Simple grammars, relative clauses and language change

Project Details


Major Research Fellowship awarded by The Leverhulme Trust £189,332

Layman's description

The project starts from the question why Indo-European languages and their areal neighbours are so surprisingly more likely to have headed relative clauses built around interrogative pro-forms such as ‘who’, ‘whom’, ‘which’ etc. (Wh-words), than any other language family or area, and the project explores research questions in typology, semantics, and language contact. These kinds of relative clause have recurred independently in several Indo-European languages in processes of ‘parallel evolution’, but that finding leaves open the questions of why parallel evolution happens and why these forms are also found in unrelated neighbour languages.
Effective start/end date1/09/2231/08/25


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