An Introduction to Linguistic Typology

| University of Giessen
ISBN 9789027211989 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027211996 | EUR 33.00 | USD 49.95
ISBN 9789027273505 | EUR 99.00/33.00*
| USD 149.00/49.95*
This clear and accessible introduction to linguistic typology covers all linguistic domains from phonology and morphology over parts-of-speech, the NP and the VP, to simple and complex clauses, pragmatics and language change. There is also a discussion on methodological issues in typology. This textbook is the first introduction that consistently applies the findings of the World Atlas of Language Structures, systematically includes pidgin and creole languages and devotes a section to sign languages in each chapter. All chapters contain numerous illustrative examples and specific feature maps. Keywords and exercises help review the main topics of each chapter. Appendices provide macro data for all the languages cited in the book as well as a list of web sites of typological interest. An extensive glossary gives at-a-glance definitions of the terms used in the book. This introduction is designed for students of courses with a focus on language diversity and typology, as well as typologically-oriented courses in morphology and syntax. The book will also serve as a guide for field linguists.
[Not in series, 176]  2012.  xxii, 517 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Languages cited in Chapter 1
1. Introduction
Languages cited in Chapter 2
2. Typology and universals
Languages cited in Chapter 3
3. Methodology: Sampling, databases, and how many languages does a typologist speak?
Languages cited in Chapter 4
4. Phonology
Languages cited in Chapter 5
5. Morphology
Languages cited in Chapter 6
6. The lexicon and its classes
Languages cited in Chapter 7
7. Nominal categories and syntax
Languages cited in Chapter 8
8. Verbal categories
Languages cited in Chapter 9
9. Simple clauses
Languages cited in Chapter 10
10. Word order
Languages cited in Chapter 11
11. Complex clauses
Languages cited in Chapter 12
12. Speech acts and politeness
Languages cited in Chapter 13
13. Language change
Appendix 1. Selected sample of sites
Appendix 2. Languages cited in this book
Subject index
“This is an impressive piece of work which will be of great help not only for students but also for all of us who want to quickly brush up on basic issues in typology.”
“This is an excellent and useful piece of work, both from the point of view of an explorer of individual languages with an interest in how these fit on the typological map and from the perspective of the advanced undergraduate/graduate student confronted with the field of typology in depth for the first time. This book should help substantially in filling the gap between a large online database and the general implications of such a database for a deeper understanding of the diversity of human languages. The structure of the work, following the outline of a typical grammatical description, makes it extremely accessible as a reference work. The inclusion of notes and extended commentary on sign languages is a most welcome addition.”
“Because of its scope, detail of presentation and inclusion of recent data, the work would be a most welcome addition to general publications on typology. [...] The inclusion of sign language in the discussion is highly welcome. There is also an informative chapter on methodological issues in typology.”
“The author states that the distinguishing feature which sets this book apart from other typological introductions is that it incorporates the findings of WALS and other large-scale databases. While this is true, highlighting only this attribute sells the book short. In truth, this is just one of the many features, outlined above, that set the book apart, and make it among the best such introductions in this category. Perhaps its most significant and distinguishing attribute, however, is its textbook-like character and suitability for use in the classroom. Since it targets neither the complete beginner nor the degreed expert, and contains end-of-chapter exercises that instructors can assign, the book makes an excellent and accessible textbook for undergraduate- or graduate-level introductions to typology, where students will know the basics of linguistics, but will not yet have achieved complete expertise. I highly recommend this book as both a text for the classroom and a helpful starting point for fieldworkers needing to be pointed in the right direction for further study.”
Cited by

Cited by 35 other publications

No author info given
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2020. An academic Arabic corpus for plagiarism detection: design, construction and experimentation. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 17:1 Crossref logo
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2020. Numeral base, numeral classifier, and noun. Language and Linguistics. 語言暨語言學 21:4  pp. 511 ff. Crossref logo
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Ciucci, Luca
2020. Matter borrowing, pattern borrowing and typological rarities in the Gran Chaco of South America. Morphology 30:4  pp. 283 ff. Crossref logo
Ciucci, Luca
2021. How to restructure a grammatical category: the innovative person system of Chamacoco (Zamucoan, northern Paraguay). Folia Linguistica 55:s42-s1  pp. 111 ff. Crossref logo
Cong, Jin
2021. A Zipfian Approach to Words in Contexts: The Cases of Modern English and Chinese. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
de Vos, Connie & Roland Pfau
2015. Sign Language Typology: The Contribution of Rural Sign Languages. Annual Review of Linguistics 1:1  pp. 265 ff. Crossref logo
Doms, Steven, Bernard De Clerck & Sonia Vandepinte
2016.  In Atypical predicate-argument relations [Lingvisticæ Investigationes Supplementa, 33],  pp. 87 ff. Crossref logo
Elnagar, Ashraf, Sane M. Yagi, Ali Bou Nassif, Ismail Shahin & Said A. Salloum
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Grant, Anthony P.
2017. Velupillai, Viveka. 2014. Pidgins, Creoles and Mixed Languages: An Introduction . Studies in Language 41:3  pp. 808 ff. Crossref logo
Hackert, Stephanie
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Her, One-Soon, Marc Tang & Bing-Tsiong Li
2019. Word order of numeral classifiers and numeral bases . STUF - Language Typology and Universals 72:3  pp. 421 ff. Crossref logo
Hettwer, Caroline & Nanna Fuhrhop
2021.  In All Things Morphology [Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 353],  pp. 99 ff. Crossref logo
Igartua, Iván
2019.  In Perspectives on Language Structure and Language Change [Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 345],  pp. 81 ff. Crossref logo
Jantunen, Tommi
2016. Clausal coordination in Finnish Sign Language. Studies in Language 40:1  pp. 204 ff. Crossref logo
Karlgren, Jussi, Turid Hedlund, Kalervo Järvelin, Heikki Keskustalo & Kimmo Kettunen
2019.  In Information Retrieval Evaluation in a Changing World [The Information Retrieval Series, 41],  pp. 201 ff. Crossref logo
Kuteva, Tania, Bernd Heine, Bo Hong, Haiping Long, Heiko Narrog & Seongha Rhee
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2019. Conjunction in Colonial Valley Zapotec. International Journal of American Linguistics 85:2  pp. 213 ff. Crossref logo
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2016. Partitioning the timeline. Studies in Language 40:1  pp. 93 ff. Crossref logo
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2021. 类型学视角下汉语的双系式结构. International Journal of Chinese Linguistics 8:1  pp. 139 ff. Crossref logo
Zúñiga, Fernando
2017. On the Morphosyntax of Indigenous Languages of the Americas. International Journal of American Linguistics 83:1  pp. 111 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 17 september 2021. 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.



In the first printing of the US paperback edition some characters were misprinted. If you have inverted question marks in Example (50) on page 109, please write your name on the page, scan it, and email the scanned page with your delivery address to benjamins at in order to receive a replacement copy. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012020909 | Marc record