Markedness: The Evaluative Superstructure of Language
Battistella traces the development of markedness theory as a central part of structuralist theories of language. He outlines the concepts of marked and unmarked from Prague School structuralism to present day applications in linguistic theory and cultural analysis, using the reference point of English grammar and sound structure.
The author focuses on the fundamental asymmetry between terms of linguistic relationships, in which one term is more broadly defined and hence dominant (the unmarked term) while the other is more narrowly defined (the marked term). In addition to examining language-particular markedness relations evident in the structure and history of English, Battistella raises questions concerning universal asymmetries as well. He discusses the status of markedness as a unifying concept of linguistic structure and as a principle of language change.
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allomorph analysis animacy chapter clauses clusters coda compact complementarity complexity concept consider consonantal consonants correlation criteria cross-linguistic cultural defined determined discussion distribution English evaluation example expression and meaning feature values formal marking fricatives function genitive grave Greenberg hierarchy iconic indicates Jakobson Joseph Greenberg Kaguru language language-particular lexical linguistic main verb marked and unmarked marked as opposed marked categories marked element marked term markedness assimilation markedness relations markedness reversal markedness values Mayerthaler Middle English morphological nasal ness neutralization Nikolai Trubetzkoy nominative nonemphatic noun phrases objective obstruent obstruent consonants occur onsets opposition past tense patterns person phonemes phonological features phonological markedness phonotactic plural Prague School present tense pronouns properties prototypical refer Roman Jakobson segments semantic markedness singular sound stem stops structure subjunctive suggested syncretization syntactic theory of markedness tion Trubetzkoy Universal Grammar unmarked feature unmarked term unmarked value unmarkedness verbal versus vocalic voiced voiceless vowels zero