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Home » Books » Arts & Photography » Language Arts » General

Subjects and Universal Grammar

An Explanatory Theory (Cambridge Studies in Linguistics)

By Yehuda N. Falk, P. Austin (Series edited by), J. Bresnan (Series edited by), B. Comrie (Series edited by)

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Format: Hardcover, 237 pages
Other Information: 110 line figures
Published In: United Kingdom, 10 August 2006
The 'subject' of a sentence is a concept that presents great challenges to linguists. Most languages have something which looks like a subject, but subjects differ across languages in their nature and properties, making them an interesting phenomenon for those seeking linguistic universals. This pioneering volume takes a new approach to subjects, addressing their nature from a simultaneously formal and typological perspective. Dividing the subject into two distinct grammatical functions, it shows how the nature of these functions explains their respective properties, and argues that the split in properties shown in 'ergative' languages (whereby the subject of intransitive verbs is marked as an object) results from the functions being assigned to different elements of the clause. Drawing on data from a typologically wide variety of languages, including English, Hebrew, Tagalog, Inuit and Acehnese, it explains why, even in the case of very different languages, certain core properties can be found.

Table of Contents

1. On subjects and explanation; 2. Most prominent argument; 3. Pivot; 4. Long distance dependencies; 5. Control constructions; 6. Universality; 7. Competing theories.

About the Author

Yehuda N. Falk is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

EAN: 9780521858540
ISBN: 0521858542
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Dimensions: 22.86 x 16.15 x 2.34 centimetres (0.57 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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