PALMER, F. R.,
Grammatical Roles and Relations.
Cambridge University Press, 1994. 276p. Paperback. Series: Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics. Frank Palmer's new book is a typological survey of grammatical roles, such as Agent, Patient, Beneficiary, and grammatical relations, such as Subject, Direct Object and Indirect Object, which are familiar concepts in traditional grammars. It describes the devices, such as the Passive, that alter or switch the identities between such roles and relations. A great wealth of examples is used to show that the grammatical systems of the familiar European languages are far from typical of many of the world's languages, for which we need to use such terms as 'Ergative' and 'Antipassive'. Professor Palmer provides an elegant and consistent framework within which grammatical roles and relations may be discussed, combining a great clarity of discussion with evidence from an enormous number of the world's languages. (Publisher's information).