Research team

Expertise

Description and explanation of elements of grammar (English, Germanic languages, European languages, all languages)

Explaining the dominance of postverbal negation in South American indigenous languages. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

South American languages offer a puzzle for linguists studying negation. Cross-linguistic comparison of standard negation reveals a universal tendency for languages to have a clausal negator before the verb. This tendency was first observed by Jespersen (1917); it is referred to as the Negative-First Principle (Horn 1989, 2001) and has been confirmed by a number of cross-linguistic studies since then (e.g. Dryer 2013). South American indigenous languages, however, do not follow this tendency and primarily use a clausal negator after the verb. This pattern is found in related and unrelated languages all across the South American continent. It is, in fact, the only macro-area where this pattern is dominant (Vossen 2016). This puzzle has not been explored systematically yet, let alone explained. The project aims to account for the dominant pattern of post-verbal negation in South American languages by exploring it from diachronic, typological and language contact perspectives.

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Processes of change in modal collocation. 01/10/2013 - 30/06/2014

Abstract

To express 'modality' (roughly the expression of necessity and possibility), English has lexical – e.g. 'modal adverbs' (probably, possibly, well, ...) –, and grammatical strategies – a paradigm of 'modal verbs' (can, will, should, may, must etc.). The combination of these strategies – 'modal collocation' (e.g. may well, could possibly) – has been under-researched and lacks a solid framework. The following facts are the background of my research question: (1) A decline in frequency of the modal verbs; (2) 'Emerging' constructions taking over traditional modal functions (e.g. havta, gonna); (3) A seeming resistance of decline for those modal verbs which co-occur more often with modal adverbs. The proposed research takes a cognitive-functional approach with reference to Construction Grammar. It investigates whether modal collocation should be understood as an emerging construction with strong internal dependencies and a level of schematicity. If this is found, a point can be made that we are dealing with constructional emergence at increasingly more schematic levels – 'constructionalisation'. This, in turn, could explain why the modal verbs that often collocate with modal adverbs have resisted a decline in use. I will additionally investigate whether there is competition between the modal verbs and modal collocation. I hypothesise that several processes of change are at work in modal collocation (e.g. lexicalisation and grammaticalisation), resulting in a continuum of utterances displaying degrees of constructionalisation and different functional uses. I also assume that modal collocation has played a role in the current-day frequencies of modal verbs in English. I will conduct corpus studies on data from Old English until Present Day English, looking into co-occurrence patterns of modal verbs and modal adverbs within the same sentence as well as the individual development of modal (ad)verbs. I will use three parameters for the analysis of constructionalisation (generality, schematicity and productivity) next to parameters traditionally found in grammaticalisation literature. I will also conduct statistical tests, such as collostructional analysis, to back up and elaborate on the findings. Confirming the hypothesis will not only offer insights into the workings of English modality, but it will strengthen the plausibility of constructional approaches to language change, which are still in need of empirical evidence.

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  • Research Project

The interaction between tense and lexical and grammatical aspect. A comparative study of present-time marking in the verbal paradigm. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This project focuses on the interaction between time reference and classes of lexical aspect (actionality) and of grammatical aspect, from a cross-linguistic perspective. It starts from the observation that the actional features of a verb (e.g. the stativity, telicity, punctuality etc. of the situation designated) and its viewpoint aspect (perfective versus imperfective) often determine the way in which present-time reference is brought about. In many languages, stative and imperfective situations can readily be located in the present through the use of what may be called a present-tense marker. With dynamic and perfective situations, on the other hand, this marker will typically be given a non-present interpretation: past or perfect in some languages, future in other languages and in yet other languages a generic or habitual interpretation arises. This project intends to account for the problem of present-time reference with dynamic/perfectivized verbs, to describe in detail the strategies different languages employ to solve this problem, and to examine what the critical variables are in choosing a particular strategy. At the same time, more fine-grained aspectual and actional distinctions will be introduced than the ones employed in previous studies of this subject.

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  • Research Project

A new typology of indefinite pronouns and adverbs. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

The state of the art typology of indefinites (i.e. indefinite pronouns and adverbs) is Haspelmath (1997). Haspelmath proposes a semantic map with nine regions claimed to be identifiable on semantic grounds and hypotheses about how these regions are related to one another, synchronically and diachronically. After a decade and a half, it is time for a revision. There are 3 main reasons, which imply three research objectives. Firstly, detailed studies show aspects of the Haspelmath hypothesis to be wrong. Thus the corrections have to be integrated into a new account, together with what remains valuable from the original account. Secondly, his typology has a strong European bias. The project will be based on a truly world-wide sample. Thirdly, the map is built on shaky foundations: some regions seem to be defined in terms of the meanings of the indefinites, other regions in terms of the contexts. The project will come up with a new geometry and strictly separate meanings from contexts. The project will use the typological method for a survey account, based on a 179-language sample, as well as corpus-linguistic analysis, for a few restricted (diachronic) studies.

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  • Research Project

Modal collocation and how delicate modal systems can be. A cognitive-functional corpus study of semantic and syntactic effects of collocation between modal verbs and modal adverbs in UK and US English. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

The research will investigate the dynamic nature of an aspect of language called 'modality', which enables speakers to assess the truth of what they say in terms of likelihood and obligations. Traditionally, the main recognised grammatical category of modality in English is built up of a paradigm of 'modal verbs' (can, could, will, would, shall, should, may, might and must). English, along with a large number of other languages, also has lexical ('more meaningful') means to express modality, for example 'modal adverbs' (probably, possibly, necessarily, certainly, well, ...).

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  • Research Project

Antwerp Yiddish Noun Plurals (AYNP). 01/09/2012 - 31/08/2013

Abstract

The project will explore structure and acquisition in contemporary Yiddish used by the Jewish Ultra-Orthodox community in Antwerp, Belgium. This community lives in a unique multilingual situation that includes three main languages: Yiddish and Dutch - two living languages competing as native tongues, and Loshn Koydesh (Classical Hebrew) - restricted only for praying and not used for daily communication. Our window onto native Antwerp Yiddish is the system of noun plurals, whereby a singular noun takes on a plural suffix. The aim of the project is two-fold: first, to describe the system of noun plurals as it is currently used by adults, taking into account the intensive contact with Dutch, and second, to understand how this system is acquired by children from the same community.

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  • Research Project

The diachrony of tenses in French. 01/10/2011 - 31/01/2014

Abstract

The project deals with the evolution and grammaticalization of the conditional tense in French. The objective is three-fold. It first seeks to trace the principal changes affecting the usages of this verb form, notably with respect to its contexts of use and the related interpretations. The second aim is to determine the (grammaticalization) processes accounting for these changes, with a focus on the mechanisms triggering the emergence of new uses. Finally the path(s) of grammaticalization will be synthesized by means of a semantic map.

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  • Research Project

Contrastive linguistics: constructional and functional approaches. 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This is a fundamental research project financed by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO). The project was subsidized after selection by the FWO-expert panel.

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  • Research Project

The interaction between tense and lexical and grammatical aspect. A comparative study of present-time marking in the verbal paradigm. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

This project focuses on the interaction between time reference and classes of lexical aspect (actionality) and of grammatical aspect, from a cross-linguistic perspective. It starts from the observation that the actional features of a verb (e.g. the stativity, telicity, punctuality etc. of the situation designated) and its viewpoint aspect (perfective versus imperfective) often determine the way in which present-time reference is brought about. In many languages, stative and imperfective situations can readily be located in the present through the use of what may be called a present-tense marker. With dynamic and perfective situations, on the other hand, this marker will typically be given a non-present interpretation: past or perfect in some languages, future in other languages and in yet other languages a generic or habitual interpretation arises. This project intends to account for the problem of present-time reference with dynamic/perfectivized verbs, to describe in detail the strategies different languages employ to solve this problem, and to examine what the critical variables are in choosing a particular strategy. At the same time, more fine-grained aspectual and actional distinctions will be introduced than the ones employed in previous studies of this subject.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

A new typology of indefinites. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

The state of the art typology of indefinites (i.e. indefinite pronouns and adverbs) is Haspelmath (1997). Haspelmath proposes a semantic map with nine regions claimed to be identifiable on semantic grounds and hypotheses about how these regions are related to one another, synchronically and diachronically. After a decade and a half, it is time for a revision. There are 3 main reasons, which imply three research objectives. Firstly, detailed studies show aspects of the Haspelmath hypothesis to be wrong. Thus the corrections have to be integrated into a new account, together with what remains valuable from the original account. Secondly, his typology has a strong European bias. The project will be based on a truly world-wide sample. Thirdly, the map is built on shaky foundations: some regions seem to be defined in terms of the meanings of the indefinites, other regions in terms of the contexts. The project will come up with a new geometry and strictly separate meanings from contexts. The project will use the typological method for a survey account, based on a 179-language sample, as well as corpus-linguistic analysis, for a few restricted (diachronic) studies.

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

AMITy - The Aspect-Modality Interface: a Typological perspective. 01/09/2009 - 31/08/2011

Abstract

In the last decades, the TAM (Tense-Aspect-Modality) categories, which refer to the three main semantic domains marked on the verb in languages, have been extensively investigated from different linguistic perspectives. One of the burning issues in the domain concerns the interconnections between the categories of Tense, Aspect, and Modality, diachronically and synchronically, at the level of grammar and that of discourse. In this area, it is almost always the interactions between tense - i.e. the location of a situation in past present or future time - and modality - i.e. the expression of the speaker'sattitude towards the content of hislher utterance - which have been explored, with a notable emphasis on the relations between past tense and irrealis / epistemicity. The connections between aspect - the way of viewing the internal structure of a situation - and modality are scarcely studied, however, though the link between certain particular aspectual values (most often the imperfective aspect) and modal meaning have been sporadically pointed in some works. The aim of the proposal is thus to investigate this new topic, i.e. the aspect-modality interface, from a synchronic and typological perspective. More precisely, we will tackle the strategies of aspectual verbal forms that allow a modal interpretation in six European (Romance and Germanic) languages, namely French, Spanish, Italian, English, German and Dutch. The objective is to account, by means of corpus analysis, for the correspondences between aspect and modality in these languages and to give a panorama of the convergences and the differences that exist both within and between each language family.

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  • Research Project

Jespersen's cycle. 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

The term 'Jespersen Cycle' refers to a set of hypotheses on the development of negative markers. The data on which these hypotheses are based come from the standard languages of Europe. The project has two major aims. The first is to look outside of Europe, and the second is to refine the analysis.

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  • Research Project

A diachronic and synchronic study of the imperative in Dutch, English and German. 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2010

Abstract

The subject of this project is the imperative. Our view on the imperative is a broad one: we include first and third person constructions, sometimes referred to as hortatives, and prohibitives. The project consists of two parts: 1. a synchronic study in parallel corpora of Dutch, English and German, 2. a diachronic study in corpora of the same three languages. The main questions are: 1. which functions does the imperative fulfill in Dutch, English and German and what are the differences between these languages?; 2. what other grammatical and/or lexical means do Dutch, English and German use to express the different functions of the imperative in the other languages?; 3. how have the Dutch, English and German imperatives evolved semantically and formally and what are the similarities?

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  • Research Project

Grammaticalization. 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

Grammaticalisaton is the process through which (combinatons) of independent words develop into grammatical markers. The process 'makes' grammar. It is complex process involving phonology, morpho-syntax and semantics. It is one of the 'hot' topics in contemporary diachronic and typological linguistics.Central dimensons of the process, however, demand futher attention. In this project three dimensions will be analyzed further: - the semantic dimension: from objective to subjective and intersubjective meanings - the nature of the process: grammaticalization and analogy - the teleology of the process: is there unidirectionality?

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  • Research Project

Proper names as a grammatical category: a typological study. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2009

Abstract

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  • Research Project

A diachronic and synchronic study of the imperative in Dutch, English and German. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2008

Abstract

The subject of this project is the imperative. Our view on the imperative is a broad one: we include first and third person constructions, sometimes referred to as hortatives, and prohibitives. The project consists of two parts: 1. a synchronic study in parallel corpora of Dutch, English and German, 2. a diachronic study in corpora of the same three languages. The main questions are: 1. which functions does the imperative fulfill in Dutch, English and German and what are the differences between these languages?; 2. what other grammatical and/or lexical means do Dutch, English and German use to express the different functions of the imperative in the other languages?; 3. how have the Dutch, English and German imperatives evolved semantically and formally and what are the similarities?

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  • Research Project

Prohibitives in the world's languages; further exploration of existing data and fine tuning of studies. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2007

Abstract

De term 'prohibiitve' refers to a negative imperative. In most languages of the world, however, the prohibitive is not simply the combination of an ordinary imperative and an ordinary negation. The project attempts to describe and explain the world wide variation.

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  • Research Project

Acquisitive modals, from a Burmese and a typological perspective. 01/01/2006 - 30/06/2006

Abstract

Burmese illustrates that a language can develop an auxiliary of possibility out of a lexical verb meaning 'get'. The path from 'get' to possibility has been neglected in current typological work. The project aims at a description of the facts of Burmese. It also aims at spelling out the cross-linguistic relevance of the Burmese findings.

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  • Research Project

The typology of non-declarative negation. 01/04/2005 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

The project at a typological description and explanation of the combination of negation and mood and modality, more particularly, the combination of negative and the imperative and the interrogative. The work will be based on an areally and genealogically representative sample of ca. 250 languages. The explanation will probably be of a functional-cognitive nature.

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  • Research Project

Argument Structure of BE and Conflation in Romance and Germanic languages. 01/10/2004 - 30/09/2007

Abstract

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  • Research Project

On the origin and development of "relative marking" - with special reference to West African languages. 01/11/2003 - 31/10/2004

Abstract

'Relative marking' is the label given to sets of tense aspect paradigms which are used in clauses with a focus structure (e.g. question word questions or relative clauses) and sometimes also in narrative sequences. This project proposes to carry out an in-depth study of the Chadic languages (in particular Hausa) and addresses the following three questions: (i) What is the extent of the uses of the relative marking ? (ii) What is the origin and the development of relative marking? (iii) What are the other possible correlates of relative marking in languages that have it?

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  • Research Project

The Mediterranean as a linguistic area : Synchronic structures and diachronic processes. 01/10/2003 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

The project will investigate whether or not the languages around the Mediterranean have influenced each other with respect to grammar. The focus will be on phonology and morphology.

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  • Research Project

Predicative categories and information structure. 01/02/2003 - 31/10/2003

Abstract

This project is aimed at a typological study of relations between the predicative categories and informational structure of a sentence. Predicative categories provide a connection between the referential situation (the situation that is spoken about) and the communicative situation (the situation of the discourse). The most common predicative categories are illocutionary force, polarity, mood, tense, person, etc. The notion of informational structure of a sentence covers the information on its theme and rheme, topic and focus, emphatic (contrastive) constituents, etc.

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  • Research Project

Mood and modality. 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

This project investigates the systems of sentence mood and of (deontic and epistemic) modality and their interrelations. There are two parallel lines of investigation: a typological one, involving a 'horizontal' analysis of these systems in 500 languages, and a language specific one, involving a 'vertical' in depth analysis of the systems in Dutch, German and English. The project aims to contribute to theory formation in cognitive-functional approaches to language.

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  • Research Project

Iconicity and the symbolic order of natural language. A study of the principles of iconicity theory on the interface of linguistics and metatheory. 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

The iconicity principle states the structure of language reflects the structure of reality. This principle interacts with other principles. The project aims to describe the scope of the iconicity principle.

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  • Research Project

A historical-philosophical survey of 20th century linguistic semantic analysis, by means of three case studies, as the basis for a synthetic model of contemporary meaning research. 01/10/2002 - 30/09/2003

Abstract

As a scientific discipline, contemporary research into the semantics of natural language is rather fragmented: there is hardly any communication between the different research programs, and often researchers ignore the history of semantics. Geeraerts (1988) located the cognitive semantics research program in the history of lexical semantics. He distinguished four periods, from 1870 up to the present: historical-philological semantic research, structural semantics, logical semantics and cognitive semantics. Even though it is correct that cognitive semantics has been on the rise during the last decades (Peeters 2000:3), it is certainly not the case that it dominates the field of semantic research (cf. the recent developments in Relevance Theory, Discourse Representation Theory, File Change Semantics, the theory related to the Generative Lexicon, Formal Pragmatics, lexicographical research, corpus analyses etc.). More specifically, the importance of these theories is important outside the domain of lexical semantics, and especially Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson 1986, Carston 1998, forthcoming) has been rather successful in the optimalization and integration of so-called "classical" pragmatics (associated with philosophers such as John Austin and Paul Grice) into a general and philosophically cogent theory of meaning. The three other approaches are still very much alive, but unfortunately, communication between the various paradigms is extremely limited. Especially the divide between cognitive semantics and formal semantics is remarkable, but also the position of the many recent developments in linguistic pragmatics is uncertain. The project presented here focuses on this problem and more specifically on the following three aspects: - a survey of the relationships between different paradigms in western semantic research from 1900 up to the present - the evaluation of those paradigms on the basis of their explicit and implicit philosophical presuppositions Moreover, in the recent past there have been some excellent explorations of the historical-comparative filed of linguistics (Gordon 1982, 1993, Schmitter 1990, Nerlich 1992, 1993, 1995, 2000, Geeraerts 1993, Nerlich and Clarke 1994, 2000, Koerner 1995, Swiggers 1997, and the various contributions on the history of semantics to Koerner and Asher (1996) Auroux et al. (2000)). Seuren (1998) contains an extensive survey with reference to the more general linguistic context, Allan (2001) presents a synthesis of a number of insights from cognitive semantics and formal semantics as well as the philosophy of language, and the series Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface (editors: K.M. Jaszczolt and K. Turner) studies how analyses and methods from different subdisciplines can be combined. The studies mentioned above primarily focus on the legacy of 19th century semantic research; with respect to the 20th century researchers have mainly focused on the developments from 1900 to 1950. With respect to the latter period, our project will restrict itself to a search for the roots of later research.

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    • Research Project

    A cross-linguistic study of ideophones. 01/01/2002 - 30/11/2002

    Abstract

    The project aims at supplying (partial) answers to four questions: (a) do ideophones have to be considered as a separate part of speech or do they rather form subclasses of other parts of speech, (b) do ideophones have to defined or classified in terms of phonetic, phonological, morphological or semantic criteria, or does one need a mix? (c) what is the diachrony of ideophones, both in terms of their origin and their degree of integration in grammar and lexicon? (d) can ideophones play a role in syntax?

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      • Research Project

      The Mediterranean as a linguistic area : Synchronic structures and diachronic processes. 01/10/2001 - 30/09/2003

      Abstract

      The project will investigate whether or not the languages around the Mediterranean have influenced each other with respect to grammar. The focus will be on phonology and morphology.

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        Project type(s)

        • Research Project

        A syntactic atlas of the Dutch dialects. 01/09/2001 - 31/08/2003

        Abstract

        The project aims at producing a syntactic atlas of the Dutch dialects around four themes : word order in the clausal left periphery, word order in the clausal right periphery, variation in prenominal reference, and variation in negation and quantification.

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          • Research Project

          Collaboration with V. Plungian at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts. Project: The typology of the pluperfect 01/09/2001 - 31/12/2001

          Abstract

          In the languages of the world the pluperfect is formed in various functions.There is a also a plethora of secondary functions. The point of the project is to do a cross-linguistic analysis of the relation between the form and function of the pluperfect.

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            • Research Project

            The place of truth-conditional semantics in linguistics as the framework of a study of the meaning of English quantifiers, from a theoretical as welf as an empirical perspective. 01/10/2000 - 30/09/2002

            Abstract

            The project is two-fold. On the one hand, I will concentrate on the place of logic and truth-conditional semantics in linguistics, especially focusing on the relationship between literal and non-literal meaning. On the other, I will study the meaning of English quantifiers, and, more specifically, English numerals. The different positions that can be discerned in the literature on quantifiers all (often implicitly) rest on a specific view on the concepts of "literal meaning" and "non-literal meaning". I find none of these positions very attractive. I am convinced of the necessity to define the concepts of "literal" and "non-literal" meaning first, before formulating a view on the meaning of English quantifiers of my own.

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              • Research Project

              Towards a typology of transcategorial operations. 01/10/2000 - 30/06/2001

              Abstract

              Transcategorial operations are processes through which words change word class. They can lose the typical properties of their original class ('decategorization') and they can also acquire the typical properties of a new class ('recategorization'). The purpose of the project is to investigate to what extent the loss and gain of properties can be predicted. The investigation will be based on a sample of the world's languages.

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                • Research Project

                A syntactic atlas of the Dutch dialects 01/01/2000 - 31/12/2003

                Abstract

                The project aims to make a theoretically sound syntactic atlas of the traditional Dutch dialects of Flanders and the Netherlands, with respect to four themes: word order variation in the right periphery of the sentence, word order variation in the left periphery of the sentence, variation in pronominal reference, and variation in negation and quantification. The atlas will comprise 400 maps; each map will be accompanied by an analysis, a discussion of the literature and a sketch of the theoretical relevance.

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                • Research Project

                The typology of the subjunctive 01/11/1999 - 31/10/2000

                Abstract

                The point of the project is to investigate the following three partially overlapping questions:(1) can the notion of subjunctive be defined cross-linguistically? (2) how do the various uses of the subjunctive in the languages of the world relate to each other, synchronically and diachronically? (3) how are meanings expressed by a subjunctive in one language expressed in another language, and and which factors influence this choice?

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                  • Research Project

                  Modality and negation in Tamil and Telugu. 01/10/1999 - 30/06/2000

                  Abstract

                  The project proposes to examine the expression of these different expressions of modality and negation from the point of view of (i) old Tamil, (ii) Modern Tamil and (iii) Modern Spoken Telugu. A comparison of Old Tamil with Modern Tamil would be interesting because in Old Tamil the expression of the distinction of mood and negation is primarily morphological, as it involves several verbal paradigms. On the other hand, modern Tamil uses primarily periphrastic constructions for this purpose. It would be interesting to see how this change from a morphological system to a periphrastic one has affected the expression of the various distinctions of modality and negation.Modern spoken Telugu is rather different than Tamil in that its periphrastic constructions are even more syntactic

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                    • Research Project

                    Modality and grammar. 01/11/1998 - 31/10/2000

                    Abstract

                    This project concerns the investigation of the syntax and semantics of modal expressions in language (with special attention for epistemic modality: estimations of the probability of states of affairs). It features, on the one hand, an in depth analysis of modal expressions in Dutch, German and English on the basis of corpus-analysis and experimental research, and on the other hand a typological analysis of modality in languages of the world. The theoretical aim is to establish how modality should be handled in a cognitively and typologically adequate theory of grammar.

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                      • Research Project

                      The place of truth-conditional semantics in linguistics as the framework of a study of the meaning of English quantifiers, from a theoretical as welf as an empirical perspective. 01/10/1998 - 30/09/2000

                      Abstract

                      The project is two-fold. On the one hand, I will concentrate on the place of logic and truth-conditional semantics in linguistics, especially focusing on the relationship between literal and non-literal meaning. On the other, I will study the meaning of English quantifiers, and, more specifically, English numerals. The different positions that can be discerned in the literature on quantifiers all (often implicitly) rest on a specific view on the concepts of "literal meaning" and "non-literal meaning". I find none of these positions very attractive. I am convinced of the necessity to define the concepts of "literal" and "non-literal" meaning first, before formulating a view on the meaning of English quantifiers of my own.

                      Researcher(s)

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                        • Research Project

                        Modality : typology, cognition and grammar. 01/01/1998 - 31/12/2001

                        Abstract

                        The project attempts to describe and explain the diverse expression formats of modality, across the languages of the world, and to place them in a cognitively inspired grammar.

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                          • Research Project

                          The typology of periphrastic 'do'. 01/01/1998 - 31/12/1998

                          Abstract

                          In various languages the verb `do' developed auxiliary uses. The project aims to contribute towards a description and an explanation of this phenomenon.

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                            • Research Project

                            Modality in the languages of the world. 01/01/1997 - 31/12/1997

                            Abstract

                            The projects investigate the expression of modality, i.e. meanings relating to necessity and possibility, in the languages of the world. Particular attention is given to the more grammaticaliwed expression formats.

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                              • Research Project

                              Modality in the languages of India. 01/10/1996 - 31/12/1998

                              Abstract

                              The project investigates the expression of modality, i.e. meanings relating to necessity and possibility, in the languages of India. Particular attention is given to the more grammaticaliwed expression formats.

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                                • Research Project

                                Modality in lexicon and grammar. 01/10/1996 - 31/03/1997

                                Abstract

                                The project aims to test some recent hypotheses on the lexicalization and grammaticalization of modal notions (necessity and possibility and their negations), on the basis of a sample of the world's languages.

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                                  Cognitive linguistics : grammaticalization and cognition. 01/01/1996 - 31/12/2000

                                  Abstract

                                  The study of grammaticalization in a cognitive perspective (research projects on modality, auxialiarization and typology, non-finite embedding).

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                                    Language universals. 01/10/1995 - 01/10/1997

                                    Abstract

                                    An investigation of syntactic and semantic divergence and convergence in the 5000 languages of the world.

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                                      A study of the linguistic and the conceptual structure of epistemic modality. 01/10/1994 - 30/09/1996

                                      Abstract

                                      Epistemic modality concerns the evaluation by the speaker of a state of affairs in terms of its probability. This semantic component can be expressed in various ways : verbs of propositional attitude, auxiliaries, adverbs and adjectives. The structure and the use are investigated for Dutch, German and English.

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                                        The typology of the modal auxiliary. 01/10/1994 - 31/12/1995

                                        Abstract

                                        It is the aim of the study to describe and explain the differences and similarities between modal auxiliary and systems. Parameters of variation include lexical origin, degree of polyfunctionality, scope and morphological and syntactic anomaly.

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                                          01/01/1994 - 31/12/1994

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                                            Adverbs and particles of change and continuationì 01/01/1993 - 31/12/1993

                                            Abstract

                                            A typological study of adverbial expressions such as already, no longer, and not yet in the 150 languages of Europe

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                                              Typology of converbs in European languages. 01/10/1992 - 30/06/1993

                                              Abstract

                                              An investigation of the morphological, syntactic and semantic divergences and convergences in converbs (participles, gerunds) in the 150 languages of Europe.

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                                                Language typology. 01/10/1991 - 30/09/1995

                                                Abstract

                                                Language typology is the study of similarities and differences in the languages of the world or of an area. Explanations are typological in the strict sense if they ultimately derive from factors in the production or understanding of language or from meaning. Other explanation types are historic-genetic or geoqrafic (language interference). Themes of the research of the coming years include modality adverbial constructions and verbal morphology.

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                                                  01/01/1991 - 31/12/1991

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                                                    Language universals. 01/10/1985 - 30/09/1991

                                                    Abstract

                                                    Investigation of syntactic and semantics correspondences (esp. in European languages).

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                                                      • Research Project