Strand 3: Typology and dynamics of linguistic systems

Leader : Katharina Haude (Sedyl - Inalco)

 

Co-leader: Dmitry Idiatov (Llacan - Inalco)

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Strand 3 studies the diversity of languages in the world. Most of its members are field linguists with solid expertise in describing and documenting less studied languages. Research there focuses on typology (that is, the study of universals and differences found in languages of the world regardless of their genealogical relationship), as well as variation in space and time between languages that are geographically or genealogically close. These are in-depth interlinguistic analyzes of particular linguistic phenomena, as well as studies on the short- and long-term effects of contacts between related and unrelated languages.

 

Many projects of axis 3 are based on the results of the first phase of LABEX-EFL, for example by using the databases that were created there. This empirical base will be supplemented by the creation of new databases designed for quantitative and qualitative analysis, benefiting from expertise in more than 100 languages and language families.

 

The originality of axis 3 lies in the interaction between the history of linguistics, historical linguistics (reconstruction of macro-families, long-term typological change), contact linguistics, linguistic documentation and typology. The research is based on qualitative and quantitative approaches (intensive use of databases and electronic corpora to assess theoretical problems). The increasing interoperability between all these resources and the overlap of the hypotheses between the different approaches will bring innovative scientific perspectives.

 

STRAND 3 OPERATIONS, LABEX-EFL 2020-2024

 

  1. GRAMMAR AND LEXICON IN SYNCHRONY AND DIACHRONY (GL)

 

GL1 Ideophones and interjections in a typological, areal and diachronic perspective

Aimée Lahaussois, Yvonne Treis

 

GL2 Lexical typology in time and space

Alexandre François, Lameen Souag, Martine Vanhove

 

GL3 Associated motion and posture

Patrick Caudal, Guillaume Jacques

 

GL4 Typology of inflectional systems with non-canonical inflection

Enrique L. Palancar, Sebastian Fedden

 

GL5 Morphosyntax in speech

Katharina Haude, Tatiana Nikitina

 

GL6  Corpus of texts for Mande languages

Valentin Vydrin

 

GL7  Reconstruction, genealogy, typology and grammatical description in the two largest phyla in the world: Niger-Congo and Austronesian

Isabelle Bril, Alexandre François, Mark van de Velde

 

GL8  Extended grammars

Emilie Aussant

 

  1. VARIATION AND CONTACT (VC)
     

VC1  Languages, dialects and isoglosses of West Asia

Pollet Samvelian, Anaïd Donabédian

 

VC2  Central Gallo-Romance: linguistics and ecology of a transition zone

Nicholas quint

 

VC3 Syntactic variation in Creole languages

Stefano Manfredi, Nicolas Quint

 

VC4  Variation and contact of similar languages

Isabelle Léglise, Stefano Manfredi

 

VC5  Towards a typology of language alternations

Isabelle Léglise

Strand 3 video presentation

GL1 Ideophones and interjections in a typological, areal and diachronic perspective

Aimée Lahaussois, Yvonne Treis

 

Our objects of study are interjections and ideophones: minor word classes,

invariable, and which touch on the phonosymbolism, coming to rub the border between arbitrary and motivated language. These classes of words have been victims, throughout history, of notable defining problems. Starting from case studies, the program will adopt a typological, diachronic, areal and multimodal perspective on the analysis of ideophones and interjections, on their semantics, morphology and syntax.

 

 

 

 

 

GL2 Lexical typology in time and space

Alexandre François, Lameen Souag, Martine Vanhove

 

This project is located at the crossroads of the synchronic lexical typology and the diachronic study of semantic change. It aims to examine several semantic domains whose organization across languages has yet to be mapped in detail, from the perspective of historical change. To achieve this objective, we will study the variations of the lexicon between different languages, showing recurring configurations. We will focus on a limited number of semantic domains (movement, impact and manipulation, cognition), using existing lexical databases, and creating one specifically for this research. Understanding the dynamics of lexical typology is essential not only to explain the stability of statistical universals, but more broadly to shed light on one of the thorniest problems in historical linguistics: semantic reconstruction.

GL3 Associated motion and posture

Patrick Caudal, Guillaume Jacques

 

This research operation will be devoted to the typology of the associated posture and the associated movement, with an emphasis on areal typologies in different linguistic areas (Austronesian, Australian, Sino-Tibetan, Niger-Congo languages, in particular). Associated posture and associated movement will be understood here in the widest possible sense, ie as going from lexical classes dedicated to specifically grammatical phenomena - whether they are linked to particles, clitics, or affixes. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between associated posture / associated movement and description of events. In many languages of the world, in fact, these categories are linked eg. to systems of verbal series, or have developed auxiliary roles (notably of time or aspect), etc.

 

 

 

 

GL4 Typology of inflectional systems with non-canonical inflection

Enrique L. Palancar, Sebastian Fedden

 

The aim of this operation is to create a better typological knowledge of inflectional complexity in the languages of the world by studying non-canonical inflection phenomena on new data from less described languages and by adopting new approaches to data coming from systems. well known. The aim is to combine typological, formal and quantitative approaches to inflectional systems. Empirical topics of particular interest are non-concatenative inflection, the continuum between synthesis and periphrasis and the emergence of non-canonical inflection, also as the emergence of uninflectedness.

 

 

 

 

GL5 Morphosyntax in speech

Katharina Haude, Tatiana Nikitina

 

From discursive corpora of genealogically and typologically distinct languages, we study the grammatical constructs that speakers spontaneously use to describe events - especially events involving two or more participants - in a larger context. This includes the analysis of verbal voice changes, the way in which the reference to the participants in the event is realized and the linear order of the constituent elements of the sentence. Particular attention will be given to factors such as animacity, definiteness or topicality of referents of the speech, as well as the use of the verbal categories (voice, aspect) used to direct the attention of the speech. interlocutor.

