It shows that the correct categories are neither those
of structural case nor those of lexical case, but rather, semantic ones.
Traditionally, anomalies in the selection of dative and accusative case in
French, such as case government, use of the dative for possession and
disadvantaging, its use in the 'faire'-causative construction, and other
puzzling distributional irregularities have been used to support the idea
of an autonomous, non-functional central core of syntactic phenomena in
language. The present analysis proposes semantic constants for 'lui' and
'le' which render all their occurrences explicable in a straightforward
way. The same functional perspective informs issues of cliticity and
pronominalization as well.
The solution offered here emerges from an innovative 'instrumental' view of
linguistic meaning, an acknowledgment that communicative output is
determined only partially and indirectly by purely linguistic input, with
extralinguistic knowledge and human inference bridging the gap. This
approach entails identification of the pragmatic factors influencing case
selection and a reevaluation of thematic-role theory, and reveals the
crucial impact of discourse on the structure as well as the functioning of
grammar. One remarkable feature of the study is its extensive and varied
data base. The hypothesis is buttressed by hundreds of fully contextualized
examples and large-scale counts drawn from modern French texts.
This volume will be of interest to those interested in any of the following
case; case government; categories of observation vs. categories of
explanation; causative construction; cliticity; clitics; Columbia School;
communication; context-based grammar; data; dative; dative of possession;
dative of the disadvantaged; direct object; discourse: impact on grammar;
French; French pronouns; functional grammar; functionalism; government;
grammatical relations; grammatical theory; indirect object; instrumental
meaning; lexical case; linguistic theory; maleficiary; non-modularity;
possession; pragmatic factors in case selection; pronominalization; pronoun
systems; quantitative use of data; radical functionalism; Romance
languages; semantics; semantic constants; semantic systems; semantics of
grammar; sentence; sentence parts; sentence-based theory of case selection;
structural case; thematic roles; traditional grammar.

Anthony P. Schiavo Jr              Tel: (215) 836-1200
Publicity/Marketing                Fax: (215) 836-1204
John Benjamins North America       e-mail: tony at
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