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If language is a jungle, why are we all cultivating the same plot?

  • Maggie Tallerman (a1)
Abstract

Evans & Levinson (E&L) focus on differences between languages at a superficial level, rather than examining common processes. Their emphasis on trivial details conceals uniform design features and universally shared strategies. Lexical category distinctions between nouns and verbs are probably universal. Non-local dependencies are a general property of languages, not merely non-configurational languages. Even the latter class exhibits constituency.

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References
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Blake, B. J. (2001) The noun phrase in Australian languages. In: Forty years on: Ken Hale and Australian languages, ed. Nash, D., Laughren, M., Austin, P. & Alpher, B., pp. 415–25. Pacific Linguistics.
Braithwaite, B. (2008) Word and sentence structure in Nuuchahnulth. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Linguistics Section, Newcastle University, United Kingdom.
Hale, K. L. (1973) Person marking in Warlpiri. In: A Festschrift for Morris Halle, ed. Anderson, S. A. & Kiparsky, P., pp. 308–44. Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.
Nordlinger, R. (2006) Spearing the Emu drinking: Subordination and the adjoined relative clause in Wambaya. Australian Journal of Linguistics 26:529.
Swadesh, M. (1939) Nootka internal syntax. International Journal of American Linguistics 9:78102.
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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