Contributions from both well-known practitioners and new voices in the areas of language typology, historical linguistics, and function-based approaches to language description define this volume, as does its foci in two major geographical areas - southeast Asia and northwestern North America. All of the papers appeal, in one way or another, to functional-historical approaches to explanation. Behind this appeal lies an assumption that languages are selective in their development in ways that are dependent upon the communicative tasks to which they are put. As such, language function accounts for both variation and historical development over time.
1. Introduction; 2. Part I. Typological studies; 3. Non-aprioristic typology as a discovery tool (by Frajzyngier, Zygmunt); 4. Chorophorics, or the difference between place as an entity and place as a position in space (by Hagege, Claude); 5. On the diachrony of the 'Ethical Dative' (by Givon, T.); 6. Part II. Contributions to historical linguistics; 7. Biactantial agreement in the Gongduk transitive verb in the broader Tibeto-Burman context (by Driem, George van); 8. The dinguist's dilemma: Regular and sporadic l/d interchange in Sino-Tibetan and elsewhere (by Matisoff, James A.); 9. Part III. TAME and case alignment; 10. Person-sensitive TAME marking in Galo: Historical origins and functional motivation (by Post, Mark W.); 11. Agent case marking in Sahaptian (by Beavert, Virginia); 12. Part IV. Multi-clause constructions; 13. The Kurtop -si construction: Converbs, clause-chains and verb serialization (by Hyslop, Gwendolyn); 14. Verb serialization in Ede from a diachronic perspective (by Nguyen, Tam); 15. Tense-aspect morphology from nominalizers in Newar (by Genetti, Carol); 16. Part V. Functional motivation and extension; 17. Predicting reference form: A Pear Story Study of information status, thematic role and animacy in Meithei (Manipuri, Meiteiron) (by Chelliah, Shobhana L.); 18. Causation as "functional sink" in Northern Paiute (by Thornes, Tim); 19. The challenge of Maa 'Away' (by Payne, Doris L.); 20. Name index; 21. Language index; 22. Subject index