LINGUIST List 33.1793

Thu May 19 2022

Books: Non-Finiteness: Yang

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 10-May-2022
From: Ellena Moriarty <>
Subject: Non-Finiteness: Yang
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Title: Non-Finiteness
Subtitle: A Process-Relation Perspective
Published: 2022
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Bingjun Yang
Hardback: ISBN: 9781316513415 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 110.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781316513415 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 85.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781316513415 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 99.20

'Non-finiteness' is a phenomenon that occurs in most natural languages, whereby a verb is not inflected by grammatical tense, and does not possess the grammatical features of aspect, mood or voice. Various theories have been developed to explain their distribution and their role in clause structure, but many instances of non-finiteness remain unaccounted for. Taking a functional approach, this study proposes a 'process relation framework' to explain the more complex, previously unaccounted for, instances of non-finiteness in clause structure. It applies the framework comparatively to non-finiteness in English and Chinese, showing how it can be applied across typologically distinct languages. Drawing on corpus-based instances and observations, it introduces numerous thought-provoking cases, in which constructional (or combining) types and the predictability of non-finiteness co-occur. In terms of application, non-finiteness is decisive in categorising language types, and it is critical in processing natural languages, text segmentation and annotation in particular.

1. Introduction; 2. Non-finiteness in the literature; 3. Theoretical foundation; 4. Basic process relations as one solution to the controversy; 5. Non-finiteness as the bridge for process compression; 6. Revisiting the controversial English constructions with non-finiteness; 7. Revisiting the controversial Chinese constructions with non-finiteness; 8. Conclusion; References; Index.

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 19-May-2022