Newly published: Books for review in LT
frans.plank at UNI-KONSTANZ.DE
Wed Mar 24 18:09:41 UTC 2010
Recently Published and of Typological Interest / iii 2010
New publications of potential typological interest are periodically
advertised on the lingtyp list. This used to be a feature of ALT
News; but whereas ALT News are for reading, this listing is meant to
elicit action – reviewing action.
Apart from directly commissioning reviews, LT solicits offers from
lingtypists to review books – those listed here or whichever others
you’d like to add on your own understanding of the attribute
“typologically relevant”. (And do construe its scope liberally!)
For purposes of book reviewing in LT, what matters is that REVIEWS are
done from a distinctively typological angle, from whatever angles the
books reviewed are done. Prospective reviewers so intentioned please
get in touch.
Drop me a line with bibliographical particulars if you want to make
sure your own relevant publications will be included in the next
listing. The most effective indication of the existence of a new
relevant book is the receipt of a review copy; do remind your
publisher to send one to:
78457 Konstanz, Germany.
My apologies for any listings inadvertently repeated from previous ALT
News. But then, many previously listed titles have remained
unreviewed in LT, and since typological publications can have long
shelf-lives, you’re welcome to make your pick and review now what has
been listed before but is not past the sell-by date.
Do feel free to also offer to review grammars for LT (again, from a
distinctively typological angle). Those new grammars we were aware of
have so far been listed in GRAMMAR WATCH, periodically updated and
with a consolidated listing on the ALT website. GRAMMAR WATCH is
about to be converted to wiki format, continuingly housed on the ALT
website; and in future you’ll be able to enter new grammars
yourselves. For the time being, we continue to include grammars and
such in this listing.
frans.plank at uni-konstanz.de
Adger, David, Daniel Harbour & Laurel J. Watkins. 2010. Mirrors and
microparameters: Phrase structure beyond free word order. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
["What is the nature of syntactic structure? Why do some languages
have radically free word order ('nonconfigurationality')? Do
parameters vary independently (the micro-view) or can they co-vary en
masse (the macro-view)? Mirrors and Microparameters examines these
questions by looking beyond the definitional criterion of
nonconfigurationality -- that arguments may be freely ordered,
omitted, and split. Drawing on newly discovered data from Kiowa, a
member of the largely undescribed Kiowa-Tanoan language family, the
book reveals that classically nonconfigurational languages can
nonetheless exhibit robustly configurational effects. Reconciling the
cooccurrence of such freedom with such rigidity has major implications
for the Principles and Parameters program. This novel approach to
nonconfigurational languages challenges widespread assumptions of
linguistic theory and throws light on the syntactic structures,
ordering principles, and nature of parametrization that comprise
Universal Grammar" -- CUP]
Ansaldo, Umberto. 2009. Contact languages: Ecology and evolution in
Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bricyn, V. M., E. V. Raxilina, T. I. Reznikova, G. M. Javorskaja
(eds.). 2009. Koncept bol' v tipologičeskom osveščenii. Kiïv:
Vidavničnij dim dmitre burago.
Cyffer, Norbert, Erwin Ebermann, & Georg Ziegelmeyer (eds.). 2009.
Negation patterns in West African languages and beyond (TSL 87).
Dixon, R. M. W. 2009. Basic linguistic theory. Vol. 1: Methodology;
vol. 2: Grammatical topics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dixon, R. M. W. & Alexandra Aikhenvald (eds.). 2009. The semantics of
clause linking: A cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University
[This book is a cross-linguistic examination of the different
grammatical means languages employ to represent a general set of
semantic relations between clauses. The investigations focus on ways
of combining clauses other than through relative and complement clause
constructions. These span a number of types of semantic linking.
Three, for example, describe varieties of consequence -- cause,
result, and purpose - which may be illustrated in English by,
respectively: Because John has been studying German for years, he
speaks it well; John has been studying German for years, thus he
speaks it well; and John has been studying German for years, in order
that he should speak it well. Syntactic descriptions of languages
provide a grammatical analysis of clause types. The chapters in this
book add the further dimension of semantics, generally in the form of
focal and supporting clauses, the former referring to the central
activity or state of the biclausal linking; and the latter to the
clause attached to it. The supporting clause may set out the temporal
milieu for the focal clause or specify a condition or presupposition
for it or a preliminary statement of it, as in Although John has been
studying German for years (the supporting clause), he does not speak
it well (the focal clause). Professor Dixon's extensive opening
discussion is followed by fourteen case studies of languages ranging
from Korean and Kham to Iquito and Ojibwe. The book's concluding
synthesis is provided by Professor Aikhenvald. -- OUP]
Fiedler, Ines & Anne Schwarz (eds.) 2010. The expression of
information structure: A documentation of its diversity across Africa.
[This book analyzes the diﬀerent patterns found across subsaharan
Africa to express information structure. Based on languages from all
four African language phyla, it documents the great diversity of
linguistic means used to encode information-structural phenomena and
is therefore highly relevant for some of the most pertinent questions
in modern linguistic theory. The special contribution of this volume
is the perspective on a variety of information-structurally related
phenomena which go far beyond classical notions such as focus and
topic. Detailed investigations are dedicated to so far less discussed
focal subcategories, like focus on verbal operators or the thetic-
categorical distinction. Finally, the information-structural
conﬁguration of unmarked, canonical sentence structures is
recognized. The papers provide evidence that the formal means to
encode information-structural categories range from means such as
morphological markers or syntactic operations, famous in linguistics,
to less well-known strategies, such as defocalization rather than
focalization. -- Benjamins]
Floricic, Franck (ed.). 2010. Essais de typologie et de linguistique
générale: Mélanges offerts à Denis Creissels. Lyon: ENS Editions.
