Are phrases universal?

Alexander V Bochkov bochkov at HAWAII.EDU
Fri Aug 28 01:30:19 UTC 2009


Dear colleagues,

I am working on a paper and I need your help (if you have references, that's even better!)

1. How universal is the phrase? In other words, are there languages that lack phrases completely? By phrase I roughly understand "a set of syntactic elements which form a constituent (=relatively independent group of words)." (Bussmann, Hadumod, Gregory Trauth, Kerstin Kazzazi, and Hadumod Bussmann. 1996. Routledge dictionary of language and linguistics. Routledge reference. London: Routledge. - p. 902)
 2. WALS says that there are 6 languages with zero head/dependent marking http://wals.info/feature/25 . It is not entirely clear whether those languages have phrases or not. If they do, how do we know that?
 
Thank you.

Alexander Bochkov
--------------------------
Department of Second Language Studies
University of Hawaii at Manoa
http://www.hawaii.edu/sls





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