Basic Linguistic Theory
Further Grammatical Topics
R. M. W. Dixon 2012
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Download: Basic Linguistic Theory: Volume 3: Further Grammatical Topics (Dixon 2012).
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Basic Linguistic Theory provides a fundamental characterization of the nature of human languages and a comprehensive guide to their description and analysis. In crystal-clear prose, R. M. W. Dixon describes how to go about doing linguistics. He show how grammatical structures and rules may be worked out on the basis of inductive generalisations, and explains the steps by which an attested grammar and lexicon can built up from observed utterances. He describes how the grammars and vocabulary of one language may be compared to others of the same or different families, explains the methods involved in cross-linguistic parametric analyses, and shows how to interpret the results.
Volume 3 introduces and examines key grammatical topics, each from a cross-linguistic perspective. The subjects include number systems, negation, reflexives and reciprocals, passives, causatives, comparative constructions, and questions. The final chapter discusses the relation between linguistic explanation and the culture and world-view of the linguist and speakers of the language he or she is describing. The book ends with a guide to sources, a consideration of the number of languages in the world, a glossary, and indexes of authors, languages, and subjects covering all three volumes. Volume 1 addresses the methodology for recording, analysing, and comparing languages and includes chapters on analysis, typology, phonology, the lexicon, and field linguistics. Volume 2, like the present work, considers underlying principles of grammatical organization, and has chapters devoted to the word, nouns and verbs, adjectives, transitivity, copula constructions, pronouns and demonstratives, possession, relative clauses and complementation.
Basic Linguistic Theory is the triumphant outcome of a lifetime’s thinking about every aspect and manifestation of language. The volumes comprise a one-stop introduction for undergraduate and graduate students of linguistics, as well as for those in neighbouring disciplines, such as psychology and anthropology.
R. M. W. Dixon is Adjunct Professor at the Cairns Institute, James Cook University. His pioneering fieldwork on Australian Aboriginal languages began in the 1960s and led, among many other works, to grammars of Dyirbal and Yidiñ, culminating in Australian Languages: Their nature and development (CUP 2002). His other books include A Grammar of Boumaa Fijian (U Chicago Press 1988), Ergativity (CUP, 1994), The Rise and Fall of Languages (CUP 1997), The Jarawara Language of Southern Amazonia (OUP 2004), which was winner of the 2004-5 Leonard Bloomfield Prize, A Semantic Approach to English Grammar (OUP 2005), I am a Linguist (Brill 2011), and the first two volumes of Basic Linguistic Theory (OUP 2010).