Absolute and statistical universals

Language universals are statements that are true of all languages, for example: “all languages have stop consonants”. But beneath this simple definition lurks deep ambiguity, and this triggers misunderstanding in both in
Language universals are statements that are true of all languages, for example: “all languages have stop consonants”. But beneath this simple definition lurks deep ambiguity, and this triggers misunderstanding in both interdisciplinary discourse and within linguistics itself. A core dimension of the ambiguity is captured by the opposition “absolute vs. statistical universal”, although the literature uses these terms in varied ways. Many textbooks draw the boundary between absolute and statistical according to whether a sample of languages contains exceptions to a universal. But the notion of an exception-free sample is not very revealing even if the sample contained all known languages: there is always a chance that an as yet undescribed language, or an unknown language from the past or future, will provide an exception.
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Metadaten
Author:Balthasar Bickel
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30-1160382
URL:http://www.uni-leipzig.de/~bickel/research/papers/universals_cels_bb.pdf
Document Type:Preprint
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2010/08/10
Year of first Publication:2007
Publishing Institution:Univ.-Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main
Release Date:2010/08/10
SWD-Keyword:Sprachliche Universalien
Note:
To appear in: Hogan, P. C. (ed.): The Cambridge encyclopedia of the language sciences. - Cambridge : Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010
Source:http://www.uni-leipzig.de/~bickel/research/papers/universals_cels_bb.pdf ; To appear in: Hogan, P. C. (ed.) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
HeBIS PPN:284797049
Dewey Decimal Classification:400 Sprache
Sammlungen:Linguistik
Linguistic-Classification:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Quantitative Linguistik / Quantitative linguistics
Licence (German):License Logo Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen

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