Prototypical Transitivity

| University of Oslo
ISBN 9789027229847 | EUR 115.00 | USD 173.00
ISBN 9789027292216 | EUR 115.00 | USD 173.00
This book presents a functional analysis of a notion which has gained considerable importance in cognitive and functional linguistics over the last couple of decades, namely 'prototypical transitivity'. It discusses what prototypical transitivity is, why it should exist, and how it should be defined, as well as how this definition can be employed in the analysis of a number of phenomena of language, such as case-marking, experiencer constructions, and so-called ambitransitives. Also discussed is how a prototype analysis relates to other approaches to transitivity, such as that based on markedness. The basic claim is that transitivity is iconic: a construction with two distinct, independent arguments is prototypically used to refer to an event with two distinct, independent participants. From this principle, a unified account of the properties typically associated with transitivity can be derived, and an explanation for why these properties tend to correlate across languages can be given.
[Typological Studies in Language, 72]  2007.  x, 240 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1. Why transitivity?
1.2. Theoretical preliminaries
1.3. Structure of the book
Chapter 2: Why a transitive prototype?
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Prototype models
2.3. Markedness vs. prototypicality
2.4. Conclusion
Chapter 3: Defining the transitive prototype: The Maximally Distinguished Arguments Hypothesis
3.1. Introduction
3.2. The Maximally Distinguished Arguments Hypothesis
3.3. Maximal distinction and functional explanations
Chapter 4: The Affected Agent
4.1. Introduction
4.2. "Ingestive verbs" and affected agents
4.3. Crosslinguistic data
4. 4. 'Eat' and markers of agent affectedness
4.5. Alternative analyses
4.6. Other affected-agent constructions
4.7 Concluding remarks
Chapter 5: Transitivity in verbs and clauses
5.1. Introduction
5.2. Previous feature-decompositional accounts
5.3. Semantic specifications of participant types
5.4. Semantic features in verb subcategorisation
5.5. Properties of argument NPs
5.6. Clause-level properties
5.7. Formal correlates
5.8. Conclusion
Chapter 6: Ambitransitivity and indefinite object deletion
6.1. Introduction
6.2. Indefinite object deletion
6.3. Transitivity and indefinite object deletion
6.4. IOD and S/O ambitransitives
Chapter 7: Maximal semantic distinction in core case-marking
7.1. Introduction
7.2. The discriminatory analysis
7.3. The indexing analysis
7.4. Case and the maximal semantic distinction of arguments
7.5. Case and semantic transitivity: Unifying discrimination and indexing
7.6. Semantic extensions
7.7. Discriminatory extensions
7.8. Split ergativity
7.9. A note on case-marking labels
Chapter 8: Experiencers and the dative
8.1. Introduction
8.2. The semantic diversity of experience events
8.3. Experience clauses and the transitive prototype
8.4. The dative case
Chapter 9: Beyond prototypical transitivity
9.1. From Agent and Patient to subject and object
9.2. Structural vs. semantic case
9.3. Other prototypes
9.4. Concluding remarks
Appendix: Nonstandard abbreviations in glosses
Author index
Language index
Subject index
“A major and highly original contribution to the understanding of an area of morphosyntax which has, through the last decades, come to be known as notoriously complex.”
“The book contains a large amount of illuminating data with arguments convincing enough to persuade its readers to take an interest in the question as the author originally hoped. It also successfully demonstrates that how linguistic structure is motivated by aspects of human cognition. It is a welcome and worthy addition to the literature on transitivity, one of the most fundamental aspects of linguistic structure.”
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFK – Grammar, syntax
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2007018295 | Marc record