Publications

New Perspectives on the Origins of Language.

Lefebvre, Claire, Bernard Comrie, et Henri Cohen, dir. 2013. New Perspectives on the Origins of Language. John Benjamins. 582 pages.

The question of how language emerged is one of the most fascinating and difficult problems in science. In recent years, a strong resurgence of interest in the emergence of language from an evolutionary perspective has been helped by the convergence of approaches, methods, and ideas from several disciplines. The selection of contributions in this volume highlight scenarios of language origin and the prerequisites for a faculty of language based on biological, historical, social, cultural, and paleontological forays into the conditions that brought forth and favored language emergence, augmented by insights from sister disciplines. The chapters all reflect new speculation, discoveries and more refined research methods leading to a more focused understanding of the range of possibilities and how we might choose among them. There is much that we do not yet know, but the outlines of the path ahead are ever clearer.

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Grammaire française – Mise à niveau (vol. 1)

Piron, Sophie. 2013. Grammaire française – Mise à niveau (vol. 1). Louvain-la-Neuve : De Boeck. 399 pages.

Aide à l’apprentissage de la grammaire française, cette méthode s’inscrit à côté des grammaires traditionnelles comme un outil de remédiation pour les étudiants ou les adultes, qu’ils soient non francophones ou en difficulté dans leur propre langue. Avec exercices en ligne.

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Towards a Biolinguistic Understanding of Grammar: Essays on interfaces.

Di Sciullo, Anna Maria, dir. 2012. Towards a Biolinguistic Understanding of Grammar: Essays on interfaces. John Benjamins. 367 pages.

The theoretical proposals brought forward in this book as well as the results from the reported experimental studies present genuine contributions to the biolinguistic program. The papers contribute to our understanding of the properties of the computations and the representations derived by the language faculty, viewed as an organism of human biological. Towards a Biolinguistic Understanding of Grammar: Essays on Interfaces adds to the usual notion of interfaces, which is generally understood as the connection between syntax and the semantic system, between phonology and the sensorimotor system. It raises novel interface questions about how these connections are at all possible within the biolinguistic program. It anchors the formal properties of grammar at the interfaces between language and biology, language and experience, bringing about language acquisition and language variation, and it also explores the interaction of grammar with the factors reducing complexity. This book aims to bring about further understanding of the interfaces of the grammar in a broader biolinguistic sense. Written in a language accessible to a wide audience, this book will appeal to scholars and students of linguistics, cognitive science, biology, and natural language processing.

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The Biolinguistic Enterprise: New Perspectives on the Evolution and Nature of the Human Language Faculty.

Di Sciullo, Anna Maria et Cedric Boeckx, dir. 2011. The Biolinguistic Enterprise: New Perspectives on the Evolution and Nature of the Human Language Faculty. Oxford University Press. 416 pages.

This book, by leading scholars, represents some of the main work in progress in biolinguistics. It offers fresh perspectives on language evolution and variation, new developments in theoretical linguistics, and insights on the relations between variation in language and variation in biology. The authors address the Darwinian questions on the origin and evolution of language from a minimalist perspective, and provide elegant solutions to the evolutionary gap between human language and communication in all other organisms. They consider language variation in the context of current biological approaches to species diversity — the « evo-devo revolution » — which bring to light deep homologies between organisms. In dispensing with the classical notion of syntactic parameters, the authors argue that language variation, like biodiversity, is the result of experience and thus not a part of the language faculty in the narrow sense. They also examine the nature of this core language faculty, the primary categories with which it is concerned, the operations it performs, the syntactic constraints it poses on semantic interpretation and the role of phases in bridging the gap between brain and syntax. Written in language accessible to a wide audience, The Biolinguistic Enterprise will appeal to scholars and students of linguistics, cognitive science, biology, and natural language processing.

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Creoles, their Substrates, and Language Typology.

Lefebvre, Claire, dir. 2011. Creoles, their Substrates, and Language Typology. John Benjamins. 626 pages.

