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Classical NEG Raising

An Essay on the Syntax of Negation

Chris Collins

In this book, Chris Collins and Paul Postal consider examples such the one below on the interpretation where Nancy thinks that this course is not interesting: <I>Nancy doesn't think this course is interesting</I>.They argue such examples instantiate a kind of syntactic raising that they term Classical NEG Raising. This involves the raising of a NEG (negation) from the embedded clause to the matrix clause. Collins and Postal develop three main arguments to support their claim. First, they show that Classical NEG Raising obeys island constraints. Second, they document that a syntactic raising analysis predicts both the grammaticality and particular properties of what they term Horn clauses (named for Laurence Horn, who discovered them). Finally, they argue that the properties of certain <I>parenthetical</I> structures strongly support the syntactic character of Classical NEG Raising. Collins and Postal also offer a detailed analysis of the main argument in the literature against a syntactic raising analysis (which they call the Composed Quantifier Argument). They show that the facts appealed to in this argument not only fail to conflict with their approach but actually support a syntactic view. In the course of their argument, Collins and Postal touch on a variety of related topics, including the syntax of negative polarity items, the status of sequential negation, and the scope of negative quantifiers.

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Composing Research

A Contextualist Research Paradigm for Rhetoric and Composition

Cindy Johanek

Cindy Johanek offers a new perspective on the ideological conflict between qualitative and quantitative research approaches, and the theories of knowledge that inform them. With a paradigm that is sensitive to the context of one's research questions, she argues, scholars can develop less dichotomous forms that invoke the strengths of both research traditions. Context-oriented approaches can lift the narrative from beneath the numbers in an experimental study, for example, or bring the useful clarity of numbers to an ethnographic study.

A pragmatic scholar, Johanek moves easily across the boundaries that divide the field, and argues for contextualist theory as a lens through which to view composition research. This approach brings with it a new focus, she writes. "This new focus will call us to attend to the contexts in which rhetorical issues and research issues converge, producing varied forms, many voices, and new knowledge, indeed reconstructing a discipline that will be simultaneously focused on its tasks, its knowledge-makers, and its students."

Composing Research is a work full of personal voice and professional commitment and will be a welcome addition to the research methods classroom and to the composition researcher's own bookshelf.

2000 Outstanding Scholarship Award from the International Writing Centers Association.

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Concepts, Syntax, and their Interface

The Theta System

Tanya Reinhart

One of Tanya Reinhart's major contributions to linguistic theory is the development of the Theta System (TS), a theory of the interface between the system of concepts and the linguistic computational system. Reinhart introduced her theory in a seminal paper, "The Theta System: Syntactic Realization of Verbal Concepts" (2000) and subsequently published other papers with further theoretical development. Although Reinhart continued to work on the Theta System, she had not completed a planned Linguistic Inquiry volume on the topic before her untimely death in 2007. This book, then, is the first to offer a systematic exposition of Reinhart's Theta System. The core of the book is Reinhart's 2000 paper, accompanied by substantial endnotes with clarifications, summaries, and links to subsequent modifications of the theory, some in Reinhart's unpublished work. An appendix by Marijana Marelj discusses the domain of Case, based on an LSA course she taught with Reinhart in 2005. Two additional essays by Reinhart's linguistic colleagues discuss the division of labor between the lexicon and syntax and the apparent conflict between the Theta System and Distributed Morphology.

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The Connectives

Lloyd Humberstone

A comprehensive investigation of the sentence connectives--and, or, if, not--with special attention to their logical properties.

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Contiguity Theory

Norvin Richards

Languages differ in the types of overt movement they display. For example, some languages (including English) require subjects to move to a preverbal position, while others (including Italian) allow subjects to remain postverbal. In its current form, Minimalism offers no real answer to the question of why these different types of movements are distributed among languages as they are. In Contiguity Theory, Norvin Richards argues that there are universal conditions on morphology and phonology, particularly in how the prosodic structures of language can be built, and that these universal structures interact with language-specific properties of phonology and morphology. He argues that the grammar begins the construction of phonological structure earlier in the derivation than previously thought, and that the distribution of overt movement operations is largely determined by the grammar's efforts to construct this structure. Rather than appealing to diacritic features, the explanations will generally be rooted in observable phenomena. Richards posits a different kind of relation between syntax and morphology than is usually found in Minimalism. According to his Contiguity Theory, if we know, for example, what inflectional morphology is attached to the verb in a given language, and what the rules are for where stress is placed in the verb, then we will know where the verb goes in the sentence. Ultimately, the goal is to construct a theory in which a complete description of the phonology and morphology of a given language is also a description of its syntax.

