Dina El Zarka
This overview of intonation in Arabic compares the intonational systems of selected Arabic dialects from Morocco in the West to Kuwait in the East. The formal comparison will mainly be carried out within the framework of autosegmental-metrical (AM) theory, taking the phonetic micro-prosody of the identified pitch accents as a tertium comparationis. Furthermore, the intonation systems will be compared with respect to prosodic phrasing. The second part of the overview is devoted to the functions of intonation in Arabic. In this section, the comparison will be based on a wider range of descriptions, including work carried out within other theoretical frameworks. The section will identify the role of metrical and tonal structures and the way they interact with syntax, information structure, and sentence mode in different varieties of Arabic. The concluding section will provide a preliminary typological picture of Arabic prosody with respect to the macro-rhythmic properties of Arabic.
Oliver A. Iggesen
Many languages with nominal case inflection apply the same distinctions of case forms evenly across their entire nominal lexicon. Hence, all conceivable subclasses of nominals must unequivocally be analysed as exhibiting exactly the same inventory of case categories. This morphological state of affairs is known as case-symmetry. There are, however, languages in which certain (or all) case distinctions apply rather selectively to only a subset of their nominals, in such a way that the inflectional paradigms of the minority subclass can be envisaged as containing more, less, or substantially different case categories than the bulk of the nominals. In other words, certain morphological cases arguably fail to have scope over the entire nominal lexicon in such languages. This is known as case-asymmetry. This article discusses asymmetry in case marking, focusing on nominal vs. pronominal systems. It examines the theoretical implications and argumentative rationale of case-asymmetry and illustrates a case-asymmetrical paradigm structure: the opposition of direct case vs. objective case in English, which applies only to a small number of pronominal lexemes.
Canonical transitive events involve a volitional and controlling agent and a thoroughly affected patient. Any deviation from this prototype may result in a change in the coding of the denoted event. Case plays a central role in this process: accusative marking of patients (nom-acclanguages) and ergative marking of agents (abs-erg-languages) are usually associated with the coding of prototypical transitive events, while other case frames (such as nom-dat/ins or abs-dat/ins) usually code events with a decreased degree of transitivity. The changes in the case marking of (core) arguments may be motivated basically in two ways. First, the changes may follow from verbal morphology as is the case with such derived constructions as passive and antipassive. Second, the changes may follow independently of verb morphology. This article focuses on transitive clauses and the changes in the marking of agent and patient arguments. It first discusses the relation between case marking and transitivity from a formal perspective, and then considers the semantics of case in transitivity alternations.
Case is a category of marking dependent noun phrases for the type of relationship they bear to their heads. The three phenomena that are clearly determined by case functions in many languages are explored: phonological realization, selection, and agreement. A brief overview of influential approaches that offer an explanation for the CH and the constraints is provided. Markedness and grammaticalization approaches share a number of common assumptions and are able to explain case-based asymmetries by generalizations that are much wider in scope. It has revealed that from a typological perspective, cases are formally quite disparate elements, a distinction of broader typological relevance existing between inflectional affixes that characterize the synthetic type and free forms which establish the analytic type. The discussion of the semantic function of cases focuses on split-intransitive, ergative, and accusative patterns, which are well documented and extensively discussed in the typological literature.
Johan Van Der Auwera and Volker Gast
This article first addresses some historical remarks on the notion of the categories in philosophy and in linguistics. The differences between prototype theory and the classical model of categorization are also described. It should be mentioned that the internal structure and the fuzzy boundaries should be kept apart. The article then briefly reports some of the central hypotheses of prototype theory and their impact on matters of categorization. The examples presented show the concepts from prototype theory that were used to define analytic notions, and which are indispensable tools in the description and comparison of languages. Furthermore, the idea of structuring a larger conceptual domain in terms of a family-resemblance graph has been used in the concept of ‘semantic’ or ‘conceptual maps’. Aspects of prototype theory, such as the assumption of internal category structures and family resemblances, can be very useful in many domains of grammar and lexicon, and in linguistic conceptualization.
Johan Van Der Auwera and Jan Nuyts
This article examines the relations between cognitive linguistics and linguistic typology. First, it offers a “neutral” characterization of the field of linguistic typology, defined as a cross-linguistic, descriptive as well as explanatory enterprise devoted to the unity and diversity of language with respect to linguistic form or the relation between linguistic form and meaning or function. It then argues that cognitive linguistics and linguistic typology are eminently compatible, that there is work that illustrates this, but also that most cognitive linguists and typologists nevertheless work in different spheres. It also considers the difficulty of applying typology's sampling method in cognitive linguistics. Finally, the article looks at the typologists' prime orientation on grammar and their hesitation to relate their strictly speaking linguistic generalizations to wider cognitive concerns.
Kurt R. Jankowsky
Francis Bacon’s (1561–1626) demand for scientific language investigation, supplemented by Gottfried Leibniz’s (1646–1716) endorsement of natural scientific methodology, provided the theoretical framework, further elaborated by William Jones (1746–1794) and Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835), for Friedrich von Schlegel’s (1772–1829) comparative grammar and facilitated Franz Bopp’s and Jacob Grimm’s (1785–1863) subsequent practical work for the Indo-European and Germanic languages, respectively, culminating in the Neogrammarians’ axiom of “Sound laws suffer no exception” and the development of language typology.
This article first addresses the drive for non-referential symmetry in Cambodian, and comparable decorative frills in other languages. The evidence within Cambodian favours the ‘whole cloth’ theory. A striking property of the symmetrical Khmer compounds is that they alliterate much more often than they rhyme. It has always been stated that the final motive for analogical extension or levelling is the drive to make one meaning correspond to one form – and hence, the drive is ultimately a cognitive one for transparency. The iconic motivation is an example of congruity, in this case between a linguistic and a conceptual structure. The discussion has dealt with both syntagmatic and paradigmatic cases of non-referential symmetry.
Béatrice Lamiroy and Walter De Mulder
This article analyses the variation in degrees of grammaticalisation across languages. It proposes the hypothesis that an essential property of grammaticalisation also applies within a genealogical family and that several grammaticalization processes may be more advanced in one language than in the other languages of the same family. It provides evidence from three Romance languages and shows that French, has reached a further stage of grammaticalisation than Spanish and Italian.
Over the past two decades, linguistic typology has been moving increasingly away from its original goal of classifying languages into ideal types that would be constrained by categorical universals. What has been emerging as a new paradigm instead starts from the distribution of structures in the world, asking “what’s where why?” I present here a concrete approach to this question, called “Distributional Typology.” The approach starts from causal theories on the forces that affect language change, from processing preferences to the historical contingencies of language contact. The predictions of these theories can then be tested against fine-grained matrices of cross-linguistic diversity, using statistical methods for estimating diachronic trends from synchronic distributions.