Comparison of the grammars of human lagnuages reveals systematic patterns of variation. research in typology and universals attempts to uncover those patterns. to formulate the universal constraints on language that define those patterns, and to seek explanations for the universals. In this volume, the first of its kind, william Croft provides the reader with a comprehensive introduction to the method and theory used in typology-universals research. together with an overview of basic grammatical differences between languages. He discusses theoretical issues ranging from the most fundamental-on what basis can the arammars of diverse languages be compared?-to the most absttact-what is the role of fuctional and historical explanation of language universals? -and gives extensive illustration from the world's languages. several case studies also provide extended examples of the methodologies applied to specific problems. As well as explicating basic concepts established in the last thirty years. current areas of typological research are thoroughly covered (including some discussion of phonological typology). The author demonstrates how complex patterns of cross-linguistic variation. such as hierarchies and prototypes. are built on the basic patterns of implicational universals and markedness. He also draws together contemporary research on cross-linguistic patterns of the form-meaning relation and on universals of language change, and shows how a new approach to limguistic explanation, the "functional-typological" or "dynamic" paradigm, has evolved in the last decade.
This textbook will appeal to scholars and students alike in linguistics and anthropology.