“Diacronia” bibliometric database (BDD)

Reciprocals, Grammar-Writing and Typology

Publication: Revue roumaine de linguistique, LII (4), p. 479-506
Publisher:Editura Academiei
Abstract:How should grammars handle construction types which are statistically rare and may be difficult to identify, but exhibit significant morphosyntactic and semantic complexity? What is the likelihood that distinctive and typologically interesting constructions of this type might be missed altogether, even in high-quality reference grammars? And when they are described, how thoroughly do reference grammars explore the parameters of the phenomenon – morphosyntactic, semantic, and lexical – and their interaction? Can typologically and formally-based approaches assist writers of descriptive grammars to give more insightful and comprehensive accounts? I examine these questions with respect to reciprocal constructions, which are statistically rare (on all counts occurring in under 1% of clauses in natural text) but which in many languages represent a highly complex part of the grammar. I will particularly focus on a number of case studies where I can compare high-quality reference grammars with additional typologically-driven investigations.
Language: English

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