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."
Contributors: 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, Géraldine 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
Current Studies in Linguistics 49
About the Editors
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.
"Perlmutter is a true master of grammatical argumentation and a very important linguistic theorist. This volume of high-quality papers, dedicated to him by thirty of the many scores who have felt his influence and profited from his teaching, is a truly worthy tribute—a book for syntacticians to treasure."
—Geoffrey Pullum, Department of Linguistics, University of Edinburgh
"This volume is a collection of fine examples of how to investigate the structures of languages—a fitting tribute to David Perlmutter's research, his teaching, and above all his inspiration to a whole generation of linguists."
—Jorge Hankamer, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Cruz