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Project Grammatical periphery in the languages of the world:

a typological study of caritives

The project presents a typological study of caritives — a cluster of meanings describing the absence of an object at the disposal of some participant of the situation, cf. Russian rebenok prishel bez roditelej ‘the child came without [his] parents’, komnata bez okon ‘a room without windows’, etc.. These meanings are located at the junction of several different levels of the language: grammatical semantics, syntax, morphology, lexicon, so their typological study is particularly interesting and relevant.
Traditionally, linguistic typology has mostly studied those meanings that are expressed by core grammatical markers (in the case of grammatical typology) or by content words (in the case of lexical typology), so addressing more peripheral meanings not only introduces new material, but also augments the scientific novelty of the project. The study will be conducted on the basis of a representative sample of the world's languages, including at least 100 languages. The sample will include the languages of the following language groups and families: Indo-European, Uralic, Altaic, Paleo-Asiatic, North Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian, Dravidian, Sino-Tibetan, Austro-Asian, and some other.
Traditionally, typological studies have been conducted using secondary sources (grammatical descriptions, dictionaries) or using questionnaires. Recently, corpora of various languages (including small or non-standard language varieties) have been actively developed, which gives new opportunities for carrying out linguistic research (including typological research).
It is the use of the corpus data that determines the relevance of the methodology proposed in this project.
The grammatical parameters that determine the expression of caritive semantics in the selected languages will be
compared. The obtained results, in addition to a traditional verbal description, will be visualized in the form of semantic maps and NeighborNets.
The scientific novelty of the proposed study is determined primarily by the absence of typological and general theoretical studies of caritives, and also by the lack of studies of the peripheral area of grammar in general in the typological perspective.​

Supported by the Russian Science Foundation, grant 18-78-10058.

The project is carried out at the Institute for Linguistic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences.