Signal, Meaning, and Message
This is the second volume of papers on sign-based linguistics to emerge from Columbia School linguistics conferences. One set of articles offers semantic analyses of grammatical features of specific languages: English full-verb inversion; Serbo-Croatian deictic pronouns; English auxiliary <em>do</em>; Italian pronouns <em>egli</em> and <em>lui</em>; the Celtic-influenced use of <em>on</em> (e.g., ‘he played a trick <em>on</em> me’); a monosemic analysis of the English verb <em>break.</em> A second set deals with general theoretical issues: a solution to the problem that noun class markers (e.g. Swahili) pose for sign-based linguistics; the appropriateness of statistical tests of significance in text-based analysis; the word or the morpheme as the locus of paradigmatic inflectional change; the radical consequences of Saussure’s anti-nomenclaturism for syntactic analysis; the future of ‘minimalist linguistics’ in a maximalist world. A third set explains phonotactic patterning in terms of ease of articulation: aspirated and unaspirated stop consonants in Urdu; initial consonant clusters in more than two dozen languages. An introduction highlights the theoretical and analytical points of each article and their relation to the Columbia School framework. The collection is relevant to cognitive semanticists and functionalists as well as those working in the sign-based Jakobsonian and Guillaumist frameworks.