Basic Linguistic Theory, Volume 1: Methodology by R. M. W. Dixon

By R. M. W. Dixon

In Basic Linguistic Theory R. M. W. Dixon presents a brand new and primary characterization of the character of human languages and a finished consultant to their description and research. In 3 truly written and available volumes, he describes how most sensible to head approximately doing linguistics, the main passable and ecocnomic how you can paintings, and the pitfalls to prevent. within the first quantity he addresses the method for recording, analysing, and evaluating languages. He argues that grammatical buildings and principles may be labored out inductively at the foundation of proof, explaining intimately the stairs through which an attested grammar and lexicon can equipped up from saw utterances. He exhibits how the grammars and phrases of 1 language might be in comparison to others of an identical or various households, explains the tools curious about cross-linguistic parametric analyses, and describes the way to interpret the consequences. quantity 2 and quantity three (to be released in 2011) supply in-depth excursions of underlying ideas of grammatical association, in addition to a few of the proof of grammatical edition. 'The activity of the linguist,' Professor Dixon writes, 'is to provide an explanation for the character of human languages - each one seen as an built-in method - including a proof of why each one language is how it is, allied to the additional clinical objectives of prediction and evaluation.'

Basic Linguistic Theory is the effective final result of a lifetime's brooding about each element and manifestation of language and immersion in linguistic fieldwork. it's a one-stop textual content for undergraduate and graduate scholars of linguistics, in addition to for these in neighbouring disciplines, similar to psychology and anthropology.

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Where the preposition (p) must follow the verb (V), and the object, shown by –, immediately follows the p. (ii) The ‘V – p’ type, such as hand – over (and very many others, including take – off, hand – on, set – up) where the canonical surface structure is for p to follow the object, as in (10) and (10 ). However, the p can be moved to the left, over a full NP, as in (11). The p may not be moved to the left over a pronoun, so that (11 ) is unacceptable. clitic sequence. It is without doubt more satisfactory to say that a preposition may move to the left over a non-pronominal NP, for a phrasal verb of type (ii), than—under the analysis first mentioned—to say that the preposition may move to the right over a non-pronominal object and must move after a pronominal object for hand over, but never moves for go over.

Once the grammar has been constructed, the meanings associated with its categories and construction types are investigated. In many instances, a variety of diverse meaning distinctions are coded into a single grammatical category. Regarded from within the grammar, the meaning basis of a grammatical construct will not be evident. Looked at from the outside, it can be perceived how a number of different types of meaning contrasts are superimposed on a single system in the grammar. In essence, a grammar is an abstract system of interlocking elements.

G. 1. Reference of tenses in multiple-past tense systems It will be seen that names in the two languages do not exactly correspond. Shoulder in English relates to baNgal and jurru, arm to jurru, garrgal, and maNgu, while both hand and fingers correspond to mala. Other languages employ different ways of delineating the body. In Fijian, for instance, there are just two simple nouns, taba ‘upper arm and shoulder’ and liga ‘forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers’. Simplified somewhat, a grammar consists of a number of closed systems— categories such as tense, gender, and evidentiality—and a number of construction types, or ways of relating together words into phrases, clauses, sentences, and utterances.

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