Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Possible and Probable LanguagesA Generative Perspective on Linguistic Typology$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Frederick J. Newmeyer

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274338

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274338.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 October 2018

On the Possible and the Probable in Language

On the Possible and the Probable in Language

(p.1) 1 On the Possible and the Probable in Language
Possible and Probable Languages

Frederick J. Newmeyer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets the stage for the succeeding chapters by addressing a foundational cluster of questions inherent to the practice of linguistic typology: What does it mean to say that some grammatical feature is possible or impossible, or probable or improbable? Section 1.2 tries to pinpoint how one might identify a ‘possible human language’ and Section 1.3 raises some background issues relevant to the determination of why some language types appear to be more probable than others. Section 1.4 focuses on the major differences between formalists and functionalists with respect to the explanation of typological generalizations, using an extended published debate between Peter Coopmans and Bernard Comrie as a point of reference.

Keywords:   formalists, funcationalists, Peter Copmans, Bernard Comrie, Universal Grammar

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .