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Form and Function in Language Research

Papers in Honour of Christian Lehmann

Edited by: Johannes Helmbrecht, Yoko Nishina, Yong-Min Shin, Stavros Skopeteas,  and Elisabeth Verhoeven
Language description enriches linguistic theory and linguistic theory sharpens language description. Based on evidence from the world's languages, functional-typological linguistics has established a number of thorough generalizations about the nature of linguistic categorizations and their manifestation in natural languages. Empirical studies in these fields of linguistics have contributed to sharpen linguistic theory in several respects. This volume is a collection of 19 contributions from outstanding scholars in the field of functional-typological linguistics that address fundamental issues in the study of language, such as the nature of linguistic categories, the constitution of functional domains, and the form of cross-linguistic continua. Empirical data from individual languages and from typological samples are investigated in order to achieve generalizations about the properties of human grammar(s). Several grammatical phenomena are dealt with including tonal systems, person distinctions, modalities, reciprocity, complex predicates, grammatical relations, word order, clause linkage, and information structure. The structure of the book illustrates the fundamental importance of the analytical distinction between the onomasiological and the semasiological approach to language and language diversity. Both perspectives are integrated in most papers with a dominant focus on either the former or the latter perspective.

Author Information

Johannes Helmbrecht, University of Regensburg, Germany; Yoko Nishina, University of Erfurt, Germany; Yong-Min Shin, Gyeongsang National University, South Korea; Stavros Skopeteas, University of Potsdam, Germany; Elisabeth Verhoeven, University of Bremen, Germany.
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Audience: Linguists with a Functional Approach to Language, or interested in Theoretical and Empirical Issues related to Language Description and Comparison