Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage by Brian MacWhinney PDF

By Brian MacWhinney

ISBN-10: 0198709846

ISBN-13: 9780198709848

This quantity examines the conflicting elements that form the content material and type of grammatical ideas in language utilization. audio system and addressees have to deal with those principles whilst expressing themselves and whilst attempting to understand messages. for instance, there are on-going competitions among the speaker's pursuits and the addressee's wishes, or among constraints imposed via grammar and people imposed by way of on-line processing. those competitions impact a large choice of structures, together with case marking, contract and notice order, politeness types, lexical offerings, and the placement of relative clauses.

Chapters within the e-book examine grammar and utilization in grownup language in addition to first and moment language acquisition, and the motivations that force historic switch. numerous of the chapters search factors for the competitions concerned, in line with previous money owed together with the contest version, traditional Morphology, the functional-typological culture, and Optimality thought. The e-book might be of curiosity to linguists from a large choice of backgrounds, really these drawn to psycholinguistics, old linguistics, philosophy of language, and language acquisition, from complicated undergraduate point upwards.

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Brian MacWhinney’s comprehensive study “Competition across time,” which concludes the volume, argues that, like other biological systems, language emerges as a product of competing motivations that interact at the moment of speaking. The different motivations are each linked to a different timeframe involved in the processing of language, in memory, in social interaction, and in interaction with the environment. The different motivations need to mesh at the moment of speaking and they ultimately produce longterm impacts on individual speakers and on language communities.

The same language-internal grammatical variation is taken up in Jan Strunk’s chapter (“A statistical model of competing motivations affecting relative clause extraposition in German”). Strunk observes that relative clause extraposition has been studied by both generativists and functionalists. Whereas generativists have concentrated on structural and semantic factors, such as syntactic locality, definiteness, and restrictiveness, functionalists have investigated surface-oriented factors: the length of the relative clause and the distance between it and its antecedent.

The pattern in Tongan is attributed to the accusative Bias, the pattern in Belhare to Harmony, while blocking illustrates a third outcome of the constraint conflict. Yet another resolution of the constraint conflict is attested in Tindi (Daghestanian), where either the ergative or the absolutive NP can be the controllee (Kibrik 1985). (11) Tindi (Kibrik 1985, adopted from Van Valin 2001: 57) a. Wacuła [jaći hēła] q’očā hik: ’i. ’ Omitted NP = subject b. Jaćuła [waći L’eła] q’očā hik: ’i. ’ The two latter options (neither A and P, or both A and P are controllees) can again be seen as a compromise in resolving a conflict between the accusative Bias and the Harmony with ergative coding.

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Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage by Brian MacWhinney

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