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Phonological word and grammatical word: A cross-linguistic typology

posted on 01.11.2021, 21:09 by Alexandra Y Aikhenvald, RMW Dixon, Nathan M White
’Word’ is a cornerstone for the understanding of every language. It is a pronounceable phonological unit. It will also have a meaning, and a grammatical characterization - a morphological structure and a syntactic function. And it will be an entry in a dictionary and an orthographic item. ’Word’ has ’psychological reality’ for speakers, enabling them to talk about the meaning of a word, its appropriateness for use in a certain social context, and so on. This volume is about ’word’ in its many guises. It is a logical progression from our earlier volume Word: A Cross-linguistic Typology, edited by R. M. W. Dixon and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), incorporating new facts, new insights, and new generalizations. The volume starts with a typological introduction summarizing the main issues to do with ’word’, with special focus on phonological and grammatical word and on their interactions. It is followed by revised versions of papers presented at the International Workshop "’Word": its manifestations and functions’ organized by the editors and held at the Language and Culture Research Centre, James Cook University, 3-4 October 2018. An earlier version of Chapter 1 was circulated to the contributors, with a list of issues to be addressed, so as to ensure that the studies of individual languages within this volume were cast in terms of a common set of parameters. This is the tenth monograph in the series Explorations in Linguistic Typology, devoted to volumes from International Workshops organized by the Language and Culture Research Centre and its predecessors. The Workshop and subsequent discussions between the editors and the authors were intellectually stimulating, with cross-fertilization of ideas and scholarly debate. Each author has undertaken intensive fieldwork and has firsthand in-depth knowledge of their languages, in addition to experience of working on linguistic typology, historical and comparative linguistics, and language contact and areal diffusion. The analysis is uniformly cast in terms of basic linguistic theory-the cumulative typological framework which provides the foundation for sound empirically-based descriptive and analytic works. We avoid formalisms (which provide restatements rather than explanations, and come and go with such frequency that any statement made in terms of them is likely to soon become inaccessible).



Aikhenvald AY; Dixon RMW; White NM



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Oxford University Press

Place of Publication

Oxford, UK

Open Access


External Author Affiliations

James Cook University

Era Eligible



Explorations in Linguistic Typology