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Book description

There is an emerging perspective in the discipline of linguistics that takes expressivity as one of the key components of human communication and grammatical structure. Expressivity refers to the use of grammar in natural languages to convey sensory information in a creative way, for example through reduplication, iconicity, ideophones and onomatopoeia. Expressives are more commonly associated with non-European languages, so their presence in European languages has so far been under-documented. With contributions from a team of leading scholars, this pioneering book redresses that balance by providing copious, detailed information about the expressive systems of a set of European languages. It comprises a collection of original surveys of expressivity in languages as diverse as Hungarian, Finnish, Turkish, Scots, German, Greek, Italian, Catalan, Breton and Basque, all with the common goal of challenging structuralist assumptions about the role of syntax, and showing how expressivity is both typologically diverse and universal.

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