A Natural History of Infixation

Paperback | July 5, 2007

byAlan C. L. Yu

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This book presents the first cross-linguistic study of the phenomenon of infixation, typically associated in English with words like "im-bloody-possible, and found in all the world's major linguistic families. Infixation is a central puzzle in prosodic morphology: Professor Yu explores itsprosodic, phonological, and morphological characteristics, considers its diverse functions, and formulates a general theory to explain the rules and constraints by which it is governed. He examines 154 infixation patterns from over a hundred languages, including examples from Asia, Europe, Africa,New Guinea, and South America. He compares the formal properties of different kinds of infix, explores the range of diachronic pathways that lead to them, and considers the processes by which they are acquired in first language learning. A central argument of the book concerns the idea that thetypological tendencies of language may be traced back to its origins and to the mechanisms of language transmission. The book thus combines the history of infixation with an exploration of the role diachronic and functional factors play in synchronic argumentation: it is an exemplary instance of theholistic approach to linguistic explanation. Alan Yu's pioneering study will interest phonologists and morphologists of all theoretical persuasions, as well as typologists and historical linguists.

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This book presents the first cross-linguistic study of the phenomenon of infixation, typically associated in English with words like "im-bloody-possible, and found in all the world's major linguistic families. Infixation is a central puzzle in prosodic morphology: Professor Yu explores itsprosodic, phonological, and morphological chara...

Alan C. L. Yu is Assistant Professor in Linguistics and the College at the University of Chicago. He received his PhD in 2003 from the University of California, Berkeley and has previously taught at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His main research interests include theoretical and experimental phonology, the phonetics-phonolog...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.63 inPublished:July 5, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019927939X

ISBN - 13:9780199279395

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. What is Infixation?3. Subcategorization in Context4. Pivot Theory and the Typology5. The Secret History of Infixes6. Beyond InfixationReferencesIndex of LanguagesGeneral Index