From pure fantasy to practical questions 2


November 23, 2007

This book explores the nature of finiteness, one of the most commonly used notions in descriptive and theoretical linguistics but possibly one of the least understood. It looks at how different grammatical theories represent finiteness; whether the finite/nonfinite distinction is universal; whether there are degrees of finiteness; whether the syntactic notion of finiteness has a semantic corollary; whether and how finiteness is subject to change; and how finiteness features in language acquisition.

This is an area of grammar that urgently needs to be explored and clarified; in fact, it is surprising no one has done so before. The wide range of theoretical viewpoints is particularly valuable.

Who is it for? Scholars and students of syntax and general linguistics at graduate level and above.

Presentation: Considering the difficulty of the topic, the contributions are admirably clear.

Would you recommend it? This is hardly a textbook, but as a research resource it is excellent.

Raphael Salkie is professor of language studies at Brighton University.

Finiteness.: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations. First Edition

Editor - Irina Nikolaeva
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Pages - 448
Price - £70.00 and £.50
ISBN - 9780199213733 and 3740

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