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Linguistic Typology

Ed. by Plank, Frans

3 Issues per year

ERIH category 2011: INT1

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Typology in American linguistics: An appraisal of the field

1Correspondence address:Department of Linguistics, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-2650, U.S.A.

2Correspondence address:Slavic Department, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-2650, U.S.A.

3Correspondence address:Department of Linguistics, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-2979, U.S.A.

Citation Information: Linguistic Typology. Volume 11, Issue 1, Pages 227–230, ISSN (Online) 1613-415X, ISSN (Print) 1430-0532, DOI: 10.1515/LINGTY.2007.016, July 2007

Publication History

Received:
2005-12-17
Published Online:
2007-07-31

Abstract

The field of linguistic typology, a centuries-old enterprise, is showing extraordinary new vitality and growth. While it fell somewhat to the wayside during the early generative period, linguists of all persuasions now acknowledge the importance of the study of all aspects of comparative grammar: phonetics, phonology,morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse. The significance of typology to both synchronic and diachronic linguistics is also widely recognized. Crosslinguistic work figures centrally in formal, functional, and cognitive approaches to linguistic theory, as well as in descriptive and historical research. The quest for linguistic universals and the documentation of linguistic diversity, once thought to be logically independent (if indeed not contradictory) concerns, are typically integrated in current research. The dramatic rebirth and increase of interest in linguistic diversity is in part fueled by the commitment of linguists and others in the scholarly community to the documentation and preservation of endangered languages. The interdisciplinary and increasingly joint efforts between geneticists, linguists, archeologists etc. in tracing the exodus of the human population from Africa and into other parts of the world relies heavily on the expertise of specialists of languages from all parts of the world.

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