Semiotic Grammar

Hardcover | October 24, 2003

byWilliam B. McGregor

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The label `semiotic grammar' captures a fundamental property of the grammars of human languages: not only is language a semiotic system in the familiar Saussurean sense, but its organizing system, its grammar, is also a semiotic system. This proposition, explicated in detail by WilliamMcGregor in this book, constitutes a new theory of grammar. Semiotic Grammar is `functional' rather than `formal' in its intellectual origins, approaches, and methods. It demonstrates, however, that neither a purely functional nor a purely formal account of language is adequate, given the centrality of the sign as the fundamental unit of grammaticalanalysis. The author distinguishes four types of grammatical signs: experiential, logical, interpersonal, and textural. The signifiers of these signs are syntagmatic relationships of the following types, respectively: constituency, dependency, conjugational (scopal) and linking (indexical,connective). McGregor illustrates and exemplifies the theory with data from a variety of languages including English, Acehnese, Polish, Finnish, Japanese, Chinese, and Mohawk; and from his pioneering research on Gooniyandi and Nyulnyul, two languages of the Kimberleys region of Western Australia.

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The label `semiotic grammar' captures a fundamental property of the grammars of human languages: not only is language a semiotic system in the familiar Saussurean sense, but its organizing system, its grammar, is also a semiotic system. This proposition, explicated in detail by WilliamMcGregor in this book, constitutes a new theory of ...

William B. McGregor, Australian Research Council Fellow, Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, University of Melbourne.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:444 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.18 inPublished:October 24, 2003Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198236883

ISBN - 13:9780198236887

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Table of Contents

PrefaceI. Introduction2. Basic Concepts of Grammatical Theory3. Syntagmatic Relations: A Classification of Signs4. Constituency: The Experiential Semiotic5. Dependency: The Logical Semiotic6. Conjugation: The Interpersonal Semiotic7. Linking Relationships: The Textural Semiotic8. Enough Ain't Enough: The Grammar of Nominal Tautologies in English9. Grammar and BeyondReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`As one who desires to produce a 'practical' bilingual grammar and dictionary for a group of people living in a multilingual-multicultural environment, I found many of M's arguments for semiotic grammar compelling, largely because he attempts to explain linguistic units on the basis of theunity of syntax, semantics and pragmatics.'Lou Hohulin, Notes on Linguistics 2.4 (1999)