Language Structure and Environment is a broad introduction to how languages are shaped by their environment. It makes the argument that the social, cultural, and natural environment of speakers influences the structures and development of the languages they speak. After a general overview, the contributors explain in a number of detailed case studies how specific cultural, societal, geographical, evolutionary and meta-linguistic pressures determine the development of specific grammatical features and the global structure of a varied selection of languages. This is a work of meticulous scholarship at the forefront of a burgeoning field of linguistics.
1. Chapter 1. The influence of social, cultural, and natural factors on language structure: An overview (by De Busser, Rik); 2. Grammar and culture; 3. Chapter 2. On the logical necessity of a cultural and cognitive connection for the origin of all aspects of linguistic structure (by LaPolla, Randy J.); 4. Chapter 3. The body, the universe, society and language: Germanic in the grip of the unknown (by Burridge, Kate); 5. Chapter 4. When culture grammaticalizes: The pronominal system of Onya Darat (by Tadmor, Uri); 6. Chapter 5. The cultural bases of linguistic form: The development of Nanti quotative evidentials (by Michael, Lev); 7. Grammar and society; 8. Chapter 6. Societies of intimates and linguistic complexity (by Trudgill, Peter); 9. Chapter 7. On the relation between linguistic and social factors in migrant language contact (by Clyne, Michael); 10. Grammar and geography; 11. Chapter 8. Topography in language: Absolute Frame of Reference and the Topographic Correspondence Hypothesis (by Palmer, Bill); 12. Chapter 9. Walk around the clock: The shaping of a (counter-)clockwise distinction in Siar directionals (by Frowein, Friedel Martin); 13. Chapter 10. Types of spread zones: Open and closed, horizontal and vertical (by Nichols, Johanna); 14. Grammar and evolution; 15. Chapter 11. The role of adaptation in understanding linguistic diversity (by Lupyan, Gary); 16. Grammar and the field of linguistics; 17. Chapter 12. On becoming an object of study: Legitimization in the discipline of Linguistics (by Easton, Catherine L.); 18. Subjects and Languages Index; 19. Author Index