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.
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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