The ‘Noun Phrase’ across Languages

An emergent unit in interaction

| University of Alberta
| University of California, Santa Barbara
ISBN 9789027204998 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027261519 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
The ‘NP’ is one of the least controversial grammatical units that linguists work with. The NP is often assumed to be universal, and appears to be robust cross-linguistically (compared to ‘VP’ or even ‘clause’) in that it can be manipulated in argument positions in constructed examples. Furthermore, for any given language, its internal structure (order and type of modifiers) tends to be relatively fixed. Surprisingly, however, the empirical basis for ‘NP’ has never been established. The chapters in this volume examine the NP in everyday interactions from diverse languages, including little-studied languages as well as better-researched ones, in a variety of interactional settings. Together, these chapters show that cross-linguistically, the category NP is not as robust as has been assumed: in the context of temporally unfolding human interaction, its structural status is constantly negotiated in terms of participants’ evolving social agendas.
[Typological Studies in Language, 128]  2020.  vi, 366 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Sandra A. Thompson and Tsuyoshi Ono
Part I. Languages from Europe
Chapter 2. The Finnish se että initiated expressions: NPs or not?
Karita Suomalainen, Anna Vatanen and Ritva Laury
Chapter 3. Emergent complex noun phrases: On-line trajectories of ‘relativized’ NPs in French talk-in-interaction
Ioana-Maria Stoenica, Simona Pekarek Doehler and Anne-Sylvie Horlacher
Chapter 4. The noun phrase as an emergent unit in Finnish
Marja-Liisa Helasvuo
Chapter 5. Noun phrases in other-repetitions: Observations of Swedish talk-in-interaction
Jan Lindström, Martina Huhtamäki and Anne-Marie Londen
Chapter 6. Asserting no-problemness in Spanish: ‘No hay (ningún) problema’ and the study of noun phrases in interaction
Chase Wesley Raymond and Barbara A. Fox
Chapter 7. Multimodal noun phrases
Leelo Keevallik
Chapter 8. Nouns and noun phrases in other-initiated repair in English atypical interaction: A case study of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Patricia Mayes
Part II. Languages from other parts of the world
Chapter 9. Multiple nominal expressions in Garrwa conversation
Ilana Mushin
Chapter 10. The pragmatics of ‘light nouns’ in Besemah
Bradley McDonnell
Chapter 11. NP clustering in Mandarin conversational interaction
Hongyin Tao
Chapter 12. What can Japanese conversation tell us about ‘NP’?
Tsuyoshi Ono and Sandra A. Thompson
Chapter 13. Robust argument phrases (DPs) but unruly NPs in Maa
Doris L. Payne
“We knew how noun phrases are structured. This volume for the first time shows how noun phrases are actually used in spoken discourse across a range of languages – and it turns out we also still have a lot to learn about the structure of noun phrases! A rich and thought-provoking collection.”
“The compelling data and analyses in these chapters advance our understanding of the multifaceted nature of grammatical constituents such as the noun phrase. Going beyond the clause-level grammatical properties of NPs, which are by no means uniform across languages, these studies treat some of the language-specific discourse-level conventions of usage found in the languages of the world. At the same time, they demonstrate that talk-in-interaction provides an important source of information about grammatical processing in language use, because online processing exploits and modifies existing and continually emerging constructions.”
BIC Subject: CFK – Grammar, syntax
BISAC Subject: LAN009050 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2019057642