functional morphosyntax                                                                   back to home page

Since my student days, I have been concerned with functional interactions among grammatical elements (e.g. morphemes and tightly-knit constructions), mostly in connection with individual languages. My general perspective is that these elements, interact with each other functionally in language-specific ways. The resulting networks carry out functions such as referential disambiguation, phrasal boundary marking, and pragmatic disguise. In general, each element factors into several overlapping functional networks, which typically do not correspond to conventional grammatical domains (e.g. pronouns, coordination). A particular challenge is comparing how radically nonconfigurational languages (such as Nunggubuyu) and highly configurational languages like English carry out the same or similar functions.
In addition to the publications listed below, this viewpoint pervades my grammars (quietly), and my papers on historical morphosyntax and on prosodic constructions such as tonosyntax (more loudly). My dissatisfaction with “typology” is that, as practiced in recent times, it focuses on cataloguing low-level elements and patterns in a way that masks more global, but often language-specific, functional networks.

general articles on functionalism and typology
      *2016          Type-ology or typ-ology? Linguistic Typology 20(3):479-495.
                                    DOI: https:/
      1979c          Units in a functional grammar. In: P. Clyne et al. (eds.), The elements, 52‑59. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
                                    volume: ISBN-13 978-0914203124
      1978c          Functional universals. In: J. Jaeger et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Meeting, 86‑95. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society.
      *1975          Some functional relationships in grammar. Language 51(1):89‑104.
                                    DOI: 10.2307/413151
                                    DOI: 10.2307/413151

articles on specific grammatical topics
      *2016          Dogon adjective-numeral inversion. Linguistics 54(1):189-214.
      *2015          J. Heath & Vadim Dyachkov. Subject versus addressee in Dogon imperatives and hortatives. Studies in Language 39(3):555-593.
      *2010          Typology of clausal boundary marking devices. Linguistic Typology 14(1):127-52.
      *2007b        Bidirectional case-marking and linear adjacency. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 25:83-101.
      2004            Coordination: An adaptationist view. In: Martin Haspelmath (ed.), Coordinating constructions, 676-88. Philadelphia: Benjamins.
      *1998c        Pragmatic skewing in 1<—>2 pronominal combinations in Amerindian languages. International Journal of American Linguistics 64(2):83-104.
      1991b         Pragmatic disguise in pronominal‑affix paradigms. In: Frans Plank, ed., Paradigms: The economy of inflection, 75-89. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
      *1986a        Syntactic and lexical aspects of nonconfigurationality in Nunggubuyu (Australia). Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 4:375‑408.
      1985a          Discourse in the field: Clause structure in Ngandi (Australia). In: Johanna Nichols & Anthony Woodbury (eds.), Grammar inside and outside the clause, 89‑110. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
      1983b         Referential tracking in Nunggubuyu (Australia). In: John Haiman & Pamela Munro (eds.), Switch reference and universal grammar, 129‑49. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
      1981d         Aspectual 'skewing' in two Australian languages (Mara, Nunggubuyu). In: P. Tedeschi & A. Zaenen (eds.), Tense and aspect. (Syntax and Semantics, 14), 91‑102. New York: Academic.
      1980a          Dyirbal ergativity: Counter‑rejoinder to Dixon. Linguistics 18(5-6):505‑21.
      *1979a        Is Dyirbal ergative?. Linguistics 17(5-6):401‑63.
      1976d         Antipassivization: A functional typology. In: H. Thompson et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the Second Annual Meeting, 202‑11. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society.
      1976e          Substantival hierarchies: Addendum to Silverstein. In: R. M. W. Dixon, ed.,  Grammatical categories in Australian languages, 172‑90. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
      1976f          Ergative/accusative typologies in morphology and syntax. In: R. M. W. Dixon, ed.,  Grammatical categories in Australian languages, 599‑611. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
      1974            Some related transformations in Basque. In: M. La Galy et al. (eds.), Papers from the Tenth Regional Meeting, 248‑58. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
      1972a          Uto‑Aztecan relative clauses. In: P. Peranteau et al. (eds.), Chicago Which Hunt, 230‑45.
      1972b         Genitivization in northern Basque complement clauses. Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca "Julio de Urquijo" 6:46‑66.

review articles
      2014            review article on R. Langacker, Investigations in Cognitive Grammar. Language 90(1): 269-276 (and online supplement).
      2009            Recent case work reviewed [Miriam Butt, Theories of case; Andrej Malchukov & Andrew Spencer (eds.), The Oxford handbook of case; Christa Koenig, Case in Africa; Greville Corbett & Michael Noonan (eds.), Case and grammatical gelations: Studies in honor of Bernard Comrie] Linguistic Typology 13:451-61.
      1980            Whither ergativity?: A review article. Frans Plank, ed., Ergativity: Towards a theory of grammatical relations. Linguistics 18(9-10):877‑910.

      2015            Stroik, Thomas & Michael Putnam, The structural design of language; Denis Bouchard, The nature and origin of language. Linguistic Typology 19(3):463-468.
      2014            Gil, Koch-Hee, Stephen Harlow, & George Tsoulas, eds. Strategies of quantification. Linguistic Typology 18(2):343-346.
      2013            Matthewson, Lisa. 2013. Quantification: A cross-linguistic perspective. Linguistic Typology 17(1):177-183.
      2012            Aikhenvald, Alexandra & Pieter Muysken, eds.. Multi-verb constructions: A view from the Americas. Anthropological Linguistics 54(1):87-8.
      2009            Zuñiga, Fernando. Deixis and alignment: Inverse systems in native languages of the Americas. Studies in Language 33(4):991-94.
DOI: 10.1075/sl.33.4.07hea
      1996            Abraham, Werner & Theo Janssen, eds. Tempus-Aspekt-Modus: Die lexikalischen und grammatischen Formen in den germanischen Sprachen. Language 72(1):178-9. [book notice]
                                    DOI: 10.2307/416816
      1996            Thieroff, Rolf & Joachim Ballweg, eds. Tense systems in European languages. Language 72(1):188-9. [book notice]
                                    DOI: 10.2307/416829
      1995            Kamp, Hans & Uwe Reyle, From discourse to logic: Introduction to modeltheoretic semantics of natural language. Language 71(4):823-26.
                                    DOI: 10.2307/415752
      1992            Givón, Talmy. Syntax, a functional-typological introduction, vol 2. Language 68(4):840-4.
                                    DOI: 10.2307/416859
      1986            Givon, Talmy. Syntax, A functional-typological introduction (vol. 1). Language 62(1):160-163.
                                    DOI: 10.2307/415605

[last update Nov 2017]

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