Today’s a book day

I received some “new” books today – or used books for less money.

I finally received the second volume of Language Typology and Syntactic Description 2nd Edition. I’ve had volumes one and three four almost a year now and read them both this past summer during my lunch breaks for the Rock Island Parks and Recreation Department. This set is probably one of the best reference sets for linguistics.

Volume one covered issues of clause structure (hence its subtitle Clause Structure), particularly exciting were the chapters that discussed parts of speech systems, noun phrases, clause types, passives, and especially, clausal information packing. I think that my favorites were probably “The major functions of the noun phrase” by Avery Andrews and “Clause Types” by Matthew Dryer.

Volume three examined grammatical categories and the lexicon, which again, was its subtitle as well. These were huge chapters. The book is over 400 pages long and there are only 6 chapters. They’re all like mini books that survey a huge number of languages from Abkhaz to Zulu. The chapter on tense, aspect, and mood should be required reading for anyone interested studying Greek (or any language, actually), as should the chapter on grammatical gender and noun classes, particular those involved in the famed gender debate in translation. The finally chapter, “Lexical Nominalization” by Bernard Comrie has about 25-30 MA theses or PHD dissertations in Greek waiting to happen (which could actually be said for the majority of these chapters). I won’t give too much away though because I want to write an essay or article on at least one of the topics examined. But other highlights include “Inflectional morphology” and “Typological distinctions in word-formation.”

So those are volumes 1 & 3. I’m looking forward to volume 2, subtitled, “Complex Constructions,” where I’ll get to delve into the exciting world of “Coordination” Complementation, noun phrase structure, relative clauses, adverbial clauses, discourse structure, and “Sentences as combinations of larger clauses.” That final chapter is the only chapter completely written by a Christian (that I know of; I can’t say for sure). Its by Robert Longacre, linguistics professor at the University of Texas, Arlington. He’s most well known for his work in discourse analysis. He also helped write the chapter on adverbial clauses as well, most likely part II, “Adverbial clauses beyond the sentence.”

What else did I receive today? Language Typology and Syntactic Description: Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon 1st Edition. The reason I picked up a copy of volume 3 of the first edition is because its essentially a different book. For the most part, the same subjects are covered, but they are covered by different people, which means a different perspective and different date examined. There are also a few chapters in the old edition that didn’t make it into the 2nd edition at all, including a chapter on Deixis and also a chapter on Derivational morphology.

There was also one more book, but I’ll save that one for later…