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Contribution de la linguistique à l'enseignement du français


Lorsqu'un enfant ne réussit pas bien en français à l’école, la tendance à juger de ses connaissances et de ses compétences en regard du savoir de l’adulte porte les enseignants à le classer systématiquement dans la catégorie des élèves en difficulté. Les apports de la linguistique permettent cependant de considérer les erreurs commises par l’enfant sous un autre angle. En vérité, le code écrit s'éloigne de plus en plus du code oral, et cet écart échappe parfois à l'adulte qui maîtrise parfaitement l'écrit. Si l'enseignant tente de se mettre à la place de l'enfant en apprentissage, certaines de ces erreurs lui sembleront non seulement compréhensibles, mais encore lui révéleront parfois une forme de logique et une réflexion qui ne saurait être ignorées.Cet ouvrage met en pratique les théories linguistiques dans l'objectif d'aider à la compréhension des erreurs des enfants, aussi bien dans leur apprentissage de la langue orale que de la langue écrite, voire du passage de l'une à l'autre. De cette nouvelle approche découleront une conception renouvelée de l'erreur ainsi que des outils plus appropriés pour y remédier.

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Convergence: English and Nigerian Languages

A Festschrift for Munzali A. Jibril

Ozo-mekuri Ndimele

The present volume, which is the 5th in the Nigerian Linguists Festschrift Series, is devoted to Professor Munzali A. Jibril, a celebrated icon in university administration, and an erudite Professor of English Linguistics. The title of this special edition was specifically chosen to crown Professor Jibril’s academic prowess in both English and indigenous Nigerian languages, and to mark and laud his official departure from active university lectureship. 72 assessed papers are included from the many submitted. Papers cover the main theme of the volume, i.e. the interaction between English and indigenous Nigerian languages, and there are a number of papers on other secular areas of linguistics such as: language and history, language planning and policy, language documentation, language engineering, lexicography, translation, gender studies, language acquisition, language teaching and learning, pragmatics, discourse and conversational analysis, and literature in English and African languages. There is also a rich section devoted to the majwor ‘traditional’ fields of linguistics - phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics.

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Creating Language

Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing

Morten H. Christiansen

Language is a hallmark of the human species; the flexibility and unbounded expressivity of our linguistic abilities is unique in the biological world. In this book, Morten Christiansen and Nick Chater argue that to understand this astonishing phenomenon, we must consider how language is created: moment by moment, in the generation and understanding of individual utterances; year by year, as new language learners acquire language skills; and generation by generation, as languages change, split, and fuse through the processes of cultural evolution. Christiansen and Chater propose a revolutionary new framework for understanding the evolution, acquisition, and processing of language, offering an integrated theory of how language creation is intertwined across these multiple timescales.Christiansen and Chater argue that mainstream generative approaches to language do not provide compelling accounts of language evolution, acquisition, and processing. Their own account draws on important developments from across the language sciences, including statistical natural language processing, learnability theory, computational modeling, and psycholinguistic experiments with children and adults. Christiansen and Chater also consider some of the major implications of their theoretical approach for our understanding of how language works, offering alternative accounts of specific aspects of language, including the structure of the vocabulary, the importance of experience in language processing, and the nature of recursive linguistic structure.

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Creatures of Politics

Media, Message, and the American Presidency

Michael Lempert and Michael Silverstein

It's a common complaint that a presidential candidate's style matters more than substance and that the issues have been eclipsed by mass-media-fueled obsession with a candidate's every slip, gaffe, and peccadillo. This book explores political communication in American presidential politics, focusing on what political insiders call "message." Message, Michael Lempert and Michael Silverstein argue, is not simply an individual's positions on the issues but the craft used to fashion the creature the public sees as the candidate. Lempert and Silverstein examine some of the revelatory moments in debates, political ads, interviews, speeches, and talk shows to explain how these political creations come to have a life of their own. From the pandering "Flip-Flopper" to the self-reliant "Maverick," the authors demonstrate how these figures are fashioned out of the verbal, gestural, sartorial, behavioral—as well as linguistic—matter that comprises political communication.

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Creek (Muskogee) Texts

Mary R. Haas

When Mary R. Haas died in 1996, she left behind several thousand pages of notes and texts in the Creek (Muskogee) language collected in Oklahoma from 1936 to 1940. The majority of the texts come from the unpublished writings of James H. Hill of Eufaula, an especially knowledgeable elder who composed texts for Dr. Haas using the standard Creek alphabet. Twelve other speakers served as sources for dictated texts.

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