Jeffrey Heinz (PhD 2007, University of California, Los Angeles) is an associate professor at the University of Delaware. He conducts research at the intersection of theoretical linguistics, theoretical computer science, and computational learning theory. With Rob Goedemans and Harry van der Hulst, he helped develop the StressTyp2 database, which organizes and presents information on the stress and accent patterns in hundreds of languages around the world.
Rob Goedemans (PhD 1998, Universiteit Leiden) conducts research regarding the phonetics, phonology, and typology of stress in the languages of the world in general, and the languages of Aboriginal Australia and Indonesia in particular. Together with Harry van der Hulst, he has worked on several publications based on the StressTyp database, with which he has been involved since its inception. Currently, Rob is employed in the Departments of Communications and Information Management at the Humanities Faculty of Universiteit Leiden.
Harry van der Hulst (PhD 1984, Universiteit Leiden) specializes in phonology, which is the study of the sounds systems of languages, as well as the visual aspects of sign languages. He has published twenty-five books and over 130 articles. He has held (guest) positions at Universiteit Leiden, Universität Salzburg, the University of Girona, Skidmore College, New York, New York University, and Cornell University, New York. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the international linguistic journal The Linguistic Review since 1990. He is currently (since 2000) Professor of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut.
Australian Languages (Rob Goedemans), Austronesian Languages (Ellen van Zanten, Ruben Stoel and Bert Remijsen), Papuan Languages (Ellen van Zanten and Philomena Dol), North American Languages (Keren Rice), South American Languages (Sergio Meira and Leo Wetzels), African Languages (Laura Downing), European Languages (Harry van der Hulst), Asian Languages (Harry van der Hulst and René Schiering), Middle Eastern Languages (Harry van der Hulst and Sam Hellmuth).
There is an introductory chapter (Chapter 1) that will provide the reader with elementary terminology and theoretical tools to understand the variety of accentual systems that will be discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. Chapter 2 has a double function. It presents an overview of stress patterns in Australian languages, but at the same time it is intended to (re-)familiarize readers with the coding, terminology and theoretical ideas of the StressTyp database. Chapter 11 presents statistical and typological information from the StressTyp database. Part II of this volume contains 'language profiles' which are, for each of the 511 languages contained in StressTyp (in 2009), extracts from the information that is contained in the database.
This volume will be of interest to people in the field of theoretical phonology and language typology. It will function as a reference work for these groups of researchers, but also, more generally, for people working on syntax and other fields of linguistics, who might wish to know certain basic facts about the distribution of word accent systems
Although the ‘recursive’ nature of linguistic expressions, i.e. the apparent possibility of producing an infinite number of expressions with finite means, has been noted for a long time, no general agreement seems to exist concerning the empirical status as well as mathematical formalization of this ‘characteristic’ of human languages or of the grammars that lie behind these utterances that make up these languages.
Renewed interest in this subject was sparked by recent claims that ‘recursion’ is perhaps the sole uniquely human and as such universal trait of human language (cf. Chomsky, Hauser and Fitch 2000). In this volume, the issue of recursion is tackled from a variety of angles. Some articles cover formal issues regarding the proper characterization or definition of recursion, while others focus on empirical issues by examining the kinds of structure in languages that suggest recursive mechanism in the grammar. Most articles discuss syntactic phenomena, but several involve morphology, the lexicon and phonology. In addition, we find discussions that involve evolutionary notions and language disorders, and the broader cognitive context of recursion.
The topics chosen are of foundational interest with relatively mature and established results, algorithms and conclusions. The book will be of value to researchers and graduate students in areas such as theoretical computer science, machine learning, computational linguistics, bioinformatics, and cognitive psychology who are engaged with the study of learning, especially of the structure underlying the concept to be learned. Some knowledge of mathematics and theoretical computer science, including formal language theory, automata theory, formal grammars, and algorithmics, is a prerequisite for reading this book.