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Word Order Universals

  • 1st Edition - December 1, 1983
  • Author: John A Hawkins
  • Language: English
  • eBook ISBN:
    9 7 8 - 1 - 4 8 3 2 - 9 6 6 0 - 9

Word Order Universals is a detailed account of word order universals and their role in theories of historical change. The starting point is the Greenberg data set, which is… Read more

Word Order Universals

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Word Order Universals is a detailed account of word order universals and their role in theories of historical change. The starting point is the Greenberg data set, which is comprised of a sample of 142 languages for certain limited co-occurrences of basic word orders, and a 30-language sample for more detailed information. In the Language Index, the 142 have been expanded to some 350 languages. Using the original Greenberg samples and the Expanded Sample, an alternative set of descriptive word order statements is provided. Comprised of eight chapters, this book begins with an introduction to the theory of word order universals, encompassing topics such as word order variation across languages and theories of universal grammar. The reader is then introduced to the work of Joseph Greenberg and Theo Vennemann on word order universals; implicational universals in Greenberg's data and the Expanded Sample; and the predictions made by implicational and distributional universals for word order change. Reformulated universals for historical reconstruction are also discussed, along with some laws of reconstruction derived from synchronic universals. The final chapter is devoted to the Expanded Sample, with particular reference to its quantities as well as its typological and genetic classification. This monograph will be a useful resource for specialists in grammar and linguistics.