In every language there are descriptive lexical elements, such as evening and whisper, as well as grammatical elements, such as the and -ing. The distinction between these two elements has proven useful in a number of domains, but what is covered by the terms, lexical and grammatical, and the basis on which the distinction is made, appear to vary according to the domain involved. This book analyses the grammatical elements ('functional categories') in language, a topic that has drawn considerable attention in linguistics, but has never been approached from an integrated, cross-disciplinary perspective. Muysken considers functional categories from the perspective of grammar, language history, language contact and psychology (including child language and aphasia). Empirically based, the book examines the available converging evidence from these various disciplines, and draws on comparative data from a wide range of different languages.
Pieter Muysken is Professor of Linguistics at Radboud University Nijmegen, after previously teaching at the universities of Amsterdam and Leiden. His specialism is language contact and he does research in the Andes, the Caribbean and the Netherlands.
1. Introduction; Part I. Grammar: 2. Functional categories and language typology; 3. Lexical, morphological and phonological dimensions of functional categories; 4. Semantics and pragmatics; 5. Theoretical syntax: the generative tradition; Part II. Historical Linguistics: 6. Grammaticalisation; 7. Linguistic reconstruction; Part III. Psycholinguistics: 8. Speech production; 9. Language development; 10. Agrammatic aphasia and Specific Language Impairment; 11. Language attrition and death; Part IV. Language Contact and Bilingual Speech: 12. Sign languages; 13. Code-switching and code-mixing; 14. Lexical borrowing; 15. Pidgin and creole genesis; 16. Mixed languages; 17. Foreigner Talk; 18. Towards a modular and multi-dimensional perspective.