Christian Lehmann

Christian Lehmann
Universität Erfurt | UE · Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft

Prof. Dr.
I am currently working on Cabecar grammar and on reference.

About

128
Publications
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3,175
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
1314 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
Introduction
Most of my work can be seen and downloaded from https://www.christianlehmann.eu I keep working on most of the topics of the website. The PDFs uploaded here have a different pagination from the published versions. If you want to quote them, refer to the section numbers.
Additional affiliations
April 1999 - March 2014
Universität Erfurt
Position
  • Chair
April 1984 - March 1999
Bielefeld University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
February 1979 - March 1984
University of Cologne
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (128)
Preprint
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The word is a significative unit of a language system. As such, it fulfills functions of cognition and communication, but is also subject to structural constraints. Criteria for the classification of words are based on both of these spheres. In the hierarchy of grammatical complexity, the word occupies a position between the phrase and the morpheme...
Article
The present study investigates the function of noun incorporation within the domain of participation. The focus is on the accommodation of peripheral participants in incorporative structures. As many other languages, Yucatec Maya, the Mayan language of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, incorporates into the verb especially those participants that re...
Chapter
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This volume explores the grammatical properties of body-part expressions across a range of languages and language families in the Americas, including Arawakan, Eastern Tukano, Mataguayan, Panoan, and Takanan. Expressions denoting parts of the body often exhibit specific grammatical properties that are intrinsically related to their semantics, and f...
Conference Paper
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Postpositions of Cabecar (Chibchan, Costa Rica) are classified by functional and structural criteria, and their degree of grammaticalization is determined by a set of structural criteria.
Article
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The Cabecar relative clause is a circumnominal relative clause without any marking of subordination, attribution or head selection. It is recognizable as such by structural criteria only if its syntactic function in the matrix is signaled grammatically, and otherwise only by semantic and prosodic criteria. Eligibility of an internal nominal express...
Article
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Univerbation is the syntagmatic condensation of a sequence of words recurrent in discourse into one word, as when the Spanish combination a tras (to back) becomes atrás ‘behind’. It affects both lexemes and grammatical formatives. Unlike processes of word formation, including conversion of a syntactic construction into a word, as in forget-me-not,...
Chapter
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Based on historical data and comparative data from neighboring Mayan languages, grammaticalization paths in all areas of Yucatec grammar are described.
Chapter
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Ein multilinguales linguistisches Begriffssystem wird in Form einer Datenbank implementiert, die dem Benutzer den semasiologischen und onomasiologischen Zugriff erlaubt, ihn also zu einem gegebenen Terminus den Begriff und seine Definition und zu einem gegebenen Begriff die Termini in den beteiligten Sprachen finden lässt. Die Mehrfachzuordnung von...
Article
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From among the various processes that form prepositions in the history from Latin to Castilian, the investigation concentrates on the formation of prepositional adverbs like Spanish delante (de) ‘in front (of)’. There are two mechanisms for their formation: (a) An adverb or a preposition is preceded by a superordinate simple local preposition which...
Article
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An overview of the life and achievements of Hansjakob Seiler.
Article
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Zusammenfassung W. v. Humboldt hat eine Stufenfolge der Entwicklung der Sprachen nach dem Grad der Vervollkommnung der grammatischen Form aufgestellt und diese mit einer Sprachtypologie gekoppelt. Er unterscheidet nicht zwischen Evolution und geschichtlichem Wandel der Sprachen, sondern zwischen Phasen der Herausbildung und der Verfeinerung. Danach...
Chapter
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The question of whether two phenomena should be subsumed under the same concept is a frequent conceptual problem in linguistics and particularly relevant in typology. Questions such as whether a certain Turkish case can be called a dative if the Latin dative is are typical of the general methodological problem of comparative concepts. Recent approa...
Chapter
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Modification is subservient to either reference or predication. Modification at the service of reference is attribution. These operations appear in language at two levels. At the level of discourse, they manifest themselves in complex constructions establishing referential, predicative and modifying relations among units. At the level of the langua...
