Language Typology 1987
Systematic Balance in Language. Papers from the Linguistic Typology Symposium, Berkeley, 1–3 Dec 1987
These papers from the 1987 Typology Symposium — a follow-up to the 1985 meeting in Moscow — deal with the relevance of typology for historical linguistics. Its application in understanding phonological and grammatical change is examined for a variety of languages. Its relevance for application of the comparative method and the method of internal reconstruction is noted with reference to the glottalic theory and problems in other language families. Among the several approaches, alignment typology is especially examined, with languages defined as accusative, ergative or stative-active an approach to which linguists of the USSR have made important contributions in recent years.Among specific problems examined are tonogenesis in Na-Dene, the origin of the genitive in ergative languages, and relative pronouns of Indo-European languages in the context of the Eurasiatic hypothesis. Along with changes in other languages (like those of East and Southeast Asia), these problems are discussed in an effort to determine general and specific tendencies in language change, and to contribute towards the development of diachronic typology.