Adjective Classes: A Cross-Linguistic Typology

Hardcover | July 15, 2004

EditorR.M.W. Dixon, Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

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This book shows that every language has an adjective class and examines how these vary in size and character. The opening chapter considers current generalizations about the nature and classification of adjectives and sets out the cross-linguistic parameters of their variation. Thirteenchapters then explore adjective classes in languages from North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. Studies of well-known languages such as Russian, Japanese, Korean and Lao are juxtaposed with the languages of small hunter-gatherer and slash-and-burn agriculturalistgroups. All are based on fine-grained field research. The nature and typology of adjective classes are then reconsidered in the conclusion. This pioneering work shows, among other things, that the grammatical properties of the adjective class may be similar to nouns or verbs or both or neither; that some languages have two kinds of adjectives, one hard to distinguish from nouns and the other from verbs; that the adjective class cansometimes be large and open, and in other cases small and closed. The book will interest scholars and advanced students of language typology and of the syntax and semantics of adjectives. Each book in this series focuses on an aspect of language that is of current theoretical interest and for which there has not previously or recently been any full-scale cross-linguistic study. The series is for typologists, fieldworkers, and theory developers at graduate level and above. The bookswill be suited for use as the basis for advanced seminars and courses. The subjects of next three volumes will be serial verb constructions, complementation, and grammars in contact.

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This book shows that every language has an adjective class and examines how these vary in size and character. The opening chapter considers current generalizations about the nature and classification of adjectives and sets out the cross-linguistic parameters of their variation. Thirteenchapters then explore adjective classes in langua...

R. M. W. Dixon is Professor and Director of the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University. He has published grammars of a number of Australian languages (including Dyirbal and Yidin), in addition to A Grammar of Boumaa Fijian (University of Chicago Press 1988), A New Approach to English Grammar, on Semantic Princi...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:392 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.06 inPublished:July 15, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199270937

ISBN - 13:9780199270934

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Table of Contents

1. R. M. W. Dixon: Adjective Classes in Typological Perspective2. Anthony E. Backhouse: Inflected and Uninflected Adjective in Japanese3. Carol Genetti and Kristine Hildebrandt: The Two Adjective Classes in Manange4. Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald: The Adjective Class in Tariana5. Nora C. England: Adjectives in Mam6. Paulette Levy: Adjectives in Papantla Totonac7. R. M. W. Dixon: The Small Adjective Class in Jarawara8. Greville G. Corbett: The Russian Adjective: A pervasive yet elusive category9. Ho-Min Sohn: The Adjective Class in Korean10. Fiona McLaughlin: Is there an Adjective Class in Wolof?11. Catriona Hyslop: Adjectives in North-east Ambae12. Nicole Kruspe: Adjectives in Semelai13. Randy J. LaPolla and Chenglong Huang: Adjectives in Qiang14. N. J. Enfield: Adjectives in Lao15. John Hajek: Adjectives: What can we conclude?

Editorial Reviews

"Beginning with the claim that 'a distinct word class "adjectives" can be recognized for every human language, ' this book goes on to present cogent argumentation for the universality of the adjective class based on data from a broad range of languages. ... This volume will clearly be useful toanyone interested in adjectives and the nature of linguistic categorization, but Dixon & Aikhenvald's primary contribution is to encourage a re-examination of adjectives in the world's languages."--Linguist List 16.1219