Blog Archives

Grammaticalisation clines: a brief conceptual history

Martin Konvička Freie UniversitƤt Berlin 1 Grammaticalisation clines In this blog post, I will sketch the history of grammaticalisation clines.Ā Hopper and Traugott (2003: 6) understand this concept as ā€œa metaphor for the empirical observation that cross-linguistically forms tend to undergo

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Posted in 19th century, 20th century, Article, historical linguistics, Linguistics, Typology

Typology ā€“ a new task of linguistics

James McElvenny University of Edinburgh In lieu of an introduction Below I offer an English translation of the last essay Georg von der Gabelentz (1840ā€“1893) personally submitted for publication, “Hypologie [Typologie] der Sprachen, eine neue Aufgabe der Linguistik”. This essay

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Posted in 19th century, Article, Europe, History, Linguistics, Typology

Primitive Languages: linguistic determinism and the description of Aranda eighty years on

David Moore University of Western Australia Introduction The view that Australian Aboriginal languages are primitiveĀ endured into the twentieth century and is still widespread throughout the Australian community. ā€˜Primitive languagesā€™ were a means of using linguistic evidence from a language to

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Posted in 19th century, 20th century, Article, Australia, Grammars, History, Linguistics, Missionary Linguistics, Typology

Joseph Greenbergā€™s comparative notebooks

Judith Kaplan University of Pennsylvania In John Webster Spargoā€™s 1931 translation of Holger Pedersenā€™s contribution to the genre of Disziplingeschichte, readers are introduced to a legion of mostly well-bearded men, marching toward the ā€˜discoveryā€™ of the Comparative Method. Summing up

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Posted in 20th century, America, Article, History, Linguistics, Typology

Early Descriptions of Gender in Pama-Nyungan Languages

Clara Stockigt University of Adelaide There is little correlation between the existence of a system of gender in Pama-Nyungan languages and the inclusion of a discussion of these systems under the heading “Gender” in early grammatical sources. Of the small

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Posted in 19th century, 20th century, Article, Australia, Field linguistics, Grammars, History, Linguistics, Syntax, Typology

(Non-)universality of word-classes and words: The mid-20th century shift

Martin Haspelmath Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig While looking at a range of views by grammarians on word-class distinctions (noun, verb, adjective etc.) and word division in two recent papers (Haspelmath 2011; 2012a), I was struck by what

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Posted in 20th century, Article, History, Linguistics, Typology, Uncategorized