The World Atlas of Language Structures

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OUP Oxford, Jul 21, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 712 pages
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The World Atlas of Language Structures is a book and CD combination displaying the structural properties of the world's languages. 142 world maps and numerous regional maps - all in colour - display the geographical distribution of features of pronunciation and grammar, such as number of vowels, tone systems, gender, plurals, tense, word order, and body part terminology. Each world map shows an average of 400 languages and is accompanied by a fully referenced description ofthe structural feature in question.The CD provides an interactive electronic version of the database which allows the reader to zoom in on or customize the maps, to display bibliographical sources, and to establish correlations between features. The book and the CD together provide an indispensable source of information for linguists and others seeking to understand human languages.The Atlas will be especially valuable for linguistic typologists, grammatical theorists, historical and comparative linguists, and for those studying a region such as Africa, Southeast Asia, North America, Australia, and Europe. It will also interest anthropologists and geographers. More than fifty authors from many different countries have collaborated to produce a work that sets new standards in comparative linguistics. No institution involved in language research can afford to bewithout it.

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The world atlas of language structures

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If linguistic structure is your game, then this book is for you. Editor Haspelmath (Understanding Morphology ) and his team have gathered 55 contributors from around the world to create this ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

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Martin Haspelmath is Senior Scientist at the Department of Linguistics of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and an Honorary Professor at the University of Leipzig. After studies in Vienna, Cologne, Buffalo, and Moscow, he received his Ph.D. from the Free University of Berlin in 1993. Before moving to Leipzig in 1998, he held teaching positions in Berlin, Bamberg, and Pavia, and he has taught at summer schools in Albuquerque, Mainz, Düsseldorf, Cagliari and at MIT. His research interests are in comparative, diachronic, and theoretical morphology and syntax. He is the author of A Grammar of Lezgian (1993), Indefinite Pronouns (1997), and Understanding Morphology (2002) and co-editor of Language Typology and Language Universals: An International Handbook (2 vols, 2001).
Matthew S. Dryer received his Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Michigan. After ten years at the University of Alberta, he came to the University at Buffalo in 1989 where he is Professor of Linguistics. He has held visiting positions at UCLA, the University of Oregon, the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. His primary research interest is in typology and syntax. Since 1983 he has been working on a project establishing a large cross-linguistic database on word order and related typological characteristics. His other research interests include discourse, pragmatics, American Indian languages (particularly Kutenai), and Papuan languages. Since 2001 he has been engaged in joint field research with Lea Brown on two languages of Papua New Guinea, Walman (in the Torricelli family) and Poko-Rawo (in the Sko family).
David Gil has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology since 1998. He graduated from UCLA in 1984 and held positions at the University of Washington, the University of Tel Aviv, the University of Haifa, the National University of Singapore, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur). His interests are in syntactic, semantic, and phonological typology, as well as Malay/Indonesian and other Southeast Asian languages. He is the head of the Jakarta Field Station of the Max Planck Institute, and has more recently also worked on language acquisition and the relation between language structure and thought.
Bernard Comrie is Director of the Department of Linguistics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, and Distinguished Professor of Linguistics at the University of California Santa Barbara. His main interests are language universals and typology, historical linguistics (including in particular the use of linguistic evidence to reconstruct aspects of prehistory), linguistic fieldwork, and languages of the Caucasus. Publications include Aspect (1976), Language Universals and Linguistic Typology (1981, 2nd edn 1989), The Languages of the Soviet Union (1981), Tense (1985), The Russian Language in the Twentieth Century (with Gerald Stone and Maria Polinsky, 1996). He is also editor of The World's Major Languages (1987), co-editor (with Greville Corbett) of The Slavonic Languages (1993), and managing editor of the journal Studies in Language.

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