Canonical Morphology and Syntax

12 Feb

canonicalCanonical Morphology and Syntax
Edited by Dunstan Brown, Marina Chumakina and Greville G. Corbett


This is the first book to present Canonical Typology, a framework for comparing constructions and categories across languages. The canonical method takes the criteria used to define particular categories or phenomena (eg negation, finiteness, possession) to create a multidimensional space in which language-specific instances can be placed. In this way, the issue of fit becomes a matter of greater or lesser proximity to a canonical ideal. Drawing on the expertise of world class scholars in the field, the book addresses the issue of cross-linguistic comparability, illustrates the range of areas – from morphosyntactic features to reported speech – to which linguists are currently applying this methodology, and explores to what degree the approach succeeds in discovering the elusive canon of linguistic phenomena.


First book-length coverage of the canonical method
Covers key topics in syntax and morphology
Includes discussion and data from over 200 languaegs

Table of Contents

1. What there might be and what there is: an introduction to Canonical Typology , Dunstan Brown and Marina Chumakina
2. A base for canonical negation , Oliver Bond
3. Canonical morphosyntactic features , Greville G. Corbett
4. Some problems in the typology of quotation: a canonical approach , Nicholas Evans
5. Unpacking finiteness , Irina Nikolaeva
6. The canonical clitic , Andrew Spencer and Ana Luis
7. Passive agents: prototypical vs. canonical passives , Anna Siewierska and Dik Bakker
8. The criteria for reflexivization , Martin Everaert
9. Possession and modification – a perspective from Canonical Typology , Irina Nikolaeva and Andrew Spencer
10. An ontological approach to Canonical Typology: laying the foundations for e-linguistics , Scott Farrar

About the Author(s)

Dunstan Brown is Professor of Linguistics at the University of York. His research interests include autonomous morphology, morphology-syntax interaction and typology. His recent work has focused on describing and understanding different aspects of morphological complexity, notably The Syntax-Morphology Interface: A Study of Syncretism (with Matthew Baerman and Greville G. Corbett, CUP 2005) and Network Morphology (with Andrew Hippisley, CUP 2012).

Marina Chumakina is a Research Fellow in the Surrey Morphology Group, University of Surrey. Her work focuses on Nakh-Daghestanian languages and typology. She has done extensive fieldwork on Archi language resulting in an electronic Archi Dictionary (together with Dunstan Brown, Greville G. Corbett and Harley Quilliam).

Greville G. Corbett is Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, University of Surrey, and leads the Surrey Morphology Group. He works on the typology of features, as in Gender (1991), Number (2000) and Agreement (2006) and Features (forthcoming), all with Cambridge UP. Recently he has been developing the canonical approach to typology. He is one of the originators of Network Morphology; see The Syntax-Morphology Interface: A Study of Syncretism (with Matthew Baerman and Dunstan Brown, CUP 2005).



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