Grijzenhout, Janet & Barıs Kabak (eds.). 2009. Phonological domains:
Universals and deviations. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Haarmann, Harald. 2004. Elementare Wortordnung in den Sprachen der
Welt: Dokumentation und Analysen zur Entstehung von Wortfolgemustern.
[Documents basic word order in 1420 languages: a new dimension for
comparative syntax -- Author's Preface]
Haspelmath, Martin & Uri Tadmor. 2009. Loanwords in the world's
languages: A comparative handbook. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
[Coming in conjunction with World loanword database, edited by Marin
Haspelmath & Uri Tadmor, http://wold.livingsources.org/]
Heine, Bernd & Heiko Narrog (eds.) (2010). The Oxford Handbook of
linguistic analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Helmbrecht, Johannes, Yoko Nishina, Yong-Min Shin, Stavros Skopetas, &
Elisabeth Verhoeven (eds.). 2009. Form and function in language
research: Papers in honour of Christian Lehmann. Berlin: Mouton de
Hinrichs, Uwe, Norbert Reiter, & Siegfried Tornow (eds.) 2009.
Eurolinguistik: Entwicklungen und Perspektiven. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Humboldt, Wilhelm von. 2009. Mittelamerikanische Grammatiken. Edited
by Manfred Ringmacher & Ute Tintenmann. (Wilhelm von Humboldt,
Schriften zur Sprachwissenschaft III, 4.) Paderborn: Ferdinand
Landau, Idan. 2009. The locative syntax of experiencers. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
[Experiencers—grammatical participants that undergo a certain
psychological change or are in certain psychological states—are
grammatically special. As objects ('John scared Mary'; 'loud music
annoy me'), experiencers display two peculiar clusters of nonobject
properties across different languages: their syntax is often typical
of oblique arguments and their semantic scope is typical of subjects.
In The Locative Syntax of Experiencers, Idan Landau investigates this
puzzling correlation and argues that experiencers are syntactically
coded as (mental) locations. Drawing on results from a range of
languages and theoretical frameworks, Landau examines the far-reaching
repercussions of this simple claim.
Landau shows that all experiencer objects are grammaticalized as
locative phrases, introduced by a dative/locative preposition.
“Bare” experiencer objects are in fact oblique, too, the
preposition being null. This preposition accounts for the oblique
psych(ological) properties, attested in case alternations,
cliticization, resumption, restrictions on passive formation, and so
on. As locatives, object experiencers may undergo locative inversion,
giving rise to the common phenomenon of quirky experiencers. When
covert, this inversion endows object experiencers with wide scope,
attested in control, binding, and wh-quantifier interactions.
Landau’s synthesis thus provides a novel solution to some of the
oldest puzzles in the generative study of psychological verbs.
The Locative Syntax of Experiencers offers the most comprehensive
description of the syntax of psychological verbs to date, documenting
their special properties in more than twenty languages. Its basic
theoretical claim is readily translatable into alternative frameworks.
Existing accounts of psychological verbs either consider very few
languages or fail to incorporate other theoretical frameworks; this
study takes a broader perspective, informed by findings of four
decades of research. -- MIT Press]
Mengden, Ferdinand von. 2010. Cardinal numerals: Old English from a
cross-linguistic perspective. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
[The book embeds a description and an analysis of the Old English
numeral system into a broader, cross-linguistic discussion. It
provides a theoretical framework for the study of numerals and numeral
systems of natural languages, bridging the gap between recent findings
in the cognitive sciences on numeracy and the known typological
generalisations on cardinal numerals.
The Old English numeral system shows a number of peculiarities not
found in the present-day languages of Europe. Its detailed description
is therefore an ideal locus for studying the features of linguistic
number expressions in terms of their morpho-syntactic properties and
of the structure of numeral systems. The approach is innovative in
that it combines a detailed analysis of the numeral system with the
analysis of the grammatical properties of cardinal numerals. For the
description of Old English, the study focuses on aspects of
information structure and of referent identification in
quantificational constructions. This leads to a novel perspective on
the language-internal variation in the agreement patterns between
numerals and quantified nouns, allowing the author to test and refine
some long standing tenets in the study of numerals and to offer
Rather than seeing numerals as a hybrid word class, the author argues
that this variation in the morpho-syntactic behaviour follows
identifiable patterns specific to the word class numeral. He accounts
for these patterns by positing different, cross-linguistically uniform
stages in the emergence of numeral systems, as well as varying degrees
of discreteness of the quantified noun. Moreover, the author
demonstrates that the constraints determining this variation in Old
English have obvious parallels across languages. -- DGM]
Schmidtke-Bode, Karsten. 2009. A typology of purpose clauses (TSL 88).
Wohlgemut, Jan & Michael Cysouw (eds.). 2010. Rethinking universals:
How rarities affect linguistic theory. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
[Universals of language have been studied extensively for the last
four decades, allowing fundamental insight into the principles and
general properties of human language. Only incidentally have
researchers looked at the other end of the scale. And even when they
did, they mostly just noted peculiar facts as ''quirks'' or ''unusual
behavior'', without making too much of an effort at explaining them
beyond calling them ''exceptions'' to various rules or generalizations.
Rarissima and rara, features and properties found only in one or very
few languages, tell us as much about the capacities and limits of
human language(s) as do universals. Explaining the existence of such
rare phenomena on the one hand, and the fact of their rareness or
uniqueness on the other, is a reasonable and interesting challenge to
any theory of how human language works.
The present volume for the first time compiles selected papers on the
study of rare linguistic features from various fields of linguistics
and from a wide range of languages. -- DGM]
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