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This handbook provides a critical state-of-the-art overview of work in linguistic typology. It examines the directions and challenges of current research and shows how these reflect and inform work on the development of linguistic theory. It describes what typologists have revealed about language in general and discovered (and continue to discover) about the richly various ways in which meaning and expression are achieved in the world's languages. Typological research extends across all branches of linguistics. The degree to which the characteristics of language are universal or particular is crucial to the understanding of language and its relation to human nature and culture. This book is an essential source of reference for linguists of all theoretical persuasions. It is a vital companion for all those working in linguistic typology or undertaking linguistic fieldwork on one or more languages.