Since creole languages draw their properties from both their substrate and superstrate sources, the typological classification of creoles has long been a major issue for creolists, typologists, and linguists in general. Several contradictory proposals have been put forward in the literature. For example, creole languages typologically pair with their superstrate languages (Chaudenson 2003), with their substrate languages (Lefebvre 1998), or even, creole languages are alike (Bickerton 1984) such that they constitute a “definable typological class” (McWhorter 1998). This book contains 25 chapters bearing on detailed comparisons of some 30 creoles and their substrate languages. As the substrate languages of these creoles are typologically different, the detailed investigation of substrate features in the creoles leads to a particular answer to the question of how creoles should be classified typologically. The bulk of the data show that creoles reproduce the typological features of their substrate languages. This argues that creoles cannot be claimed to constitute a definable typological class.

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Les langues autochtones du Québec : Un patrimoine en danger.

Drapeau, Lynn, dir. 2011. Les langues autochtones du Québec : Un patrimoine en danger. Presses de l’Université du Québec. 236 pages.

Depuis Les langues autochtones du Québec, sous la direction de Jacques Maurais, publiées il y a vingt ans par le Conseil de la langue française, aucun ouvrage n’est venu faire le point sur la situation des langues autochtones au Québec, si bien qu’elles en sont venues en quelque sorte à disparaître de l’écran radar. La recherche sur les questions reliées à la langue et au répertoire oral en milieu autochtone est pourtant bien vivante. De nombreux partenariats entre des chercheurs universitaires et des représentants de l’une ou l’autre des Premières Nations ont notamment permis de réaliser des avancées remarquables. Ce livre vient illustrer les progrès qui ont été accomplis au cours des dernières années en matière de conservation, de préservation, et même, de revitalisation des langues autochtones. Les études de cas présentées reflètent la diversité des situations et la complexité des enjeux auxquels les communautés autochtones sont confrontées. Alors que les problématiques sont diverses et abordées sous une multiplicité d’angles, le portrait composite qui s’en dégage permet d’avoir une vue d’ensemble nuancée et équilibrée. Il vient rappeler l’existence d’un patrimoine linguistique précieux qu’il convient de préserver de la disparition rapide qui le menace.

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Edges, Heads, and Projections: Interface properties

Di Sciullo, Anna Maria et Virginia Hill, dir. 2010. Edges, Heads, and Projections: Interface properties. John Benjamins. 265 pages.

This collection deals with central issues in the syntax of clauses and their interfaces with the conceptual-intentional system. The book targets the syntactic properties that have an impact on the interpretation of discourse and temporal dependencies, functional fields including CP, pragmatic markers at the syntax-pragmatic interface, and on the possible parameterization of these properties. The papers in this volume bring to the fore the role of the edges (specifier and adjuncts), heads and projections in the grammar and at the interfaces. They address the question to what extent the relevant configurations at the level of edges, head, and projections determine the syntax/semantic, semantic/pragmatic connections. The contributions clarify the notion of edge and bring evidence that this notion is core to the analysis of various phenomena at the left periphery of clauses and phrases. This volume also discusses functional heads and their projections, particularly insofar as the properties of these heads determine the composition of the CP field, and cases where a CP may or may not be projected.

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La grammaire moderne : Description et éléments pour sa didactique.

Boivin, Marie-Claude et Reine Pinsonneault. 2008. La grammaire moderne : Description et éléments pour sa didactique. Chenelière Éducation. 224 pages.

La Grammaire moderne présente une description rigoureuse et cohérente de la grammaire du français. Conçue spécifiquement pour les étudiantes et étudiants en enseignement du français au secondaire, elle propose, entre autres originalités :

  • une description et des explications conformes en tout point à l’esprit de la grammaire moderne;
  • des pistes didactiques, des activités pratiques à faire avec les élèves ou avec les étudiants;
  • une comparaison systématique de notions pouvant amener de la confusion, contribuant ainsi à développer une vision claire et précise des différents concepts grammaticaux du français;
  • des tableaux synthèse;
  • des exercices variés;
  • des définitions terminologiques.

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Département de linguistique

Le Département de linguistique regroupe un corps professoral internationalement reconnu dont les domaines de spécialisation recouvrent les principaux champs de la linguistique.

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Pavillon J.-A. De Sève, DS-3405
320, rue Sainte-Catherine Est
Montréal (Québec)  H2X 1L7

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