TRENDS IN LINGUISTICS is a series of books that open new perspectives in our understanding of language. The series publishes state-of-the-art work on core areas of linguistics across theoretical frameworks as well as studies that provide new insights by building bridges to neighbouring fields such as neuroscience and cognitive science. TRENDS IN LINGUISTICS considers itself a forum for cutting-edge research based on solid empirical data on language in its various manifestations, including sign languages. It regards linguistic variation in its synchronic and diachronic dimensions as well as in its social contexts as important sources of insight for a better understanding of the design of linguistic systems and the ecology and evolution of language. TRENDS IN LINGUISTICS publishes monographs and outstanding dissertations as well as edited volumes, which provide the opportunity to address controversial topics from different empirical and theoretical viewpoints. High quality standards are ensured through anonymous reviewing.
Norwegian Modals is a detailed description of the syntactic and semantic properties of modals in Norwegian. Modal verbs in Mainland Scandinavian languages have received much less attention than their English and German counterparts, hence this book seizes the opportunity to present a range of new data and generalizations relevant for the study of Scandinavian languages, but also for the study of modality in Germanic and other languages. The book critically evaluates a range of proposals from the modality literature, focusing on the Theta-properties and the scopal properties of Modals in Germanic languages, and concludes that none of these previous proposals are able to account for the syntax of modals in Norwegian. The Theta-properties of modals are shown to depend on the construction in which the modal occurs, hence neither a raising analysis, a control analysis, nor a raising-versus-control analysis in fact suffices to exhaust these properties of Norwegian modals. The interplay of modals with tense and aspect is likewise thoroughly investigated, presenting a range of data revealing that existing universalist proposals are insufficient to account for even quite regular patterns. Instead, a new analysis is presented, building on a new compositional tense system which exploits aspectual features of predicates and selectional preferences of modal classes.
This typological overview compares the degree to which different languages have means to give expression to modality (possibility, necessity) without lexical and direct inflectional means. The criterial patterns derive from a variety of languages such as German, English, Chinese, French, Scandinavian, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Polish, and Gothic as well as Old High German. They encompass mainly the auxiliaries HAVE and BE, together with either an infinitival embedding of a full verb linked by the infinitival preposition TO, or other aspectual means. It is demonstrated that what appears as typical covert modal expressions in the Germanic languages, and the Indo-European ones in a wider sense, cannot be seen as a recurrent pattern in non-Indo-European languages. Yet, there are recurrent and plausible forms that allow for generalizations.
The main topics pursued in this volume are based on empirical insights derived from Germanic: logical and typological dispositions about aspect-modality links. These are probed in a variety of non-related languages. The logically establishable links are the following: Modal verbs are aspect sensitive in the selection of their infinitival complements embedded infinitival perfectivity implies root modal reading, whereas embedded infinitival imperfectivity triggers epistemic readings. However, in marked contexts such as negated ones, the aspectual affinities of modal verbs are neutralized or even subject to markedness inversion. All of this suggests that languages that do not, or only partially, bestow upon full modal verb paradigms seek to express modal variations in terms of their aspect oppositions. This typological tenet is investigated in a variety of languages from Indo-European (German, Slavic, Armenian), African, Asian, Amerindian, and Creoles. Seeming deviations and idiosyncrasies in the interaction between aspect and modality turn out to be highly rule-based.
The volume aims at a universal definition of modality or “illocutionary/speaker’s perspective force” that is strong enough to capture the entire range of different subtypes and varieties of modalities in different languages. The central idea is that modality is all-pervasive in language. This perspective on modality allows for the integration of covert modality as well as peripheral instances of modality in neglected domains such as the modality of insufficieny, of attitudinality, or neglected domains such as modality and illocutionary force in finite vs. nonfinite and factive vs. non-factive subordinated clauses. In most languages, modality encompasses modal verbs both in their root and epistemic meanings, at least where these languages have the principled distribution between root and epistemic modality in the first place (which is one fundamentally restricted, in its strict qualitative and quantitative sense, to the Germanic languages). In addition, this volume discusses one other intricate and partially highly mysterious class of modality triggers: modal particles as they are sported in the Germanic languages (except for English). It is argued in the contributions and the languages discussed in this volume how modal verbs and adverbials, next to modal particles, are expressed, how they are interlinked with contextual factors such as aspect, definiteness, person, verbal factivity, and assertivity as opposed to other attitudinal types. An essential concept used and argued for is perspectivization (a sub-concept of possible world semantics). Language groups covered in detail and compared are Slavic, Germanic, and South East Asian. The volume will interest researchers in theoretical and applied linguistics, typology, the semantics/pragmatics interface, and language philosophy as it is part of a larger project developing an alternative approach to Universal Grammar that is compatible with functionalist approaches.
