Language typology and descriptive linguistics

Winter term
30 contact hours (1 class a week)
ECTS credits: 3
Lecturer: Krzysztof Stroński
Friday, 11:30-13:00, room 220
Attention: this class starts in the second week, first lecture 13 October
Module aims

  • Characterisation of main trends in linguistic typology – holistic approach vs construction based approach
  • Introducing basic criteria of language classification – how to capture crosslinguisctic similarities and differences?
  • Introducing main alignment types and explaining the concept of grammatical roles and relations
  • Introducing other variables which serve as a basis for crosslinguistic comparison such as case, gender, person, number, tense, aspect, mood, word order
  • Demonstrating the relevance of linguistic typology for language specific analysis (description)

Assessment criteria:
1/3 student’s activity in class,
1/3 performance in exercises,
1/3 oral exam

Reading list:

  • Bickel, Balthasar. 2010. Capturing particulars and universals in clause linkage: a multivariate analysis. In: Bril, I. (ed.) Clause Linking and Clause Hierarchy : Syntax and Pragmatics. Amsterdam, 51 – 102.
  • Comrie, Bernard 1981. Language Universals and Linguistic Typology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Corbett, Greville 1991. Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Corbett, Greville 2001. Number. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Corbett, Greville 2005. Agreement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Croft, William 1990. Typology and Universals. Cambridge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dixon, Robert M. W. 1994. Ergativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Palmer, Robert F. 1994. Grammatical Roles and Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Siewierska, Anna 2004. Person. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Van Valin, R. 2005. Exploring the Syntax–Semantics Interface. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Shopen, Timothy (ed.). 2007. Language Typology and Syntactic Description. Second Edition. 3 Volumes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.