Chapter
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In a functional perspective, situation types are defined on a cognitive basis. These are the bases of argument frames of predicates, and these are the bases of valency frames of verbal lexemes/stems. Argument frames are converted into valency frames by valency operations, which change the meaning of the lexeme/stem. A stem is then subject to diathe...
Article
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Se definen los conceptos de variación, estandarización y normalización, aduciéndose ejemplos de varias lenguas. Los conceptos se aplican al maya yucateco, tomándose como caso concreto y actual la obra editada por Briceño Chel y Can Tec, Normas de escritura para la lengua maya (2014). En la discusióncrítica, se muestra de qué sirve la estandarizació...
Article
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Every human activity including language is part of a teleonomic hierarchy, where subordinate processes serve superordinate goals. The goals are pursued consciously; the processes run automatically. A teleonomic hierarchy is, at the same time, a scale between the poles of control and automation. Automation is the downgrading of an action to the leve...
Conference Paper
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Understanding the differences underlying the scope, usage and content of language data requires the provision of a clarifying terminological basis which is integrated in the metadata describing a particular language resource. While terminological resources such as the SIL Glossary of Linguistic Terms, ISOcat or the GOLD ontology provide a considera...
Chapter
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Maybe the most pervasive among the changes analyzable as cases of grammaticalization in the languages of the Yucatecan branch of the Mayan stock is the formation of auxiliaries that allow finer tense/aspect/mood distinctions than the status suffixes inherited from Proto-Maya. It has been continually productive since colonial times. While this amoun...
Article
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En muchos análisis diacrónicos, Franz Bopp apuntaló lo que llegó a conocerse como teoría de la aglutinación. En ella, recogió la opinión anterior y la contemporánea sobre evolución lingüística y contribuyó al desarrollo de la moderna teoría de la gramaticalización.
Chapter
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Causativization has a position in an intricate network of lexical relations and valency operations, including deagentive and passive, whose general function it is to express a given predicate in construction with different constellations of central participants. The corresponding tasks can be solved by (1) coding the causative or non-causative rela...
Chapter
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Full description of valency classes of Yucatec Maya in the framework of the Leipzig valency database
Article
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Die Wortarten des Japanischen werden vollständig, einschließlich aller Arten von Partikeln und Hilfswörtern, klassifiziert. Sie werden als Distributionsklassen definiert und nach funktionellen Gesichtspunkten systematisiert. Das Kriterium der Grammatikalisierung führt zur Ansetzung grammatikalischer Subklassen. Für die lexikalischen Wortarten wird...
Chapter
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Comparative research concentrating on sound verbs and particles shows that, at the lexical-semantic level, sounds are categorized by diverse parameters, only some of which are auditory in nature. The auditory parameters, in turn, concern the vertical (simultaneous) and the horizontal (sequential) structure of the sound. The vertical structure compr...
Chapter
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Die Grundbegriffe der Referenz, ihre fundamentalen Operationen und Bedingungen werden anhand zahlreicher Beispiele erläutert. Die Analyse wird durch ein Verkaufsgespräch illustriert. Es wird ein Diskursmodell entwickelt, das die referentielle Struktur eines Textes oder Dialogs repräsentiert, und die Struktur der Dateien, in denen es implementiert w...
Article
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Bernard Comrie and Zarina Estrada-Fernández are well-known specialists in matters of relative clauses and Uto-Aztecan languages, respectively. Their volume divides into three parts. The first comprises articles on theoretical and diachronic aspects of relative clause formation. The remaining articles are devoted to one language each and are subdivi...
Chapter
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Morphologically and syntactically conditioned alternations indirectly code their conditioner. The distinction between such semantic information that is coded by a property of an expression and such semantic information that conditions and constrains a property of an expression brings rigor into linguistic description and makes us understand an impo...
