Grammars in contact: a cross-linguistic perspective

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (2007) Grammars in contact: a cross-linguistic perspective. In: Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y., and Dixon, R.M.W., (eds.) Grammars In Contact: a cross-linguistic typology. Explorations In Linguistic Typology, 4 . Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 1-66.

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[Extract] Languages can resemble each other in categories, constructions, and meanings, and in the actual forms used to express them.1 Categories can be similar because they are universal—for instance, every language has some way of asking a question or framing a command. Occasionally, two languages share a form by pure coincidence. In both Dyirbal, an Australian language from North Queensland, and Jarawara, an Arawá language from Southern Amazonia, bari means 'axe'. Both Goemai (Angas-Goemai subgroup of Chadic, Afroasiatic: Birgit Hellwig, p.c.) and Manambu (Ndu family, New Guinea) happen to use a:s for 'dog'. Similarities due to universal properties of a language are of interest for universal grammar, while chance coincidences are no more than curious facts.What these two kinds of similarities have in common is that they tell us nothing about the history of languages or their speakers. In this volume we focus on two other types of similarities: those due to genetic inheritance and those due to areal contact.

Item ID: 9315
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-19-920783-1
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2010 01:23
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200407 Lexicography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 100%
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