On Understanding Grammar
In his foreword to the original edition of this classic of functionalism, typology and diachrony, Dwight Bolinger wrote: "I foresee it as one of the truly prizes statements of our current knowledge…a book about understanding done with deep understanding – of language and its place in Nature and in the nature of humankind… The book is rich in insights, even for those who have been with linguistics for a long time. And beginners could be thankful for having it as a starting point, from which so many past mistakes have been shed". Thoroughly revised, corrected and updated, On Understanding Grammar remains, as its author intended it in 1979, a book about trying to make sense of human language and of doing linguistics. Language is considered here from multiple perspectives, intersecting with cognition and communication, typology and universals, grammaticalization, development and evolution. Within such a broad cross-disciplinary context, grammar is viewed as an automated, structured language-processing device, assembled through evolution, diachrony and use. Cross-language diversity is not arbitrary, but rather is tightly constrained and adaptively motivated, with the balance between universality and diversity mediated through development, be it evolutionary or diachronic. The book's take on language harkens back to the works of illustrious antecedents such as F. Bopp, W. von Humbold, H. Paul, A. Meillet, O. Jespersen and G. Zipf, offering a coherent alternative to the methodological and theoretical strictures of Saussure, Bloomfield and Chomsky.
[Not in series, 213] 2018. xxi, 299 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© T. Givón
Table of Contents
Foreword to the 1979 edition
Preface to the 1979 edition
Preface to the revised edition
Chapter 1. Fact, method and explanation: On the recalcitrant legacy of structuralism
Chapter 2. Toward a discourse definition of syntax: The communicative correlates of grammar
Chapter 3. Negation in language: Between semantics and pragmatics
Chapter 4. The grammar of case: Semantic role, pragmatic function, morphology and syntactic control
Chapter 5. From discourse to syntax: Grammar as a processing strategy
Chapter 6. Where does crazy syntax come from?
Chapter 7. The SOV mystery and language evolution
Chapter 8. Language and ontology
Álvarez-González, A. and C. Juárez
Atkinson, R. C. and R. M. Shiffrin
Bach, E. and R. Harms
Bartles, A. and S. Zeki
Bates, E., L. Camioni and V. Voltera
Bickerton, D. and T. Givón
Bickerton, D. and C. Odo
Boesch, C. and H. Boesch-Achermann
Bybee, J., R. Perkins and W. Pagliuca
Chase, W. and A. Ericsson
Cheney, D. L. and R. M. Seyfarth
Cocchiarella, N. B.
Cole, P. and J. Sadock
de Waal, F. and F. Lanting
Dingwall, W. O.
Dixon, R. M. W.
Dunbar, R. M.
(2017) paper presented to the A.A.A.S. Annual Meeting (Julie Zauzmer, The Washington Post, 3–4–17).
Ervin-Tripp, S. and A. Küntay
Estrada-Fernández, Z., S. Wichman, C. Chamoreau and A. Álvarez-González
Fan, J., R. Kolster, J. Ghajar, M. Suh, R. T. Knight, R. Sarkar and B. D. McCandliss
Fernald, R. D. and S. A. White
Fouts, R. S.
Gardner, B. T. and R. A. Gardner
Gary, J. and E. L. Keenan
Gell-Mann, M. and M. Ruhlen
Gernsbacher, M. A.
(2012) “Nominalization and re-finitization”, paper presented at the Symposium on Finiteness and Nominalization, CNRS, Paris (ms.).
(2015b) “Beyond structuralism: Exorcizing Saussure’s ghost”, paper read at the Association of Linguistic Typology , Albuquerque: University of New Mexico (August 2015; ms.).
Givón, T. and B. Kawasha
Givón, T. and P. Young
Greenberg, J., C. Ferguson and E. Moravcsik
Greenfield, P. and J. H. Smith
Hamilton, E. and H. Cairns
Hammond, M., E. Moravcsik and J. Wirth
Hauser, M., N. Chomsky and W. T. Fitch
Hawkinson, A. and L. Hyman
Heine, B., U. Claudi and F. Hünnemeyer
Heine, B. and T. Kuteva
(1971) “Setting Russell Free”, paper presented to the Philosophy Colloquium, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont. (ms.).
Humboldt, W. von
Juárez, C. and A. Álverez-González
Katz, J. J. and P. Postal
Keenan, E. L.
Keenan, E. L. and B. Comrie
(n.d.) The Early Growth of Language and Cognition: A Neuro-Psychological Approach, San Jose, CA: San Jose State University (ms.).
Li, C. N. and S. Thompson
Li, C. N. and S. Thomson
Li, C. N. and S. Thompson
Marler, P., S. Karakashian and M. Gyger
Neeley, J. H.
Ochs, E. Keenan and T. Bennett
Ochs, E. Keenan and B. Schieffelin
Ochs, E.-Keenan, B. Schieffelin and M. Platt
Pepperberg, I. M.
Perlmutter, D. and P. Postal
Perrett, D. I., M. H. Harris, R. Bevan, S. Thomas, P. J. Benson, A. J. Mistlin, A. J. Chitty, J. K. Hietanen and J. E. Ortega
Petri, H. L. and M. Mishkin
Posner, M. I.
Posner, M. I. and S. Keel
Posner, M. I. and C. R. R. Snyder
Quine, W. van O.
Roe, A. W., L. Chelazzi, C. E. Connor, B. R. Conway, R. Bevil, I. Fujita & J. L. Gallant
Ross, J. R. and G. Lakoff
Rumbaugh, D. M. and D. W. Washburn
Saussure, F. de
Savage-Rumbaugh, S. and R. Lewin
Savage-Rumbaugh, S., S. J. Murphy, R. A. Sevcik, K. E. Brakke, S. L. Williams and D. L. Rumbaugh
Savage-Rumbaugh, S., S. Shanker and J. Taylor
Schneider, W. and R. Shiffrin
Shannon, C. E. and W. Weaver
Shapiro, D. C. A.
Shapiro, D. C. A. and R. A. Schmidt
Smith, E. D. and S. M. Kosslyn
Spence, K. D. and C. Spence
Sun, C.-F. and T. Givón
Swinney, D. A.
Tomasello, M., M. Carpenter, J. Call, T. Behne and H. Moll
Traugott, E. and B. Heine
van Lawick-Goodall, J.
(1973) “Topics, subjects and word-order: From SXV to SVX via TVX”, paper read at the First International Congress on Historical Linguistics , Edinburgh, Sept. 1973 (ms.).
Waddington, C. H.
West-Eberhard, M. J.
Wright, S. and T. Givón
Yang, L. and T. Givón
Young, P. and T. Givón
Cited by other publications
Arslangul, Arnaud & Marzena Watorek
Giacalone Ramat, Anna
Huot, Diane & Richard Schmidt
Liu, Ying, Ruying Qi & Bruno Di Biase
Pekarek Doehler, Simona
Raby, Françoise & Jacques Baille
Raineri, Sophie & Camille Debras
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 30 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.