Data
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Morphologically and syntactically conditioned alternations indirectly code their conditioner. The distinction between such semantic information that is coded by a property of an expression and such semantic information that conditions and constrains a property of an expression brings rigor into linguistic description and makes us understand an impo...
Article
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Categories of parts of speech have both semantic and structural aspects. The two sets of features are essentially incommensurate, since the semantic features derive from the functions of language in communication and cognition, while the structural features are essentially based in the combinatorial potential of signs in a text. Consequently, the t...
Chapter
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This study investigates clauses with two kinds of person forms (pronouns, crossreference or agreement markers) in a quasi-reflexive constellation which have identical non-third person, but different number. Corresponding real-world scenarios are infrequent, but do occur. The issue is approached in two complementary ways: from a typological perspect...
Article
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This is a review of: Narrog, Heiko & Heine, Bernd (eds.) 2011, The Oxford handbook of grammaticalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics).
Article
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The categorization alluded to in the title is the assignment of a class of concepts to a lexeme class and/or a syntactic category. The purpose of the paper is to establish converseness of strategies of categorization among languages as a typological concept. It is argued that, quite in general, coding strategies in a given functional domain may be...
Chapter
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Although there is a well-known model of linguistic description by the name of the title of this article (Functional Grammar), the title actually refers to a grammaticographic concept in a wider sense which is essentially independent of particular models of description. Given the complementary approaches to linguistic analysis and description, viz....
Chapter
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While Latin syntax uses overwhelmingly accusative alignment, there are also constructions which show ergative or active alignment.
Article
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Basic principles of the theory and methodology of grammaticalization and of diachronic typology are brought to bear on three problems of genetic relatedness of case relators in Semitic languages: 1) the origin of the Akkadian allative suffix -iš; 2) genetic relations of the Mari preposition iš; 3) the genetic relationship between the Akkadian prono...
Article
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Several European languages have periphrastic constructions involving “see” as a voice auxiliary, in particular a reflexive construction such as the following from Portuguese: a empresa viu-se obrigada a despedir 30 trabalhadores “the company found itself forced to lay off 30 workers”. This construction is the passive of “see”. Passives of “see” can...
Chapter
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There is a long-standing functional-cognitive answer to the question of why a language should have numeral classifiers: they individuate nominal concepts that otherwise could not be counted. A sober structural analysis of numeral classifiers in a couple of languages shows that such an hypothesis is not needed because they fulfil a purely structural...
Article
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[Published in Journal: Language Research 46, 2010:83-102] The modal suffix -keyss has two contextually conditioned readings: In one set of contexts, it codes volition, in the complementary set of contexts, it codes a supposition. The study investi-gates the conditions under which the two readings appear and identifies four relevant semantic paramet...
Chapter
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The question is to what extent the Latin fricatives behave like stops, and the nasals and glides behave like liquids, in the muta cum liquida cluster. The result is: /f/ + liquid is normally homosyllabic, while /s/ + liquid is heterosyllabic. In the phonotactic template of the Latin syllable, /f/ therefore occurs in the slot of the initial, while /...
Chapter
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In Spanish, the subject person pronoun may be used to disambiguate syncretic conjugation forms; but in actual contemporary Spanish, it is used much less for this purpose than grammars would make one believe. Although grammaticalization of the pronominal system has progressed in the history of the language, the disambiguating use of pronouns can onl...
Article
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The assignment of a linguistic sign to a word class is an operation that must be seen as part of the overall transformation of extralinguistic substance into linguistic form. In this, it is comparable to such processes as the transitivization of a verbal base, which further specifies a relatively rough categorization. Languages differ both in the e...
Chapter
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In constructions of the type extremum agmen, in summo colle, the adjective (summus) designates a spatial region of the reference object (collis). The use of an adjective in this function is strongly characteristic of Latin. Other languages employ relational nouns such as top, adpositions such as on, adverbs such as above and even verbs such as ente...
