Some language-particular terms are comparative concepts

  • 1 Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E7, Canada
David Beck

Abstract

draws a categorial distinction between language-particular terms – terms used in the description of specific languages – and comparative concepts – terms used for crosslinguistic comparison. This seems like a valid distinction for a lot of terminology, but it is also true that there are “portable” terms that are suitable both for the description of specific languages and for crosslinguistic comparison. This descriptive metalanguage is analogous to the descriptive vocabulary employed in other observational sciences, and its elaboration is an important enterprise for both descriptivist and comparative linguists.

  • Beck, David. 2011. Upper Necaxa Totonac dictionary. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

  • Beck, David. 2013. Unidirectional flexibility and the noun-verb distinction in Lushootseed. In Jan Rijkhoff & Eva van Lier (eds.), Flexible word classes: Typological studies of underspecified parts of speech, 185–220. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Boas, Franz. 1911. Introduction. In Franz Boas (ed.), Handbook of American Indian languages (Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 40), Vol. 1, 1–83. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

  • Dixon, R. M. W. 2004. Adjective classes in typological perspective. In R. M. W. Dixon & Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (eds.), Adjective classes: A cross-linguistic typology, 1–49. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Dryer, Matthew S. 2014. Competing methods for uncovering linguistic diversity: The case of definite and indefinite articles (Commentary on Davis, Gillon, and Matthewson). Language 90. e232–e249.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Haspelmath, Martin. 2010. Comparative concepts and descriptive categories in crosslinguistic studies. Language 86. 663–687.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Hengeveld, Kees. 1992. Parts of speech. In Michael Fortescue, Peter Harder & Lars Kristoffersen (eds.), Layered structure and reference in a functional perspective, 29–56. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

  • Levy, Paulette. 1999. From ‘part’ to ‘shape’: Incorporation in Totonac and the issue of classi- cation by verbs. International Journal of American Linguistics 65. 127–175.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Levy, Paulette. 2002. “Hacer algo de metiche”: ¿Una posible fuente de causativo? Jornadas Filológicas 2000: Memoria, 425–438. México, DF: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

  • Mel’čuk, Igor. 2006. Aspects of the theory of morphology. Edited by David Beck. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

  • Whorf, Benjamin. 1941. The relation of habitual thought and behavior to language. In Leslie Spier (ed.), Language, culture, and personality: Essays in memory of Edward Sapir, 75–93. Menasha, WI: Sapir Memorial Publication Fund.

Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
$42.00
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.


or
Log in with your institution

Journal + Issues

Linguistic Typology publishes research on linguistic diversity and unity. It welcomes articles that report empirical findings about crosslinguistic variation, advance our understanding of the patterns of diversity, or refine typological methodology.

Search