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Bannergrafik (VergSpra)

The diachronic development of agreement systems in four Indo-European languages

The linguistic research on agreement systems has contributed substantial, typologically founded results. However, these findings are mostly limited to synchronic data.   The aim of the current project is to investigate the development of agreement systems in languages that have been attested over a long period of time. The Indo-European languages are especially well-suited for this purpose.  The following four languages with a representative spreading and various changes in their agreement systems are being taken into consideration:

  • German
  • Ancient Greek
  • Hittite
  • Welsh

In each of the four languages, a survey on agreement relations in texts from different periods will be carried out. The survey starts with a quantitative, exhaustive analysis of particular texts or parts of texts, in order to gather statistically significant data on the development of agreement systems. A qualitative analysis of cases of non-canonical agreement then follows. Non-canonical agreement allows for especially interesting insights into how agreement systems work. The final goal is to compare the historical data with the findings for modern languages.

An international workshop "Agreement from a diachronic perspective" will be held in Marburg, 4th-6th October 2012. The Call for Papers is out and accessible here and at Linguist List.


Applicants: J. FleischerE. RiekenP. Widmer

Cooperation partners: E. PoppeG. Corbett (University of Surrey)

Funding: DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

Duration: 3 years

Employees: Magnus Breder Birkenes, Florian Sommer, Cyril Brosch, David Sasseville

Last modified: 28.11.2011 · birkenem

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