Modality is the way a speaker modifies her declaratives and other speech acts to optimally assess the common ground of knowledge and belief of the addressee with the aim to optimally achieve understanding and an assessment of relevant information exchange. In languages such as German (and other Germanic languages outside of English), this may happen in covert terms. Main categories used for this purpose are modal adverbials ("modal particles") and modal verbs. Epistemic uses of modal verbs (like German sollen) cover evidential (reportative) information simultaneously providing the source of the information. Methodologically, description and explanation rest on Karl Bühler's concept of Origo as well as Roman Jakobson's concept of shifter. Typologically, East Asian languages such as Japanese pursue these semasiological fundaments far more closely than the European languages. In particular, Japanese has to mark the source of a statement in the declarative mode such that the reliability may be assessed by the hearer. The contributions in this collection provide insight into these modal techniques.
This book connects two linguistic phenomena, modality and subordinators, so that both are seen in a new light, each adding to the understanding of the other. It argues that general subordinators (or complementizers) denote propositional modality (otherwise expressed by moods such as the indicative-subjunctive and epistemic-evidential modal markers). The book explores the hypothesis both on a cross-linguistic and on a language-branch specific level (the Germanic languages). One obvious connection between the indicative-subjunctive distinction and subordinators is that the former is typically manifested in subordinate clauses. Furthermore, both the indicative-subjunctive and subordinators determine clause types. More importantly, however, it is shown, through data from various languages, that subordinators themselves often denote the indicative-subjunctive distinction. In the Germanic languages, there is variation in many clause types between both the indicative and the subjunctive and "that" and "if "depending on the speaker s and/or the subject s certainty of the truth of the proposition."
As of Volume 9 (1994/95) John Benjamins Publishing Company is the official publisher of the Belgian Journal of Linguistics, the annual publication of the Linguistic Society of Belgium. Each volume is topical and includes selected papers from the international meetings organised by the LSB.
Following the rationale that corpora have an important part to play in fostering language awareness, this monograph investigates the use of spoken corpora in the teaching of German as a foreign language. Corpus-based research has had an increasing influence on language teaching pedagogy, with regard to linguistic content as well as to teaching methodology. While the majority of studies reporting on corpus-based teaching approaches refer to English, only a small number of studies have discussed such an approach for German. In this study, the exploitation of language corpora is proposed in order to arrive at authentic teaching materials which facilitate the comprehension of German modal particles, which pose numerous problems for learners of German as a foreign language. The approach is twofold: first, the frequency of those word forms which may function as modal particles is established. Secondly, concordance data of the more frequently occurring particles are analysed qualitatively. Teaching materials based on these analyses are developed referring to patterns of use which can be relayed to language learners in order to provide them with tools for the decoding of particle meaning.
This Cahiers Chronos volume reports on new and ongoing research on tense, aspect and modality in which a variety of languages has been gathered. The languages discussed by the authors include (in alphabetical order): Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Spanish.The articles form a selection of the papers presented at the 5th Chronos Conference that took place at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, in June 2002. We have categorized the papers into three sections: Tense, Aspect and Modality. Obviously, this ordering is somewhat arbitrary given that some of the papers cross these rather rigid boundaries, as they discuss the interplay of tense and aspect or tense and modality.This book is of interest for scholars in the field of semantics, logic, syntax, and comparative linguistics.
