Meaning and Universal Grammar

Theory and empirical findings

Volume 1

Editors
| The University of New England
| The Australian National University
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027230638 (Eur) | EUR 120.00
ISBN 9781588112644 (USA) | USD 180.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027281876 | EUR 120.00 | USD 180.00
 
This book develops a bold new approach to universal grammar, based on research findings of the natural semantic metalanguage (NSM) program. The key idea is that universal grammar is constituted by the inherent grammatical properties of some 60 empirically established semantic primes, which appear to have concrete exponents in all languages. For six typologically divergent languages (Mangaaba-Mbula, Mandarin Chinese, Lao, Malay, Spanish and Polish), contributors identify exponents of the primes and work through a substantial set of hypotheses about their combinatorics, valency properties, complementation options, etc. Each study can also be read as a semantically-based typological profile. Four theoretical chapters by the editors describe the NSM approach and its application to grammatical typology. As a study of empirical universals in grammar, this book is unique for its rigorous semantic orientation, its methodological consistency, and its wealth of cross-linguistic detail.
[Studies in Language Companion Series, 60]  2002.  xvi, 337 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
xi
List of Contributors
xiii
List of Maps and Tables
xv
Typographical Conventions and Symbols
xv
Opening Statement
Cliff Goddard and Anna Wierzbicka
1–3
Part 1. General
1. The Search for the Shared Semantic Core of All Languages
Cliff Goddard
5–40
2. Semantic Primes and Universal Grammar
Cliff Goddard and Anna Wierzbicka
41–85
Part 2. Individual Language Studies
3. Semantic Primes and Universal Grammar in Malay (Bahasa Melayu)
Cliff Goddard
87–172
4. La Metalengua Semántica Natural : The Natural Semantic Metalanguage of Spanish
Catherine E. Travis
173–242
5. The Universal Syntax of Semantic Primes in Mandarin Chinese
Hilary Chappell
243–322
Index of Languages and Language Families
323–324
General Index
325–334
“Irrespective of theoretical orientation, one can only be impressed by the scope of the empirical investigation as well as the depth and insight of the resulting semantic descriptions. The theoretical tenets of Anna Wierzbicka's Natural Semantic Metalanguage approach are provocative and highly controversial. They focus attention on fundamental issues and force us to rethink the nature of linguistic meaning and psychologically plausible semantic descriptions. Linguists of all persuasions can profit from examining the analyses presented in this work, the theoretical proposals made, and their possible ramifications.”
“This is a very important work and represents a major advance in the understanding of the dependence of syntactic description on an explicit semantic analysis. This work is especially valuable because the role of semantics, particularly the lexical semantics of verbs, has become increasingly central in current formal theories of syntax, and few semantic theories are as well worked out as that presented here. Syntactic theorists would be well advised to study this book carefully before they glibly invoke vague (and potentially circular) semantic explanations for syntactic problems.”
“The entire book is written in a maximally clear and simple language. It invites the reader, in a friendly manner, into the creative laboratory, where there is being accomplished a wondrous process of reaching the complex through the simple. At the same time, it is a simplicity deeply thought through; behind it lies a professionalism of the highest order and many years of systematic thinking about the nature of human language.”
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 06 november 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2002066538 | Marc record