Little Words

Their History, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, and Acquisition

Ronald P. Leow, Héctor Campos, and Donna Lardiere, Editors

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Little Words is an interdisciplinary examination of the functions and change in the use of clitics, pronouns, determiners, conjunctions, discourse particles, auxiliary/light verbs, prepositions, and other “little words” that have played a central role in linguistic theory and in language acquisition research. Leading scholars present advanced research in phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse function, historical development, variation, and acquisition by children and adults.

This unique volume integrates the views and findings of these different research areas into one professional source to be used within and across disciplines. Languages studied include English, Spanish, French, Romanian, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Slavonic, and Medieval Leonese.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction
Ronald P. Leow, Héctor Campos, and Donna Lardiere

Part I: History

2. From "Two" to "Both": Historical Changes in the Syntax and Meaning of Oba in Slavic
Agnieszka Łazorczyk and Roumyana Pancheva

3. When Small Worlds Collide: Morphological Reduction and Phonological Compensation in Old Leonese Contractions
Minta Elsman and D. Eric Holt

Part II: Phonology

4. Distinguishing Function Words from Content Words in Children's Oral Reading
Carol Lord, Robert Berdan, and Michael Fender

5. Motivating Floating Quantifiers
Lisa Rochman

Part III: Syntax

6. Applicative Phrases Hosting Accusative Clitics
Luis Sáez

7.The Little DE of Degree Constructions
Remus Gergel

8. The Complementizer The
Heather Lee Taylor

9. What is There When Little Words Are Not There?: Possible Implications for Evolutionary Studies
Ljiljana Progovac

10. Spanish Personal a and the Antidative
Omar Velázquez-Mendoza and Raúl Aranovich

Part IV: Semantics

11.Predicting Argument Realization from Oblique Marker Semantics
John Beavers

12. Aspect Selectors, Scales, and Contextual Operators: An Analysis of by Temporal Adjuncts
Michael F. Thomas and Laura A. Michaelis

13. Distributive Effects of the Plural Marker -tul in Korean
Jong Un Park

Part V: Pragmatics

14. The Pragmatics of the French Discourse Markers donc and alors
Stéphanie Pellet

15. "Little Words" in Small Talk: Some Considerations on the Use of the Pragmatic Markers man in English and macho/tío in Peninsular Spanish
Laura Alba-Juez

16. Little Words that Could Impact One's Impression on Others: Greetings and Closings in Institutional Emails
Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas

Part VI: Acquisition

17. Instructed L2 Acquisition of Differential Object Marking in Spanish
Melissa Bowles and Silvina Montrul

18. The Role of Pedagogical Tasks and Focus on Form in Acquisition of Discourse Markers by Advanced Language Learners
Maria José de la Fuente

19. Article Acquisition in English, German, Norwegian, and Swedish
Tanja Kupisch, Merete Anderssen, Ute Bohnacker, and Neal Snape

20. A Continuum in French Children's Surface Realization of Auxiliaries
Christina D. Dye



Laura Alba-Juez Merete Anderssen Raúl Aranovich John Beavers Robert Berdan Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas Ute Bohnacker Melissa A. Bowles Héctor Campos Maria José de la Fuente Christina D. Dye Minta Elsman Michael Fender Remus Gergel D. Eric Holt Tanja Kupisch Donna Lardiere Agnieszka Łazorczyk Ronald P. Leow Carol Lord Laura A. Michaelis Silvina Montrul Roumyana Pancheva Jong Un Park Stéphanie Pellet Ljiljana Progovac Lisa Rochman Luis Sáez Neil Snape Heather Lee Taylor Michael F. Thomas Omar Velázquez-Mendoza

Supplemental Materials


Congratulations to Ronald Leow! He has been awarded the 2008 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in the college/university category.

About the Author

Ronald P. Leow is an associate professor of Spanish applied linguistics and director of Spanish Language Instruction at Georgetown University.

Héctor Campos is an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, linguistics, and modern Greek at Georgetown University.

Donna Lardiere is an associate professor of linguistics at Georgetown University.

258 pp., 6 x 9

Mar 2009

258 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-58901-254-7
Mar 2009

258 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-596-8
Mar 2009

Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics series

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