| Australian National University
| ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
ISBN 9789027206961 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027266545 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
The phenomenon of insubordination can be defined diachronically as the recruitment of main clause structures from subordinate structures, or synchronically as the independent use of constructions exhibiting characteristics of subordinate clauses. Long marginalised as uncomfortable exceptions, insubordinated clause phenomena turn out to be surprisingly widespread, and provide a vital empirical testing ground for various central theoretical issues in current linguistics – the interplay of langue and parole, the emergence of structure, the question of where productive syntactic rules give way to constructions, the role of prosody in language change, and the question of how far grammars are produced by isolated speakers as opposed to being collaboratively constructed in dialogue. This volume – the first book-length treatment on the topic – assembles studies of languages on all continents, by scholars who bring a range of approaches to bear on the topic, from historical linguistics to corpus studies to typology to conversational analysis.
[Typological Studies in Language, 115]  2016.  xii, 435 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Insubordination is insubordinate in several delectable ways, as it inverts the tendency in much of linguistics to subordinate conversational data, contexts of use, and diachrony. The volume explodes with original fieldwork and thorough, extensive corpus-based studies. It draws out theoretical consequences that are bound to challenge and fascinate.”
“This innovative volume, a skilfully curated collection of papers that targets a wide variety of languages, yields the clearest picture to date of insubordination as a critical nexus between conversational practice, inference, affect and grammar architecture. While ellipsis has long been a part of syntactic theory building, insubordination has been marginalized as incompleteness or error—or ignored entirely. What the studies in this volume make clear, however, is that we simply cannot study the emergence of grammar, grammar change or the syntax-semantics interface without recognizing the constellation of usage factors that yield insubordinate structures over real time and over historic time. Transcending the theoretical controversies of the moment, this volume provides a linguistic resource of lasting value, and marks a turning point in our progress toward a human-centered model of grammar.”
“Rich with evidence showing that ‘insubordination’ is much more widespread across languages than had been previously documented, and that it has far-reaching diachronic and interactional implications, this is a fascinating ‘must read’ for linguists of any persuasion interested in how language structure emerges and changes in the context of everyday usage.”
Audio files

Chapter 1. The dynamics of insubordination


Chapter 6. Insubordinated conditionals in spoken and non-spoken Italian


Chapter 12. Insubordination in Sliammon Salish


Cited by

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2020. The history of tense and aspect in the Sogeram family. Journal of Historical Linguistics 10:2  pp. 167 ff. Crossref logo
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2017. There’s grammar and there’s grammar just as there’s usage and there’s usage. English Text Construction 10:2  pp. 199 ff. Crossref logo
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 30 march 2022. 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 & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFK – Grammar, syntax
BISAC Subject: LAN009060 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Syntax
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2016028760 | Marc record