 

 

 

 

GL6  Corpus of texts for Mande languages

Valentin Vydrin

 

This operation, which began in the first phase of LABEX, is reaching a stage of maturity. During the first stage, the main electronic tools necessary for the functioning of parallel corpora, syntactically annotated corpora and audio corpora, were developed. These will facilitate, on the one hand, the expansion and improvement of the existing body of texts and, on the other hand, the rapid creation of bodies of texts in other Mandatory languages and possibly languages of other families. .

In the new phase, the focus will be on the NLP aspects of the project, in particular: automatic disambiguation (statistics); automatic grouping of polysemics (based on vector analysis); development of OCR tools for the languages concerned. In addition, the first tests of speech recognition and machine translation will be carried out.

 

 

 

 

GL7  Reconstruction, genealogy, typology and grammatical description in the two largest phyla in the world: Niger-Congo and Austronesian

Isabelle Bril, Alexandre François, Mark van de Velde

 

The growing importance of typological and evolutionary approaches in the search for linguistic universals has renewed interest in the classification of world languages, as well as in the reconstruction of their proto-languages. This work requires careful analysis of the lexicon and grammar of a large sample of languages, based as much as possible on first-hand data collected by specialists. Our project aims at a better understanding of the history and internal genealogy of the two largest linguistic phyla in the world, namely Niger-Congo and Austronesian. By bringing together some of the best experts in these families, we will consolidate the empirical basis for comparative work in these phyla, both by describing individual languages, and by improving their classifications and genealogies. In each area of our research project (description, classification and reconstruction), specialists in the Austronesian and Niger-Congo families will exchange methods and ideas from their respective fields.

 

 

 

 

GL8  Extended grammars

Emilie Aussant

 

The history of the description of the languages of the world can be considered as a vast undertaking of more or less successful adaptation of linguistic tools initially forged to describe or represent a (very) small handful of languages: out of the thousands of languages that the world known, only a few produced "reflexive" linguistic tools (ie tools which described the language in which they had been composed); this is the case for Arabic, Chinese, Greek and Sanskrit. Under the impetus of Sylvain Auroux, a certain number of works have been carried out on the transfer of the Latin grammatical model to European vernaculars and to a whole set of “exotic” languages - a phenomenon that Auroux will call “Extended Latin Grammar”. It is now a question of: 1) documenting very extensively the other cases of "extended grammars"; 2) to test the commensurability of these various transfer phenomena; 3) to conduct a careful investigation of linguistic terminology to bring to light its long and complex history.

 

 

 

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VC1  Languages, dialects and isoglosses of West Asia

Pollet Samvelian, Anaïd Donabédian

 

The configuration of West Asia is valuable for modeling the notion of linguistic area and the dialectology / contact / typology interaction. EFL presents internationally recognized skills (Armenian, Iranian languages) and strong partnerships (Greek from Asia Minor, Caucasian languages, Turkic, Semitic), which it federates into a visible and innovative pole. The extension of this operation aims to:

  • View the results of the cartographic modeling of the area

  • Explore two types of structures allowing to deepen both the fine mechanisms of language contact in the West Asia area and the degree of typological constraint linked to the OV order in general in the languages of the world 1) Word order and information structure, and 2) Differential tagging of arguments

 

 

 

 

VC2  Central Gallo-Romance: linguistics and ecology of a transition zone

Nicholas quint

 

Our research group intends to develop a multidisciplinary approach to the Gallo-Romance varieties of the linguistic crescent, which represent a fascinating case study for contact linguistics, as these varieties simultaneously exhibit oleaginous and Occitan characteristics. During the period 2020-2024, particular emphasis will be placed on the following three themes: (i) the Linguistic Crescent and its environment (study of the oleaginous or Occitan varieties spoken around the Croissant and of the French regional varieties spoken alongside the varieties of the Crescent), (ii) verification of non-linguistic correlates (anthropological, historical, etc.) of isoglosses observed in the field, (iii) development of psycholinguistic studies devoted to the crescent. Overall, this new project aims to provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary and ecological approach to the Linguistic Crescent.

 

 

 

 

VC3 Syntactic variation in Creole languages

Stefano Manfredi, Nicolas Quint

 

One of the main problems in typologizing syntactic structures on the basis of (semi) spontaneous data is represented by the high degree of individual variation affecting such structures. This is especially true for Creole languages whose syntactic structures are affected by different variation processes such as interference from substrate / adstrate languages, contact with the lexifying language as well as internal variation. This research operation therefore aims to integrate the analysis of syntactic variation in Creole languages with the typologization of different syntactic structures as well as to categorize the semantic values and the sources of grammaticalization of the conjunctions of subordination and coordination.

 

 

 

 

VC4  Variation and contact of similar languages

Isabelle Léglise, Stefano Manfredi

 

This research program is based on the detailed analysis of the dynamics of contact between languages and close varieties based on heterogeneous corpora (plurilingual, pluristylistic, pluridialectal). Its ambition is to propose a typology of variations in contact situations and to review the notions of “language boundaries” while taking into account the social implications of language contact.

 

 

 

 

VC5  Towards a typology of language alternations

Isabelle Léglise

 

This research program studies alternations and contacts of languages thanks to the plurifactorial analysis of plurilingual corpora. It aims, on the one hand, to carry out a critical examination of the typology of terms proposed in the literature and, on the other hand, to propose a typology of work-study programs taking into account a wide range of social situations and contexts. .