Article
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The contribution investigates how decisions made at the level of information structure prede-termine the course of grammaticalization at various syntactic levels between the complex sentence and the clause, and how, on the other hand, grammaticalization levels out contrasts of information structure. Examples are taken, among others, from cleft sent...
Chapter
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The purpose of this contribution is to trace the main lines of the auxiliarization of Portuguese ficar ‘stay’. Its beginnings are already visible at the start of the documented history, where ficar may combine with dependent phrases that contain an infinitive or a participle. It is shown how these dependents presuppose non­‑verbal bases. At a relat...
Article
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LANGUAGE COMPETENCE has sometimes been used as an idealized notion which somehow embodies the collective knowledge of a speech community in the person of an ideal speaker-hearer. However, the basic notion is the competence of an individual in a language. If the language in question is not the native language, it is taken for granted that the person...
Chapter
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Many traditional linguistic terms start out by designating morphological concepts. They are subsequently upgraded to designate syntactic and finally semantic concepts. This is not a controlled terminological operation, but an uncontrolled semantic change.
Chapter
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The aim of this article is to provide a comprehensive conceptual framework for sensible talk about motivation in language. The question of motivation in language is the following: On what basis does the sign code its content? Relating the question to the partners of communication, it means: On what basis does the speaker code the content by that pa...
Chapter
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Der Begriff und die Rolle von Daten in einer Wissenschaft hängen eng mit ihrem Selbstverständnis zusammen. Als erstes ist zu überlegen, inwiefern Linguistik eine empirische Wissenschaft ist und also von Daten abhängt. Während in den Philologien ein Korpus die Grundlage einer Disziplin abgibt, die ohne es nicht bestünde, ist in der Linguistik ein Ko...
Article
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Cet article se donne pour objectif de contribuer à l’explicitation de la notion de rôle sémantique. Comme il est bien connu, les relateurs casuels peuvent naître par la grammaticalisation de coverbes. Ces constructions nous font entendre mieux les procédés sémantiques. On distinguera deux niveaux de rôles sémantiques : • celui des classes de situat...
Article
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In this article the author investigates the function of noun incorporation within the functional domain of participation, with a focus on the accommodation of peripheral participants by incorporation. Like most other languages, in Yucatec Maya the verb incorporates with preference participants at the lower end of the control hierarchy, such as the...
Article
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While the notion VALUE OF A LANGUAGE is not established in linguistic theory, evaluation of languages has occurred both inside the discipline and in practical contexts. It is the aim of this article to provide a theoretical foundation for this notion. To this end, the relevant components of the notion of value are examined and then applied to the e...
Article
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Semantic relations are analyzed at the levels of participant roles, thematic roles and syntactic relations. The first level serves as a tertium comparationis for linguistic strategies recognized at the two lower levels. A couple of functional subdomains of participation are analyzed, in-cluding causation, benefaction, external possession and concom...
Chapter
Full-text available
The present study investigates the function of noun incorporation within the domain of participation. The focus is on the accommodation of peripheral participants in incorporative structures. As many other languages, Yucatec Maya, the Mayan language of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, incorporates into the verb especially those participants that re...
Chapter
Full-text available
While it is easy, with the help of such examples, to understand the term and get a feeling for the concept ‘hypercharacterization’, a precise definition is not so easy. The concept has, in fact, never been formally defined. Most of the time it has been taken for granted, and often it has been explicitly equated with neighbouring concepts. The conce...
Article
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Three parameters are considered in the typology of Latin syllable structure: 1) phonotaxis of syllable structure; 2) correspondence of syllable structure with morpheme structure; 3) syllable structure processes. With respect to these parameters, Latin may be characterized as follows: 1) Latin allows moderate complexity of the onset, which, during i...
Chapter
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A template for the structure of the Latin syllable is set up. On its basis, an algorithm which syllabicates a Latin text is formulated.
Chapter
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Precise guidelines for interlinear morphological glosses of examples and edited texts used in linguistic publications are formulated. An elaborated version is available at https://www.christianlehmann.eu/ling/ling_meth/ling_description/representations/gloss/index.php
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This is an overview of morphological means employed in constructions of comparison and gradation, composed for the HSK manual of morphology.
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Basic guidelines for writing a linguistic grammar are proposed.
Article
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This article aims to be a contribution to the methodological foundations of linguistics. To answer the question of "what are scientific data?", a semiotic conception of data is proposed according to which they are representations of properties of the object area of a science that serve certain purposes for their users. Kinds of data are distinguish...
Article
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This paper reviews a couple of theoretical and methodological issues in grammaticalization research, including in particular the relationship of grammaticalization to the synchrony/diachrony contrast, unidirectionality and degrammaticalization, lexicalization, analogy, reanalysis and lateral conversion. There are misunderstandings, both in the gram...
Chapter
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A language may be either natural or universal. If it is natural, then it will be bound up with the thinking and culture of some people and will be relatively remote from the thinking and culture of other peoples. If it is universal, then it may be able to represent whatever is represented in natural languages, but it will then have the character of...
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The goal is to characterize the structural properties of valency in Latin and to bring out its role in the language system in comparison with other languages. The conceptual framework presupposed is functional typology. In an onomasiological perspective, the basis of valency is conceptual relationality, which may manifest itself in syntactic struct...
Chapter
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The essential difference between grammar and lexicon is the following: The grammar is concerned with those signs which are formed regularly and which are handled analytically, while the lexicon is concerned with those signs which are formed irregularly and which are handled holistically. A sign is lexicalized if it is withdrawn from analytic access...
Chapter
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A language is a human skill and its products, comparable to some handcraft like weaving and its products. To document it means to preserve show pieces of it and to provide them with information which enable one to appreciate the skill and to learn (and thus, if necessary, revive) it to some extent. Documentation of a language is an activity (and, d...
Article
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The domain of investigation is the interface of participation and possession. We present three principal strategies of coding central and peripheral participants. In a given situation, an empathic participant may bear a relation to the situation core as well as to one (or more) other participants. Languages differ as to whether they express the for...
Article
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ABSTRACT , Inthe past decades, demonstrable progress has been made in the grammatical description ofthe many languages of the world. However, these achievements are far from sufficient: 1. Most descriptions are essentially incomplete in that they are restricted to one area of
Chapter
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Unter wissenschaftspraktischem Gesichtspunkt ist linguistische Terminologie eine Menge von Schlagwörtern, die z.B. zur Literatursuche nach Sachkriterien benutzt wird. Sie sind durch eine Menge von vordefinierten Relationen miteinander verknüpft, die die Verweisung auf Nachbartermini leisten und formale Aspekte des Begriffssystems wiedergeben. Vermö...
Chapter
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The article describes the relation between lexemes and grammatical formatives ("synsemantica") as a dynamic relationship mainly produced by grammaticalization. It also highlights the role of synsemantica in linguistic typology.
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Kongruenz ist ein grammatisches Verfahren, das eine Dependenzrelation voraussetzt. In der internen Kongruenz kongruiert ein Modifikator mit einem Nominalsyntagma; in der externen Kongruenz kongruiert ein Regens mit einem Nominalsyntagma. Kongruenz und Kasusmarkierung sind komplementäre Verfahren bei der Anzeige syntaktischer Relationen. Kongruenz e...
Chapter
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The concept of grammaticalization is defined and illustrated by examples from diverse languages. The consequences of the processes observed for the theory of language and for the theory of linguistic description are drawn.
Article
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Abstract The purpose of a classification of predicates is to provide the basisfor any explanations of different grammatical behavior of predicates that may be grounded in differences of lexical semantics. The scope of such a classificationhas to comprise not only verbs, but all words that can function as predicates, because the criteria must not be...
Chapter
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Prädikatklassen sind Klassen von Begriffen, die als Situationstypen fungieren, sich also als Zentrum des Prädikats eines Satzes manifestieren können. Eine der diesen kognitiven Bereich strukturierenden Dimensionen ist eine Skala abnehmender Zeitstabilität der Begriffe. Auf dieser Skala können die Hauptwortarten Substantiv, Adjektiv und Verb mit ihr...
