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For decades, generative linguistics has said little about the differences between verbs, nouns, and adjectives. This book seeks to fill this theoretical gap by presenting simple and substantive syntactic definitions of these three lexical categories. Mark C. Baker claims that the various superficial differences found in particular languages have a single underlying source which can be used to give better characterizations of these 'parts of speech'. These definitions are supported by data from languages from every continent, including English, Italian, Japanese, Edo, Mohawk, Chichewa, Quechua, Choctaw, Nahuatl, Mapuche, and several Austronesian and Australian languages. Baker argues for a formal, syntax-oriented, and universal approach to the parts of speech, as opposed to the functionalist, semantic, and relativist approaches that have dominated the few previous works on this subject. This book will be welcomed by researchers and students of linguistics and by related cognitive scientists of language.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521001106
ISBN-10: 0521001102
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Pages: 372
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 13-Mar-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Mark C. Baker

Mark C. Baker is Professor of Linguistics and Chair of the Department of Linguistics at Rutgers University and a member of the Center for Cognitive Science. He is the author of Incorporation: A Theory of Grammatical Function Changing (1988), The Polysynthesis Parameter (1996), and The Atoms of Language: The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar (2001), as well as of numerous articles in journals such as Linguistic Inquiry and Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.

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