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A View of Language : Oxford Linguistics - Pieter A. M. Seuren

A View of Language

Oxford Linguistics

Hardcover

Published: 1st December 2001
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This book collects the best and most influential essays of one of the world's most original linguistic scholars and thinkers. They show Pieter Seuren's remarkable erudition from classical antiquity to current theory, his descriptive and theoretical sophistication, and his beautiful clarity of style. They provide many examples of the cogency of his argument and his willingness to speak out trenchantly against accepted wisdom. In the extensive introduction the author describes the evolution of his theoretical position and its development in relation to Chomskyan syntactic theory and model-theoretic semantics. He argues here and throughout the book that grammar and semantics should be studied as branches of cognitive science, not as mere formalisms. He propounds, develops, and applies a theory of semantic syntax in which a grammar is seen as a mediating device between propositionally structured thoughts and corresponding surface structures. He rejects conventional notions of autonomous grammar as unsustainable and, in a realist theory of language, unnecessary. He demonstrates that his semantic theory achieves empirically adequate and formally precise explanatory generalizations, developing a theory of discourse semantics as a means of providing elegant accounts of topic-comment structure. The twenty-two essays are divided into four parts dealing broadly with general theory, syntax, semantics, and the linguistics of creole languages. Many of the author's classic papers will be found here, including those on autonomous versus semantic syntax, predicate raising and datives, clitic pronoun clusters, donkey anaphora ('every man who owns a donkey beats it'), serial verb constructions, and many more. Provocative and thoughtful, accessible and entertaining, they add up to a book of real, enduring value.

`This collection of articles from Pieter Seuren, my first linguistics teacher, will introduce to a wider public one of linguistic's most original minds, a scholar who has never feared to tread his own path and whose students have benefitted not only from his insight but also from his example. The articles in this collection, ranging from formal semantics to Creole studies, raise essential questions at the heart of linguistic theory and practice.' Bernard Comrie, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

Introduction Part I: General Theory1: Language, World, and Cognitive Processing 2: Grammar as an Underground Process 3: Autonomous vs. Semantic Syntax 4: Doing Sums with Language 5: Internal Variability in Competence 6: The Paradoxes and Natural Language Part II: Syntax7: Predicate Raising and Dative in French and Sundry Languages 8: Negative's Travels 9: Operator Lowering 10: A Problem in English Subject Complementation 11: Clitic Pronoun Clusters Part III: Semantics12: Presuppositions and the Universe of Interpretation 13: Logical Form and Semantic Form: An argument against Geach 14: Lexical Meaning and Presupposition 15: Presupposition and Negation 16: Why Does 2 Mean "2"? Grist to the anti-Grice mill 17: Towards a Discourse-Semantic Account of Donkey Anaphora 18: A Discourse-Semantic Account of Topic and Comment Part IV: Creole Linguistics19: (with H. Chr. Wekker): Semantic Transparency as a Factor in Creole Genesis 20: Serial Verb Constructions 21: The Auxiliary System in Sranan 22: The Question of Predicate Clefting in the Indian Ocean Creoles

ISBN: 9780199244812
ISBN-10: 0199244812
Series: Oxford Linguistics
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 544
Published: 1st December 2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.2  x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.9