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ven. 05/10/2018 Séminaire DTT - Atelier Morphosyntaxe
ISH, Ennat Léger

Thiago Chacon (Université de Brasilia, Collegium de Lyon) : "Nominal Categorization : an overview" In this talk I will attempt to define what is nominal categorization and how it is expressed in the lexicon, grammar and discourse. We start with a discussion from a functional perspective and the place of nominal categorization within linguistic structure more generally. Then, we will cover the typical systems of nominal classification, Gender, Noun Classes and Classifiers, highlighting key points in their typology, complementing this picture with new insights based on new data and new questions that have (re)emerged in the last couple of decades. We further address different kinds of nominal categorization systems that are not fully covered in the most widely diffused typologies, exemplifying our enlarged conception of this topic while – at the same time – trying to assess how they relate to the typical nominal classification systems and how they differ from grammatical issues that are not in the realm of nominal categorization. It is hoped that this presentation will help participants to (1) conceive nominal categorization as a linguistic universal along with the varied ways languages may use it in grammar and discourse, and (2) raise questions important for advancing language description and typology in this topic.

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mar. 09/10/2018 Atelier "History and Ecology of Language": Joshua Birchall (Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Brazil) - Reconstructing form and function in the Proto-Tupi-Guarani kinship system
ISH, salle Ennat Léger

Ethnographic research among Tupi-Guaranian peoples has had a profound effect on what we see as "typical" for Amazonian societies. Even though modern anthropology recognizes the cultural variation observable across the neotropics, little work has been done to understand the historical developments that have produced such diversity. On the other hand, linguistic work on cultural terminology has often been carried out without engaging with the larger discussion on the distribution of different cultural traits and how this distribution came about. In this talk I discuss ongoing work on the reconstruction of the kinship system in Proto-Tupi-Guaraní. Our team has combined a number of different tools to explore the development of kinship terminology in PTG: a modern approach to lexical databases; classical linguistic reconstruction; typological categorization of kin relations according to ethnological considerations; and, computational tools adopted from evolutionary biology to make inferences about the past, namely bayesian phylogenetic inference and ancestral state reconstruction. I discuss these different tools and show how this multi-pronged approach can be used to identify the various changes that occurred in the kin structure of various Tupi-Guaranian societies throughout the diversification of the language family.

ven. 12/10/2018 Séminaire DTT - Conférence
How special are creole grammars? Typological comparisons with lexifiers, substrates and the languages of the world.
Peter Bakker (University of Arhus, Denmark)
ISH - salle Bollier

Creole languages are known mostly from the Circum-Caribbean area, West Africa, East Africa, the Indian Ocean, India, the Pacific and Northern Australia, with Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish as well as Amerindian, Indian and African lexifiers.
Thirty years ago, Pieter Muysken published an article with the title “Are creoles a special type of language?”, and he concluded they were not, at least from the viewpoint of UG.
In the meantime, however, evidence has been amassed that creoles, despite their structural diversity, occupy a very small typological space among the languages of the world, very close to each other, and distinct from both their lexifiers and from samples of the languages of the world. See e.g. Szmrecsanyi & Kortmann (2009) and Schneider (2012) for English-lexifier creoles, Parkvall (2008) from the viewpoint of complexity, and Bakker et al. (2011), Daval-Markussen (2013) and Bakker et al (2017) for creole typology.
Sources for creole structures could in principle come from the lexifiers/superstrates (e.g. French in the case of Haitian Creole), from substrate languages (e.g. Kikongo or Fon) which were spoken by African populations in the New World, from universals, or from shared patterns of grammaticalization/innovation. The influence of superstrates and substrates appear much less.
In my talk I will present some recent results of the research in this area, both from Aarhus and elsewhere, that leave the conclusion of the special place of creoles within the typology of the world’s languages inescapable.

Bakker, P., Daval-Markussen, A., Parkvall, M. & Plag. I. 2011. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 26(1): 5–42.

Daval-Markussen, A. 2013. First steps towards a typological profile of creoles. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia. 45(2): 274–295. doi: 10.1080/03740463.2014.880606

Muysken, Pieter. 1988. Are creoles a special type of language? In Frederick J. Newmeyer (ed.), Linguistics: The Cambridge Survey, Volume II: Linguistic Theory: Extensions and Implications, 285-301. Cambridge: University Press.