This volume offers a coherent and detailed picture of the diachronic development of verbal categories of Old English, Old High German, and other Germanic languages. Starting from the observation that German and English show diverging paths in the development of verbal categories, even though they descended from a common ancestor language, the contributions present in-depth, empirically founded studies on the stages and directions of these changes combining historical comparative methods with grammaticalisation theory. This collection of papers provides the reader with an indispensable source of information on the early traces of distinct developments, thus laying the foundation for a broad-scale scenario of the grammaticalisation of verbal categories. The volume will be of particular interest to scholars of language change, grammaticalisation, and diachronic sociolinguistics; it offers important new insights for typologists and for everybody interested in the make-up of verbal categories.
This book connects two linguistic phenomena, modality and subordinators, so that both are seen in a new light, each adding to the understanding of the other. It argues that general subordinators (or complementizers) denote propositional modality (otherwise expressed by moods such as the indicative-subjunctive and epistemic-evidential modal markers). The book explores the hypothesis both on a cross-linguistic and on a language-branch specific level (the Germanic languages). One obvious connection between the indicative-subjunctive distinction and subordinators is that the former is typically manifested in subordinate clauses. Furthermore, both the indicative-subjunctive and subordinators determine clause types. More importantly, however, it is shown, through data from various languages, that subordinators themselves often denote the indicative-subjunctive distinction. In the Germanic languages, there is variation in many clause types between both the indicative and the subjunctive and that and if depending on the speaker’s and/or the subject’s certainty of the truth of the proposition.
This book presents new empirical findings about Germanic heritage varieties spoken in North America: Dutch, German, Pennsylvania Dutch, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, West Frisian and Yiddish, and varieties of English spoken both by heritage speakers and in communities after language shift. The volume focuses on three critical issues underlying the notion of ‘heritage language’: acquisition, attrition and change. The book offers theoretically-informed discussions of heritage language processes across phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics and the lexicon, in addition to work on sociolinguistics, historical linguistics and contact settings. With this, the volume also includes a variety of frameworks and approaches, synchronic and diachronic. Most European Germanic languages share some central linguistic features, such as V2, gender and agreement in the nominal system, and verb inflection. As minority languages faced with a majority language like English, similarities and differences emerge in patterns of variation and change in these heritage languages. These empirical findings shed new light on mechanisms and processes.
This book is a cross-linguistic exploration of semantic and functional change in modal markers. With a focus on Japanese and to a lesser extent Chinese the book is a countercheck to hypotheses built on the Indo-European languages. It also contains numerous illustrations from other languages.
The book comprises a selection of papers concerning the general theme of cultural conceptualizations in language. The focus of Part 1, which includes four papers, is on Metaphor and Culture, discussing general as well as language-specific metaphoricity. Part 2, which also includes three papers, is on Cultural Models, dealing with phenomena relating to family and home, nation and kinship, blood, and death in different cultures. Six papers in Part 3, which refers to questions of Identity and Cultural Stereotypes, both in general language and in literature, discuss identity in native and migration contexts and take up motifs of journey and migration, as well as social and cultural stereotypes and prejudice in transforming contexts. Three papers in the last Part 4 of the book, Linguistic Concepts, Meanings, and Interaction, focus on the semantic interpretation of the changes and differences which occur in their intra- as well as inter-linguistic contexts.
This book presents new perspectives on the study of Aspect and Modality in Chinese Historical Linguistics. Based on the international Workshop on Aspect and Modality in Chinese, the book includes the latest research findings in the field to make them available not only to specialists in Classical and Buddhist Chinese, but also to researchers and students of general linguistics and of the universals of language. It also discusses different aspects of the AM (Aspect-Modality) and the TAM (Tense-Aspect-Modality) system of Chinese. It provides a comprehensive overview of both of the universally related systems of aspect and modality. The first part of the book focuses on aspectual features of Chinese; these include basic studies on the syntactic representation of the aspectual structure of the verb phrase in Archaic Chinese, the aspectual function of different object constructions and their development, temporal features of the verb phrase, and the aspectual functions of no minalization processes. The second part includes articles highlighting different aspects of the modal system or the interplay between tense, aspect and modality in Chinese, including a survey on the history of studies on modality in Chinese and the modal and temporal aspectual/markers indicating future meanings, a specialized study on modal deontic verbs in the Buddhist Vinaya texts, the modal function of rhetorical questions in Buddhist Chinese, and a study on the diachronic development of the aspectual and modal system in Chinese.