Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage

by Brian MacWhinney, Andrej Malchukov,

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780198709848
  • 9780191019777
This volume examines the conflicting factors that shape the content and form of grammatical rules in language usage. Speakers and addressees need to contend with these rules when expressing themselves and when trying to comprehend messages. For example, there are on-going competitions between the speaker's interests and the addressee's needs, or between constraints imposed by grammar and those imposed by online processing. These competitions influence a wide varietyof systems, including case marking, agreement and word order, politeness forms, lexical choices, and the position of relative clauses.Chapters in the book analyse grammar and usage in adult language as well as first and second language acquisition, and the motivations that drive historical change. Several of the chapters seek explanations for the competitions involved, based on earlier accounts including the Competition Model, Natural Morphology, the functional-typological tradition, and Optimality Theory. The book will be of interest to linguists from a wide variety of backgrounds, particularly those interested inpsycholinguistics, historical linguistics, philosophy of language, and language acquisition, from advanced undergraduate level upwards.
  • OUP Oxford; October 2014
  • ISBN 9780191019777
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage
  • Author: Brian MacWhinney (ed.); Andrej Malchukov (ed.); Edith Moravcsik (ed.)
  • Imprint: OUP Oxford
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780198709848
  • 9780191019777

In The Press

This book contributes to the understanding of the complexities of language usage in its examination of conflicting factors.

About The Author

Brian MacWhinney is Professor of Psychology, Computational Linguistics, and Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University. He has developed a model of first and second language acquisition, processing, and disorders called the Competition Model, which describes how language learning emerges from forces operating on lexically-based patterns across divergent timeframes. It has been tested through cross-linguistic experimentation, neuroimaging, online languagelearning, and analysis of the CHILDES and TalkBank corpora. His recent publications include The CHILDES Project: Tools for Analyzing Talk (3rd ed; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000) and, co-edited with Roberta Klatzky and Marlene Behrmann, Embodiment, Ego-Space, and Action (Psychology Press 2008).Andrej Malchukov is a Senior Researcher at the St. Petersburg Institute for Linguistic Research (Russian Academy of Sciences) and is currently affiliated to the University of Mainz as a Visiting Professor. In addition to descriptive work on Siberian languages, his main research interests lie in the domain of language typology. His publications include the edited volumes The Oxford Handbook of Case (with Andrew Spencer; OUP 2009), Studies in Ditransitive Constructions: A ComparativeHandbook (with Bernard Comrie and Martin Haspelmath; Mouton de Gruyter 2010) and Impersonal Constructions: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective (with Anna Siewierska; John Benjamins 2011).Edith Moravcsik is Professor Emerita of Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she has taught for over 30 years. Her publications include the textbooks An Introduction to Syntax and An Introduction to Syntactic Theory (both Continuum 2006), and Introducing Language Typology (CUP 2013) and the edited volumes Functionalism and Formalism in Linguistics (with Michael Darnell, Frederick Newmeyer, Michael Noonan, and Kathleen Wheatley; JohnBenjamins 1999) and Formulaic Language (with Roberta Corrigan, Hamid Ouali, and Kathleen Wheatley). She has also published a number of articles on language typology and universals, Hungarian grammar, and conflict resolution.