This book gives the first account of a field of fast increasing importance in both theoretical and descriptive linguistics. The aim of Typological Discourse Analysis is to establish a universally valid framework for the objective description of linguistic function and so make it possible to compare directly the functions of constructions in different languages. For linguists working on grammars of specific languages this book provides both methodological tools for objective description and a wealth of ideas about functional parameters which have been found to be significant in the languages of the world. For linguists interested in language typology, this book gives data from a wide variety of languages which allow for a more direct cross-linguistic comparison of function than is possible from consulting reference grammars alone. For qualitative discourse analysts, this book describes in basic terms some quantitative methods of linguistic analysis, and includes discussion of word order and voice alternations, grammaticalization, aspect, topic and focus marking, clause-chaining and noun incorporation.
"This is an excellent book. It provides the reader with a good account of recent work on quantitative discourse approaches to language universals and typology, with plenty of exemplification, in a way that shows the reader not only how one can do this kind of work but why it is interesting and revealing to do so. No other book comes even close to this one in its scope." Bernard Comrie, University of Southern California
Analyzing NP types; tense and aspect; voice alterations; word order variation; other topics of quantitatve research; conclusion.