What do all languages have in common, and what gives each language its individuality? These typological questions are fundamental to linguistic theory. This collection comprises original contributions from leading scholars of the major schools of contemporary typological research, from the Prague School to the Generative Grammar tradition. Each contributor presents the theoretical foundations and practical achievements of his or her approach to language typology; the whole provides a unique overview of a field characterized by its diversity.
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Masayoshi Shibatani is Professor of Linguistics at Kobe University, and co-editor of the journal Pragmatics. He is author of The Languages of Japan (1990) and editor of several collections of typological interest including Grammatical Constructions (1996), Passive and Voice (1988), and The Grammar of Causative Constructions (1976). Theodora Bynon is Professor of Historical Linguistics (now part-time) at the University of London. She is the author of Historical Linguistics (1977) and of numerous papers on topics in historical linguistics, the history of linguistics, and typology.Review:
`This volume is essential reading for anyone who wishes to gain a comprehensive view of what language typology is all about ... This volume is designed to provide the reader with a representative and reasonably comprehensive view of this extensive and variegated field so that readers can see
for themselves what distinguishes the various approaches, as well as grasp what unifies them ... this volume should be found on the bookshelf of all serious students of typology. Not only do the papers themselves address substantive issues and make generally significant contributions to this domain,
the reference section found at the end of each paper potentially open a whole world to the interested.'
Eugene Casad, Notes on Linguistics 2.4 (1999)
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