Linguistic Typology: Morphology and Syntax by Jae Jung Song

By Jae Jung Song

Language typology is the examine of the structural similarities among languages despite their heritage, to set up a category or typology of languages. it's a center subject of ancient linguistics and is studied on all conventional linguistics measure classes. lately there was elevated curiosity the topic and it really is a space we now have been seeking to fee a e-book in.
Jae Jung music proposes to introduce the undergraduate reader to the topic, with dialogue of issues which come with - what's language typology and why is it studied; observe order; language sampling; relative clauses; diachronic typology; and purposes of language typology. there'll even be dialogue of the main well-liked parts of analysis within the topic and readers should be capable of assessment facts chosen from quite a lot of languages to work out how languages paintings and the way in a different way they behave.

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Extra resources for Linguistic Typology: Morphology and Syntax

Example text

It follows from this that '[t]here is much less deep relatedness among the world's languages than is widely assumed'. Whaley (1997: 41) thinks that there are two 'problems' with Dryer's approach: (i) difficulty with determining to which genus a given language belongs; and (ii) the large sample size required for the method to be effective. 29 30 LINGUISTIC TYPOLOGY The first is caused by the simple fact that there are many languages whose genetic classification is 'unknown, unclear, or under dispute' (Bybee, Perkins and Pagliuca 1994: 28).

The fact that 900 out of the 1,000 languages are SVO is merely a non-linguistic historical accident. These 900 languages are SVO because, for example, they must have inherited the same basic word order from their parent language. There are ten SOY families as opposed to only one SVO family. The distinction between linguistic preferences and actual frequencies of linguistic types is an important one, which is often not recognized and made in the typological literature. Since it will be discussed in detail in Chapter 2, suffice it to mention that Tomlin's (1986) large-scale study of basic word order reveals that there is no statistical difference between the frequency of SOY and that of SVO, both being the most frequent basic word order types.

It goes without saying that languages should be studied against one another in terms of the same property. Otherwise one will never be able to achieve what one sets out to: the description of crosslinguistic variation of the same grammatical phenomenon. If one wants to construct a typology of, for example, comparative constructions, how does one then actually make sure that one is comparing the comparative construction in language X with the same construction, and not something else, in language Y?

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