New horizons for contrastive analysis: grammatical prototypes as tertium comparationis

Svetlana Kurtes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The aim of the paper is twofold. Firstly, to briefly re-examine the status of contrastive analysis and its future role among other linguistic branches, starting from Whorf’s definition of the discipline, which asserts that contrastive linguistics “plots the outstanding differences among tongues – in grammar, logic, and general analysis of experience” (Whorf 1967 (1941): 240). Following his vision that it is will be of great importance “for the future technology of thought” (Whorf 1967 (1941): 240), we shall briefly discuss the main theoretical and methodological issues, proposing certain innovations in that respect. And secondly, to report on the main results of a corpus-based and pedagogically oriented contrastive analytical project envisaged initially to complement and supplement the existing reference, descriptive and contrastive grammars of English and Serbo-Croat languages, and consequently other pedagogical materials. The analysis utilised the cognitive linguistic theoretical approach and focused on the ways in which the conceptualisation of reflexivity and middleness, defined in terms of their prototypical features, was grammatically encoded in the observed languages. The analysis itself had a very strong pedagogical bias and tried to recommend ways of direct implementation of the obtained results into foreign language teaching and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSelected papers from the 18th International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
EditorsA. Tsangalidis
Place of PublicationThessaloniki, Greece
PublisherMonochromia Publishing
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9789609871112
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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