Essays reflecting the influence of the versatile linguist David M. Perlmutter, covering topics from theoretical morphology to sign language phonology.
Anyone who has studied linguistics in the last half-century has been affected by the work of David Perlmutter. One of the era's most versatile linguists, he is perhaps best known as the founder (with Paul Postal) of Relational Grammar, but he has also made contributions to areas ranging from theoretical morphology to sign language phonology. Hypothesis A/Hypothesis B (the title evokes Perlmutter's characteristic style of linguistic argumentation) offers twenty-three essays by Perlmutter's colleagues and former students. Many of the contributions deal with the study of the world's languages (including Indo-European languages, sign language, and languages of the Americas), reflecting the influence of Perlmutter's cross-linguistic research and meticulous analysis of empirical data. Other topics include grammatical relations and their mapping; unaccusatives, impersonals, and the like; complex verbs, complex clauses, and Wh-constructions; and the nature of sign language. Perlmutter, currently Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, and still actively engaged in the field, opens the volume with the illuminating and entertaining essay, "My Path in Linguistics."
Judith Aissen, Mark Aronoff, Leonard H. Babby, Nicoleta Bateman, J. Albert Bickford, Sandra Chung, William D. Davies, Stanley Dubinsky, Katarzyna Dziwirek, Patrick Farrell, Donald G. Frantz, Donna B. Gerdts, Alice C. Harris, Brian D. Joseph, Geraldine Legendre, Philip S. LeSourd, Joan Maling, Stephen A. Marlett, Diane Lillo-Martin, James McCloskey, Richard P. Meier, Irit Meir, John C. Moore, Carol A. Padden, Maria Polinsky, Eduardo P. Raposo, Richard A. Rhodes, Wendy Sandler, Paul Smolensky, Annie Zaenen
Donna B. Gerdts is Professor of Linguistics at Simon Fraser University. John C. Moore is Professor and Chair in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego. Maria Polinsky is a Professor of Linguistics at Harvard University. Sandra Chung is Professor of Linguistics and Chair of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Geraldine Legendre is Professor of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University and a preeminent syntactician of French. Paul Smolensky is Professor of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University. He was a leading member of the PDP connectionist research group, and is the recipient of the 2005 David E. Rumelhart Prize in Cognitive Science, which is awarded annually to an individual or collaborative team making a significant contribution to the formal analysis of human cognition. Mark Aronoff is Chairman of the Linguistics Department at SUNY, Stony Brook and the author of Word Formation in Generative Grammar (MIT Press, 1976). Samuel Jay Keyser is Professor Emeritus in MIT’s Department of Linguistics and Philosophy and Special Assistant to the Chancellor. Head of the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy from 1977 to 1998, he also held the positions of Director of the Center for Cognitive Science and Associate Provost.