The Polysynthesis Parameter by Mark C. Baker

The Polysynthesis Parameter

Mark C. Baker
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Details

  • ISBN
    9780195093087 / 0195093089
  • Title The Polysynthesis Parameter
  • Author Mark C. Baker
  • Category Grammar, Syntax
  • Format
    Paperback
  • Year 1996
  • Pages 580
  • Publisher
    Oxford University Press, USA
  • Imprint Oxford University Press Inc
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 153mm x 37mm x 230mm

Annotation

This book investigates in detail the grammar of polysynthetic languages—those with very complex verbal morphology. Baker argues that polysynthesis is more than an accidental collection of morphological processes; rather, it is a systematic way of representing predicate-argument
relationships that is parallel to but distinct from the system used in languages like English. Having repercussions for many areas of syntax and related aspects of morphology and semantics, this argument results in a comprehensive picture of the grammar of polysynthetic languages. Baker draws on
examples from Mohawk and certain languages of the American Southwest, Mesoamerica, Australia, and Siberia.

Publisher Description

Baker argues that polysynthetic languages - in which verbs are built up of many parts and where one verb can act as a whole sentence - are more than an accidental collection of morphological processes; rather they adopt a systematic way of representing predicate-argument relationships, parallel to but distinct from the system used for English. This idea has repercussions for many areas of syntax and morphology, resulting in a comprehensive picture of the grammar of polysynthetic languages.

Review
Baker's findings regarding Mohawk reflexive verbs are interesting ... this is an important book ... Almost the entire book is very readable. Baker has the ability to communicate the backbone of a linguistic argument to linguists ... I learned more about GB and Principles & Parameters from this book than I have from putatively introductory works. Journal of Linguistics

Author Biography

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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The Polysynthesis Parameter

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