Non-Canonical Marking of Subjects and Objects

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Aleksandra I︠U︡rʹevna Aĭkhenvalʹd, Robert Malcolm Ward Dixon, Masayuki Ōnishi
John Benjamins Pub., 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 362 pages
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In some languages every subject is marked in the same way, and also every object. But there are languages in which a small set of verbs mark their subjects or their objects in an unusual way. For example, most verbs may mark their subject with nominative case, but one small set of verbs may have dative subjects, and another small set may have locative subjects. Verbs with noncanonically marked subjects and objects typically refer to physiological states or events, inner feelings, perception and cognition. The Introduction sets out the theoretical parameters and defines the properties in terms of which subjects and objects can be analysed. Following chapters discuss Icelandic, Bengali, Quechua, Finnish, Japanese, Amele (a Papuan language), and Tariana (an Amazonian language); there is also a general discussion of European languages. This is a pioneering study providing new and fascinating data, and dealing with a topic of prime theoretical importance to linguists of many persuasions.

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Noncanonical marking of core arguments in European languages
Noncanonical AS marking in Icelandic

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About the author (2001)

R. M. W. Dixon (PhD 1968 in Linguistics, University of London, Doctor of Letters 1991, Australian National University) is Adjunct Professor at the Cairns Institute, James Cook University. He has published extensively on typological theory, and genetic and areal relationships between languages, in addition to a grammatical study of English. He has published comprehensive grammars of a number of Australian languages (including Dyirbal and Yidi ), of Boumaa Fijian and of Jarawara from southern Amazonia. His seminal essay, "The rise and fall of languages, was a prolegomenon to his inclusive study Australian languages: their nature and development".

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