In Basic Linguistic Theory R. M. W. Dixon provides a new and fundamental characterization of the nature of human languages and a comprehensive guide to their description and analysis. In three clearly written and accessible volumes, he describes how best to go about doing linguistics, the most satisfactory and profitable ways to work, and the pitfalls to avoid. In the first volume he addresses the methodology for recording, analysing, and comparing
languages. He argues that grammatical structures and rules should be worked out inductively on the basis of evidence, explaining in detail the steps by which an attested grammar and lexicon can built up from observed utterances. He shows how the grammars and words of one language may be compared to others of the same
or different families, explains the methods involved in cross-linguistic parametric analyses, and describes how to interpret the results. Volume 2 and volume 3 (to be published in 2011) offer in-depth tours of underlying principles of grammatical organization, as well as many of the facts of grammatical variation. 'The task of the linguist,' Professor Dixon writes, 'is to explain the nature of human languages - each viewed as an integrated system - together with an explanation of why each
language is the way it is, allied to the further scientific pursuits of prediction and evaluation.'
Basic Linguistic Theory is the triumphant outcome of a lifetime's thinking about every aspect and manifestation of language and immersion in linguistic fieldwork. It is a one-stop text for undergraduate and graduate students of linguistics, as well as for those in neighbouring disciplines, such as psychology and anthropology.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 1050 g
Dimensions: 252 x 180 x 34 mm
There can be little doubt that Basic Linguistic Theory is a valuable addition to the linguistic literature, both as a broadly conceived typological study and as an inspiring guide to grammar writers ... BLT covers the principal parts of grammar and probably more extensively so than any other single book of its kind. * Steffen Haurholm-Larsen, Studies in Language *
These are two wonderful books, a treasure trove of ideas and information, a reference work for many decades to come, and a must-have for any field linguist worth his or her salt. It is written in a clear and lucid style.... Dixon's ability to put forward complex ideas in understandable prose is outstanding, and the occasional anecdotal reference to his own field work situations further livens up the prose....I found these books extremely informative, exceedingly
useful, and profoundly inspiring. It has given me a renewed motivation to further study the languages I'm involved with. These are books I can recommend to every graduate student in linguistics, to every linguistic field worker - those just starting out as well as those who have finished five grammars. * Rene van den Berg, Studies in Language