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  1. Ergativity

    Dixon, Robert M. W., 1939-
    Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1994.

    Although there is only one ergative language in Europe (Basque), perhaps one-quarter of the world's languages show ergative properties, and pose considerable difficulties for many current linguistic theories. R. M. W. Dixon here provides a full survey of the various types of ergativity, looking at the ways they interrelate, their semantic bases and their role in the organisation of discourse. Ergativity stems from R. M. W. Dixon's long-standing interest in the topic, and in particular from his seminal 1979 paper in Language. It includes a rich collection of data from a large number of the world's languages. Comprehensive, clear and insightful, it will be the standard point of reference for all those interested in the topic.

  2. Australian languages : their nature and development

    Dixon, Robert M. W., 1939-
    Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2002.

    Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 40,000 years, speaking about 250 languages. Through examination of published and unpublished materials on each of the individual languages, Professor Dixon surveys the ways in which the languages vary typologically and presents a profile of this long-established linguistic area. The areal distribution of most features is illustrated with more than 30 maps, showing that the languages tend to move in cyclic fashion with respect to many of the parameters. There is also an index of languages and language groups. Professor Dixon, a pioneering scholar in the field, brings an interesting perspective to this diverse and complex material.

    Online EBSCO University Press

  3. English prepositions : their meanings and uses

    Dixon, Robert M. W., 1939-
    First edition - Oxford ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2021

    This book provides an integrated account of the main prepositions of English, outlining their various forms and illustrating contrastive senses. The three chapters in Part I delineate grammatical contexts of occurrence and special uses, exploring grammatical roles, phrasal verbs, and prepositional verbs respectively. In Part II, each chapter deals with a set of related prepositions, providing an integrated account of the meanings for each, and explaining how these are linked to their grammatical properties. There are two chapters on relational prepositions - principally of, for, by, and with - which have only minor reference to space or time. These are followed by seven chapters on prepositions whose basic meaning is spatial, with many extensions to abstract senses, and one that ties together the varied ways through which prepositions deal with time. The final chapter outlines how some people have attempted to prescribe how language should be used; it also covers dialect variation, foreign learners' errors, and prospects for the future. The book is written in Dixon's accustomed style - clear and well-organized, with easy-to-understand explanations, and with limited use of technical terms. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of the English language, including instructors of English as a second language.

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