By Baruch Elimelech

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Additional resources for A tonal grammar of Etsakọ

Sample text

Since grounding is a defining property of finite clauses, tense and modals are naturally excluded from non-finite complements, as in (5), in contrast to all the other auxiliary elements. A striking feature of the latter is their occurrence in pairs: the perfect have + -en, the progressive be + -ing, and the passive be + -en. Why should this be the case? And why these particular elements? g. Langacker 1991: ch. 5) that each of these elements is meaningful, and that the perfect, progressive, and passive meanings are largely compositional with respect to their parts.

Thus I will mainly consider just one basic topic – the semantic motivation of grammar – approaching it primarily through its application to the English auxiliary. 1. Motivating motivation Both positive and negative factors motivate the emphasis on motivation in cognitive and functional linguistics. In retrospect, it is unsurprising – given the social and historical circumstances – that negative factors were prominent early on. Motivation served as a counterweight to two basic tenets of the then-predominant generative paradigm: the autonomy of syntax (and more generally, the modularity of mind and language), as well as the methodological expectation of general rules and strong predictability.

Talmy 1988). For example, the progressive morpheme -ing imposes an “internal perspective” on the process designated by a verb, restricting the scope of focused viewing to an arbitrary portion that excludes its endpoints and is thus construed as effectively homogeneous. Grammatical “rules” are also meaningful. CG is a version of Construction Grammar (Fillmore 1988; Goldberg 1995, 2006; Croft 2001; Langacker 2005a, 2005b). e. as formmeaning pairings. CG describes constructions as assemblies of symbolic structures, where correspondences (representing overlapping elements) indicate how simpler, component symbolic structures are integrated – both semantically and phonologically – to form composite symbolic structures.

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