On Understanding Grammar

Revised edition

T. Givón | University of Oregon
ISBN 9789027212528 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027264718 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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In his foreword to the original edition of this classic of functionalism, typology and diachrony, Dwight Bolinger wrote: "I foresee it as one of the truly prizes statements of our current knowledge…a book about understanding done with deep understanding – of language and its place in Nature and in the nature of humankind… The book is rich in insights, even for those who have been with linguistics for a long time. And beginners could be thankful for having it as a starting point, from which so many past mistakes have been shed". Thoroughly revised, corrected and updated, On Understanding Grammar remains, as its author intended it in 1979, a book about trying to make sense of human language and of doing linguistics. Language is considered here from multiple perspectives, intersecting with cognition and communication, typology and universals, grammaticalization, development and evolution. Within such a broad cross-disciplinary context, grammar is viewed as an automated, structured language-processing device, assembled through evolution, diachrony and use. Cross-language diversity is not arbitrary, but rather is tightly constrained and adaptively motivated, with the balance between universality and diversity mediated through development, be it evolutionary or diachronic. The book's take on language harkens back to the works of illustrious antecedents such as F. Bopp, W. von Humbold, H. Paul, A. Meillet, O. Jespersen and G. Zipf, offering a coherent alternative to the methodological and theoretical strictures of Saussure, Bloomfield and Chomsky.
[Not in series, 213] 2018.  xxi, 299 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Cited by

Cited by 37 other publications

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Main BIC Subject

CFK: Grammar, syntax

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009060: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Syntax
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2017045529 | Marc record