When studying linguistics, it is commonplace to find that information packaged into a single word in one language is expressed by several independent words in another language. This observation raises an important question: how can linguistics research represent what is the same among languages while accounting for the obvious differences between them?
In this work, two linguists-Farrell Ackerman and Gert Webelhuth-from different theoretical paradigms develop a new general theory of natural language predicates. This theory is capable of addressing a broad range of issues concerning (complex) predicates, many of which remain unresolved in previous theoretical proposals. The book focuses on cross-linguistically recurring patterns of predicate formation. It also provides a detailed implementation of Ackerman and Webelhuth's theory for German tense-aspect, passive, causative, and verb-particle predicates. In addition, a discussion of the extension of these representative analyses to the same predicate construction in other languages is presented. Beyond providing a formalism for the analysis of language-particular predicates, the authors demonstrate how the basic theoretical mechanism they develop can be employed to explain universal tendencies of predicate formation.
Farrell Ackerman is professor of linguistics and director of the Human Development Program at the University of California, San Diego.
Introduction; On the construct 'Predicate'; The Structure of Signs; Morphology; The Lexical-Functional Structure of Predicates With and Without Particles; Modification; Passive; Causatives; Middles; References.
."..the book is very well done, as one would expect from two such prominent scholars." Notes on Linguistics
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