James McCawley (1938-1999) was one of the most significant linguists of the latter half of the twentieth century. His legacy to a generation of linguists encompasses not only his work in phonology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and the philosophy of language but also his emphasis on bridging research in linguistics with that in other disciplines, from anthropology and psychology to physics and biology. This book, written by his former students—all now scholars in their own right—pays tribute to McCawley by pursuing questions about language that engaged him during his career. The variety of perspectives in these essays reflects McCawley's eclecticism as well his belief that what is important in scholarly work is not the analytic framework used but the insights reached.
The book considers topics in phonology; syntax, with several essays on Indic languages (in which McCawley had a special interest) as well as one on African-American English; tense, aspect, and mood; semantics and pragmatics, with essays in these areas grouped together to reflect the intertwining of McCawley's work on these subjects; knowledge of language; and the treatment of language, with its implicit colonial biases, in the 11th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica.
About the Editors
Elaine J. Francis is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and affiliated with the Linguistics Program at Purdue University.
Rebecca S. Wheeler is Associate Professor of English and English Education at Christopher Newport University.