Linguistic Theory and South Asian Languages: Essays in honour of K. A. Jayaseelan.

Edited by:

Josef Bayer, University of Konstanz

Tanmoy Bhattacharya, University of Delhi

M.T. Hany Babu, CIEFL, Hyderabad

Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 102. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 2007. x + 282 pp. US $138.00

The South Asian languages, mainly Indo-Aryan and Dravidian, have become a focus of interest in the formal study of language as a natural consequence of the research program of the Principle and Parameters approach and an enforced interest in exploring the parametrical space of human language. The contributors in this volume are Richard S. Kayne, Jacqueline Guéron, Cedric Boeckx, Eric Reuland, Probal Dasgupta, Alice Davison, K.G. Vijayakrishnan, etc.

The contributions to the present volume combine theoretical reasoning in syntax and phonology with a comparative research agenda in which South Asian languages figure prominently. The topics range from issues of clause structure, serial verb constructions, cleft and question formation, to the question of what the proper syntactic format of modification should be, issues of binding theory and raising, and complementation. The collection of articles concludes with two chapters on Dravidian and comparative phonology and a chapter on the shaping of phonological awareness by different writing systems. The authors and the editors devote this piece of work to Professor K.A. Jayaseelan, one of present-day India’s most influential linguists.










Information Structure: The Syntax-Discourse Interface

Nomi Erteschik-Shir, Ben-Gurion University

Oxford Surveys in Syntax and Morphology
Cambridge University Press
2007. viii + 256 pp. US $99.00




This introduction to the role of information structure in grammar discusses a wide range of phenomena on the syntax-information structure interface. It examines theories of information structure and considers their effectiveness in explaining whether and how information structure maps onto syntax in discourse. Professor Erteschik-Shir discusses the basic notions and properties of information structure, such as topic and focus from different theoretical perspectives. She covers definitions of topic and focus, architectures of grammar, information structure, word order, the interface between lexicon and information structure, and cognitive aspects of information structure.

The author critically compares the effectiveness of different theoretical approaches and assesses the value of insights drawn from work in processing and on language acquisition, variation, and universals. This book will appeal to graduate students of syntax and semantics in departments of linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science.