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Jan Rijkhoff

Rara and grammatical theory

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  • Section for Linguistics
This paper argues that grammatical theorizing and linguistic typologizing must go hand in hand and that rare typological features play a central role in the interaction of typology and theory. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 discusses a sampling method that (compared to other sampling methods) offers the best chance of finding and identifying rara or rarissima (features and properties attested in very few languages), because the method in question is designed to generate samples that display the greatest possible linguistic variety. Section 3 discusses some relevant details about Functional (Discourse) Grammar and sections 4 and 5 are concerned with the crucial role of rara both in theory driven data collection and in data driven theory building.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Universals: How rarities affect linguistic theory
EditorsJan Wohlgemuth, Michael Cysouw
Number of pages18
Place of publicationBerlin / New York
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
Publication year2010
ISBN (print)978-3-11-022092-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-022093-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
SeriesEmpirical Approaches to Language Typology [EALT] series

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