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Are Some Languages Better than Others?$
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R. M. W. Dixon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198766810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766810.001.0001

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What is necessary

What is necessary

Chapter:
(p.47) Chapter 3 What is necessary
Source:
Are Some Languages Better than Others?
Author(s):

R. M. W. Dixon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766810.003.0003

This chapter surveys features which occur in the grammars of all languages, and the variations they show. It investigates how to mark types of speech act: statements, commands, and questions; with comment on how some languages mark several varieties of imperatives (‘do it now!’ versus ‘do it later!’), and of interrogatives. Simple and multifaceted ways of showing negation, and of possession. The varied ways languages have of marking who is doing something and whom it is being done to. Indicating relationships through copula constructions and otherwise. Creating a succinct discourse through varied techniques of coordination and subordination.

Keywords:   speech acts, questions, commands, statements, negation, possession, copulas, subordination, coordination

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