Parkvall, M. 2008. The simplicity of creoles in a cross-linguistic perspective. In Language Complexity. Typology, Contact, Change, ed. by M. Miestamo, K. Sinnemäki & F. Karlsson, 265–285. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/slcs.94.17par

Schneider, Agnes. 2012. Typological Profile: Pidgins and Creoles. In Bernd Kortmann & Kerstin Lunkenheimer (eds.), The Mouton World Atlas of Variation in English. 874-904. Berlin/Boston: Mouton De Gruyter.

Szmrecsanyi, B. & Kortmann, B. 2009. The morphosyntax of varieties of English worldwide: A quantitative perspective. Lingua 119: 1643–1663. doi: 10.1016/j.lingua.2007.09.016


lun. 15/10/2018 Réunion Interne
Réunion de rentrée DENDY
MSH, salle Ennat Léger

mar. 16/10/2018 Atelier "History and Ecology of Languages": Peter Bakker (University of Arhus, Denmark) - From pidgin to creole in a multilingual ecology: from Africa to the French Caribbean to creole universals
ISH, salle Ennat Léger

Reduced forms of Carib (Cariban), KiKongo (Bantu, Niger-Congo) and French (Romance, Indo-European) have been documented in the history of the Caribbean. These were used in interethnic communication between Europeans and Africans and Amerindians. Reduced forms of speech can be the result of native speakers simplifying their speech (“foreigner talk”), or of learners simplifying the target language in their learning process (unsuccessful second language acquisition, or “basic variety”), or a compromise between several groups (medium for interethnic communication). In some cases, these can evolve into stable pidgins, and into creoles. Such deliberate and radical simplifying changes occur in ecologies of sudden contacts without common languages.
Simplified Carib has been primarily documented from French Guiana from the 1600s to the 1900s, and simplified KiKongo is known from one source from Haiti around 1790. Simplified French was documented on the Lesser Antilles and Haiti from the 1630s to around 1670/1730, after which it creolized in the Afro-Caribbean communities (but not in the Amerindian communities) (Hazaël-Massieux 2008).
I will discuss the documented speech of these three varieties in the context of the ecology of language contact of the time, including who were responsible for the simplification. Pidgin Carib and Pidgin Kongo have died out, but Pidgin French became the main language of the Lesser Antilles . The case of French in the Lesser Antilles provides clear proof of a pidgin-to-creole-development, a process deemed impossible by some on theoretical grounds. I will discuss the clear differences between French Pidgin (known as baragouin) and French creole. These are in line with independent generalizations on structures of pidgins (Baker 2001, Parkvall et al. 2013) and creoles (Daval-Markussen 2013).

Baker, Philip. 2001. No creolisation without prior pidginisation. Te Reo 44: 31-50.

Daval-Markussen, Aymeric. 2013. First steps towards a typological profile of creoles. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia. 45(2): 274–295. doi: 10.1080/03740463.2014.880606

Hazaël-Massieux, Marie-Christine. 2008. Textes anciens en créole français de la Caraïbe. Histoire et analyse. Saint-Denis: Editions Publibook.

Parkvall, Mikael & Peter Bakker. 2013. Pidgins. In: Contact languages, ed. by Yaron Matras & Peter Bakker, 15-64. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

ven. 19/10/2018 Séminaire DTT - Atelier Morphosyntaxe
ISH, Ennat Léger

Thiago Chacon (Université de Brasilia, Collegium de Lyon) : "Nominal classification in Kubeo and in a comparative perspective" In this talk I will discuss my analysis of the system of nominal classification in Kubeo, its status concerning a typology of nominal classification and how it relates to other systems within the Tukanoan family as well as other languages in Northwestern Amazonia. I start with an overview of how nouns in Kubeo are semantically categorized in complex ways by animacy, gender and classifiers in different morphosyntactic contexts. Then I offer a discussion of what is a classifier in Kubeo, how it is different from gender, common nouns and the so-called “repeaters”. Special points of discussion are the syntax of the NP, the status of classifiers as a special class of morphemes within a grammaticalization continuum, the function of classifiers in word formation, syntax and discourse, and how the Kubeo system can be interpreted within a general typology of nominal classification. Comparative considerations concerning the Tukanoan family and neighboring languages in the Northwest Amazon will be offered as a way to show the uniqueness of the Kubeo system as well as the possible ways that nominal classification evolves from inheritance and contact induced changes.

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