Arbeitspapier / Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Köln
- N.F. 37
Typological parameters of genericity
- Different languages employ different morphosyntactic devices for expressing genericity. And, of course, they also make use of different morphosyntactic and semantic or pragmatic cues which may contribute to the interpretation of a sentence as generic rather than episodic. [...] We will advance the strong hypo thesis that it is a fundamental property of lexical elements in natural language that they are neutral with respect to different modes of reference or non-reference. That is, we reject the idea that a certain use of a lexical element, e.g. a use which allows reference to particular spatio-temporally bounded objects in the world, should be linguistically prior to all other possible uses, e.g. to generic and non-specific uses. From this it follows that we do not consider generic uses as derived from non-generic uses as it is occasionally assumed in the literature. Rather, we regard these two possibilities of use as equivalent alternative uses of lexical elements. The typological differences to be noted therefore concern the formal and semantic relationship of generic and non-generic uses to each other; they do not pertain to the question of whether lexical elements are predetermined for one of these two uses. Even supposing we found a language where generic uses are always zero-marked and identical to lexical sterns, we would still not assume that lexical elements in this language primarily have a generic use from which the non-generic uses are derived. (Incidentally, none of the languages examined, not even Vietnamese, meets this criterion.)
- N.F. 35
Qualities, objects, sorts, and other treasures : gold digging in English and Arabic
- In the present monograph, we will deal with questions of lexical typology in the nominal domain. By the term "lexical typology in the nominal domain", we refer to crosslinguistic regularities in the interaction between (a) those areas of the lexicon whose elements are capable of being used in the construction of "referring phrases" or "terms" and (b) the grammatical patterns in which these elements are involved. In the traditional analyses of a language such as English, such phrases are called "nominal phrases". In the study of the lexical aspects of the relevant domain, however, we will not confine ourselves to the investigation of "nouns" and "pronouns" but intend to take into consideration all those parts of speech which systematically alternate with nouns, either as heads or as modifiers of nominal phrases. In particular, this holds true for adjectives both in English and in other Standard European Languages. It is well known that adjectives are often difficult to distinguish from nouns, or that elements with an overt adjectival marker are used interchangeably with nouns, especially in particular semantic fields such as those denoting MATERIALS or NATlONALlTIES. That is, throughout this work the expression "lexical typology in the nominal domain" should not be interpreted as "a typology of nouns", but, rather, as the cross-linguistic investigation of lexical areas constitutive for "referring phrases" irrespective of how the parts-of-speech system in a specific language is defined.
- A.F. 35
Der Relativsatz im Persischen und Deutschen : ein funktionell-kontrastiver Vergleich
- A.F. 33
On describing determination in a Montague grammar
Paul Otto Samuelsdorff
- In my paper "Thesen zum Universalienprojekt" (1976) I mention two complementary procedures for discovering language universals: 1. The investigation of the dimensions and principles whose existence is necessitated by the communicative function of language; 2. The development of a formal language in which all syntactic rules are explicitly formulated and in which all syntactic categories are defined by their relation to a minimally necessary number of syntactic categories. Since the first procedure is treated in many of the other papers of this volume, I wish to discuss the role of formal methods in the research of language universals. As an example I want to take the dimensions of determination and show how expressions denoting concepts are modified and turned into reference identifying expressions. There is a general end a specific motivation for the introduction of formal methods into linguistics. The general motivation is to make statements in linguistics as exact and verifiable as they are in the natural sciences. The specific motivation is to make the grammars of various languages comparable by describing them with the same form of rules. The form has to be flexible enough to describe the phenomena of any possible natural language. All natural languages have in common that they may potentially express any meaning. The flexibility of the form of grammatical rules may therefore be attained, if syntactic rules are not isolated from the semantic function they express and syntactic classes are not defined merely by the relative position of their elements in the sentence, but also by the communicative function their elements fulfill in their combination with elements of other classes.
Montague (1974) has shown that this flexibility may be attained by using the language of algebra combined with categorial grammar. Algebraic systems have been developed by mathematicians to model any systems whose operations are definable. Montague does not merely use the tools of mathematics for describing the features of language, but regards syntax, semantics and pragmatics as branches of mathematics. One of the advantages of this approach is that we may apply the laws developed by mathematicians to the systems constructed by linguists for the description and explanation of natural language.
- A.F. 34
Implikative Universalien, linguistische Prinzipien und Sprachtypologie / J.C.P. Auer, Wilfried Kuhn
- Wir wollen in diesem Aufsatz die Möglichkeiten typologischer Forschung prüfen, die sich aus Greenbergs Aufsatz "Some Universals of Grammar with Particular Reference to the Order of Meaningful Elements" ergeben. Greenbergs primäres Interesse ist nicht typologisch, sondern an der Universalienforschung orientiert. Er ermittelt aus einem 'sample' von 30 Sprachen 45 implikative Universalien der allgemeinen Form V(x) [A(x) → B(x)], wobei A und B beliebige sprachliche Merkmale sind und über die Menge aller Sprachen x quantifiziert wird. Überdies versucht Greenberg die relativ große Zahl von implikativen Universalien unter eine kleine Zahl von sog. Prinzipien ('principles') zu subsummieren, die allgemeine Bauprinzipien von Sprachen darstellen sollen und so Erklärungscharakter für die empirisch gewonnenen Universalien haben. Typologie wird von Greenberg zunächst nur in einem klassifizierenden Sinn verstanden; die Verteilung der untersuchten Merkmale in der Stichprobe von 30 Sprachen klassifiziert diese in solche, in denen das Merkmal anzutreffen ist und solche, in denen es nicht anzutreffen ist. Im folgenden wird zu zeigen sein, daß darüber hinaus auch auf der Ebene der Universalien und der Ebene der Prinzipien typologische Ansätze möglich sind.