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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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Cross-Language Relations in Composition

Edited by Bruce Horner, Min-Zhan Lu, and Paul Kei Matsuda

Leading scholars in composition, education, and literacy studies critique the English monolingualism dominating the study and teaching of college composition and pursue approaches that embrace the multilingualism and that pose cross-language writing as the norm for teaching and research.

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Crossing Oceans

Reconfiguring American Literary Studies in the Pacific Rim

Noella Brada-Williams ,Karen Chow

This book’s intended mission is to compliment and extend the vision of a seminal volume, published in 1995, American Studies Today: An Introduction to Methods and Perspectives, which came out of the American Studies Research Centre in Hyderabad, India.

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Crosslinguistic Research in Syntax and Semantics

Negation, Tense, and Clausal Architecture

Presenting cutting-edge research in syntax and semantics, this important volume furthers theoretical claims in generative linguistics and represents a significant addition to present scholarship in the field. Leading scholars present crosslinguistic studies dealing with clausal architecture, negation, and tense and aspect, and the issue of whether a statistical model can by itself capture the richness of human linguistic abilities. Taken together, these contributions elegantly show how theoretical tools can propel our understanding of language beyond pretheoretical descriptions, especially when combined with the insight and skills of linguists who can analyze difficult and complex data. Crosslinguistic Research in Syntax and Semantics covers a range of topics currently at the center of lively debate in the linguistic literature, such as the structure of the left periphery of the clause, the proper treatment of negative polarity items, and the role of statistical learning in building a model of linguistic competence. The ten original contributions offer an excellent balance of novel empirical description and theoretical analysis, applied to a wide range of languages, including Dutch, German, Irish English, Italian, Malagasy, Malay, and a number of medieval Romance languages. Scholars and students of semantics, syntax, and linguistic theory will find it to be a valuable resource for ongoing scholarship and advanced study.

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Dans tous les sens du terme

Regards croisés sur la terminologie

Jean Quirion

La terminologie, soit l'ensemble des termes spécifiques à une science, à une technique ou à un domaine particulier de l'activité humaine, représente aujourd'hui une discipline à part entière. Elle relève aussi bien de la linguistique, dans le cadre de l’analyse du discours spécialisé, que de la logique et des sciences et techniques, dans son rapport à l’objet décrit. Ce livre, dans lequel des spécialistes de divers domaines dressent un panorama de cette discipline en évolution, explore ainsi les multiples approches – actuelles ou émergentes – de la terminologie. On y découvre ses filiations avec de nombreux champs du savoir, dont la communication, la sociologie, la linguistique informatique, les technologies modernes et la documentation. L’ouvrage, qui approfondit certaines questions contemporaines, se veut également une nouvelle introduction à la terminologie ainsi qu’un repère pour se retrouver dans les différentes voies de recherche terminologiques et les applications contemporaines de cette discipline. Il intéressera tout lecteur curieux des faits de langue et des vocabulaires spécialisés.

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De nominale constituent

Structuur en geschiedenis

Freek Van De Velde

De nominale constituent is een onderbelicht domein van de syntaxis, zeker in de historische taalkunde. Dat is niet terecht, want over de syntactische bouw ervan is men het lang niet eens, en de veranderingen die zich in de loop van de geschiedenis hebben voorgedaan, zijn talrijk. In dit boek wordt geargumenteerd dat achter die diverse veranderingen een grote tendens schuilgaat: de Nederlandse nominale constituent is het resultaat van een eeuwenlang proces van stapsgewijze uitbreiding ter linkerzijde met een aantal duidelijk onderscheiden kavels (‘slots’) in het voorveld. Deze visie laat toe een aantal ogenschijnlijk heel uiteenlopende taalveranderingen samenhangend te verklaren. Het onderzoek strekt zich uit over verschillende eeuwen taalgeschiedenis. De klemtoon ligt uiteraard op het Oud-, Middel- en Nieuwnederlands, maar waar mogelijk wordt nog verder teruggegaan, tot de gereconstrueerde fasen van het Proto-Germaans en het Proto-Indo-Europees. In de argumentatie worden data uit verschillende talen betrokken – onder andere Hittitisch, Sanskriet, Grieks, Latijn, Gotisch, Oudengels, Oudhoogduits – en er wordt gebruik gemaakt van allerhande technieken, van theoretisch onderzoek tot kwantitatief corpusonderzoek. Verder wordt er ook uitvoerig verwezen naar de bestaande internationale vakliteratuur.

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Deaf Children in Public Schools

Placement, Context, and Consequences

Claire L. Ramsey

Peters connects ASL literature to the literary canon with the archetypal notion of carnival as “the counterculture of the dominated.” Throughout history, carnivals have been opportunities for the “low,” disenfranchised elements of society to displace their “high” counterparts. Citing the Deaf community’s long tradition of “literary nights” and festivals like the Deaf Way, Peters recognizes similar forces at work in the propagation of ASL literature. The agents of this movement, Deaf artists and ASL performers—“Tricksters,” as Peters calls them—jump between the two cultures and languages. Through this process, they create a synthesis of English literary content reinterpreted in sign language, which raises the profile of ASL as a distinct art form in itself.

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Defying Maliseet Language Death

Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, and Identity in Eastern Canada

Bernard C. Perley

Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Today, indigenous communities throughout North America are grappling with the dual issues of language loss and revitalization. While many communities are making efforts to bring their traditional languages back through educational programs, for some communities these efforts are not enough or have come too late to stem the tide of language death, which occurs when there are no remaining fluent speakers and the language is no longer used in regular communication. The Maliseet language, as spoken in the Tobique First Nation of New Brunswick, Canada, is one such endangered language that will either be revitalized and survive or will die off.

Defying Maliseet Language Death is an ethnographic study by Bernard C. Perley, a member of this First Nation, that examines the role of the Maliseet language and its survival in Maliseet identity processes. Perley examines what is being done to keep the Maliseet language alive, who is actively involved in these processes, and how these two factors combine to promote Maliseet language survival. He also explores questions of identity, asking the important question: “If Maliseet is no longer spoken, are we still Maliseet?” This timely volume joins the dual issues of language survival and indigenous identity to present a unique perspective on the place of language within culture.

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