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By Talmy Givon

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They presumable involve both coding (speech production) and decoding (speech perception) operations, and are adjusted to pertinent perceptual and motor modalities. 1 What grammar is The grammatical code is probably the latest evolutionary addition to the arsenal of human communication (Givón 1979a, 1995; Lieberman 1984; Bickerton 1981, 1990). While the evolutionary argument remains conjectural, it is supported by a coherent body of suggestive evidence. Ontogenetically, both through hearing and signing, children acquire the lexicon and then pre-grammatical — pidgin — communication much earlier than grammar (see further below).

6; Heine et al. 1991; Hopper and Traugott 1993). Therefore, if we were to construct a taxonomy of the passive sub-types A-D by means of structural similarity, we would group the English passive (A) with the other adjectival copular constructions in (21). We would group the Ute passive (B) with the agentsuppressing verb-phrase nominalization in (22). We would group the Spanish se-marked passive (C) with the reflexive, reciprocal and middle-voice constructions in (23). And we would group the Kimbundu passive (D) with the L-dislocation and impersonal-‘they’ clauses in (24).

Such spreading activation is reminiscent of both Wittgenstein’s ‘family resemblance’ and Lakoff’s (1987) radial categories. e. the number of intervening connections between two nodes. In principle, at least, this approach views meaning as graded and non-discrete. 3 Prototypes: The empirical middle ground The elaboration of the pragmatic middle ground in both psychology and linguistics is due to the work of Eleanor Rosch (1973, 1975). Rosch’s position may be viewed as an intellectual extension of the Collins and Quillian (1972) network model, but with some crucial differences.

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