Afrikas linguistische Vielfalt und Sprachensamples

Freitag, 4. Juni 2021 von 9:15–10:15

For almost 60 years, the linguistic diversity in Africa has been evaluated with almost exclusive reference to Greenberg’s (1963) continental genealogical classification. However, his assessment is increasingly viewed to be “badly in need of major reinvestigation and reworking” (Campbell and Poser 2008: 128). I have outlined in Güldemann (2018) a new approach to classifying African languages, not only by providing a very different perspective on currently robust genealogical relationships but also by assessing large-scale areal linguistic configurations. In the talk I discuss some implications of the far more diverse and internally structured linguistic landscape of Africa for research involving the continent’s languages, notably regarding language sampling and priority documentation.

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Zero marking in inflectional morphology. Patterns and possible explanations

Samstag, 5. Juni 2021 von 9–10

This talk focuses on zero marking in inflectional morphology and form-frequency effects. It has long been known that more frequent forms (i.e. words, constructions, grammatical markers) tend to be shorter than functionally equivalent but less frequent forms. Related to that, it is also well-known that one value of a grammatical feature can often be left unexpressed or "zero-marked" in opposition to the other value(s). For instance, singular, nominative, present, or indicative may not be expressed overtly as opposed to other number, case, tense, or mood values, which has usually also been related to frequency and economy.

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