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Typology and Universals (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics)
ISBN 052136583X / 9780521365833 / 0-521-36583-X
Publisher Cambridge University Press
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Comparison of the grammars of human languages reveals systematic patterns of variation. Research in typology and universals attempts to uncover those patterns, to formulate the universal constraints on language that define those patterns, and to seek explanations for the universals. In this volume, the first of its kind, William Croft provides the reader with a comprehensive introduction to the method and theory used in typology-universals research, together with an overview of basic grammatical differences between languages. He discusses theoretical issues ranging from the most fundamental - on what basis can the grammars of diverse languages be compared? - to the most abstract - what is the role of functional and historical explanation of language universals? - and gives extensive illustration from the world's languages. Numerous case studies provide extended examples of the methodologies applied to specific problems. As well as explicating basic concepts established in the last thirty years, current areas of typological research are thoroughly covered (including diachronic typology and the functional-typological approach). This textbook will appeal to scholars and students alike in linguistics and anthropology. [via]