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Traditionally, word order has been regarded as one of the devices for the expression of grammatical meaning, alongside with grammatical words, affixation, internal modification, and suprasegmental means. This view has blocked the way towards an adequate understanding of the role of word order in language. Every linguistic sign has a certain degree...
Article
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Many feel inspired by cultures of the past or the living of strange peoples and therefore visit archeological and anthropological museums. Likewise, many find an interest in languages and the mysteries of human language. Currently, however, there is no information source or institution satisfying this interest in a comprehensive and suitable way. T...
Article
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This is an overview of ongoing or fashionable grammaticalization processes in different grammatical domains of German at the end of the 20th century, with a glance at some related grammatical changes.
Chapter
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Predicate classes are semantic classes of lexemes that can function as the predicate of a clause. The are formed by the criteria relating to situation cores like dynamicity and telicity, relating to participant roles like degree of involvement, controll, affectedness and by participant properties like animacy. These structuring parameters are defin...
Chapter
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The following six general operational dimensions concur in forming a nominal group: 1. nomination, the naming of an entity; 2. apprehension, the grasp of the entity as either undifferentiated or individuated; 3. determination, its identification with respect to the speech situation; 4. specification, the attribution of properties so that the concep...
Article
SiewierskaAnna, Word order rules. (Croom Helm Linguistics Series.) London etc.: Croom Helm, 1988. Pp. xiv + 304. - Volume 26 Issue 1 - Christian Lehmann
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Yukatekisch, die Mayasprache der Halbinsel Yukatan, ist die wichtigste noch lebende Mayasprache und gleichzeitig diejenige, die dem klassischen Maya am nächsten steht. Sie läßt sich typologisch folgendermaßen charakterisieren: - Relativ einfaches phonologisches System, verbunden mit starken Alternationen durch phonologische Prozesse. - Morphologie...
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The purpose of this contribution is to explore the lexicon as an area of linguistic structure which may possibly supply features relevant for linguistic typology. The presentation is organized as follows: §2 briefly outlines a model of language structure in which the lexicon finds its place as the equal partner of grammar. In §3, postulates for a l...
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The following postulates are formulated with respect to a scientific description of a language: 1. It is usable for whatever linguistic purpose. 2. It comprises an account of the linguistic system, a lexicon, a text corpus and a statement of the historical situation of the language. 3. The description of the language system accounts not only for co...
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The phenomena comprised by the notion ‘subordination’ are heterogeneous, but may be ordered according to the following six parameters: 1. The integration of the subordinate clause into the main clause. This includes the hierarchical downgrading of the former, from independent to governed clause, and the syntactic level of the main clause which the...
Chapter
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Given a syntactic relation in which a nominal clause component X depends on Y; then agreement of Y indicates X, but presupposes the relation, while case marking on X conveys the relation to Y.
Article
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The NP accessibility hierarchy first formulated in Keenan & Comrie 1977 establishes the possible subsets of syntactic functions on which a relative clause (RC) strategy may relativize and for which of them it may use pronominal representatives of the head inside the RC. However, it does not tell us what determines the size of these subsets. This ar...
Article
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1. Introduction 2. Marking of case relations on nominal constituents 3. Grammaticalization 4. Grammaticalization and language comparison 5. Grammaticalization and implicational generalizations 6. Grammaticalization and intralingual variation 7. Grammaticalization and typological continuity 8. Grammaticalization and the center of linguistic typology
Article
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Grammaticalization is a continuous process happening in the synchrony and diachrony of language which affects a construction or sign, reducing its autonomy and subjecting it to the rules of grammar. The degree to which a construction or sign is grammaticalized may be assessed by six parameters, ordered on the paradigmatic and syntagmatic axes along...

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Clarify the nature, structure and function of human language