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  • 1.
    Dahl, Östen
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Perfects and iamitives: two gram types in one grammatical space2016In: Letras de Hoje, ISSN 0101-3335, E-ISSN 1984-7726, Vol. 51, no 3, p. 325-348Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates the grammatical space of the two gram types – perfects and iamitives. Iamitives (from Latin iam ‘already’) overlap in their use with perfects but differ in that they can combine with stative predicates to express a state that holds at reference time. Iamitives differ from ‘already’ in having a higher frequency and showing a strong tendency to be grammaticalized with natural development predicates. We argue that iamitives can grammaticalize from expressions for ‘already’. In this study, we extract perfect grams and iamitive grams iteratively starting with two groups of seed grams from a parallel text corpus (the New Testament) in 1107 languages. We then construct a grammatical space of the union of 370 extracted grams by means of Multidimensional Scaling. This grammatical space of perfects and iamitives turns out to be a continuum without sharp boundaries anywhere.

  • 2.
    Di Garbo, Francesca
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Olsson, BrunoWälchli, BernhardStockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity: Volume I: General issues and specific studies2019Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The many facets of grammatical gender remain one of the most fruitful areas of linguistic research, and pose fascinating questions about the origins and development of complexity in language. The present work is a two-volume collection of 13 chapters on the topic of grammatical gender seen through the prism of linguistic complexity. The contributions discuss what counts as complex and/or simple in grammatical gender systems, whether the distribution of gender systems across the world’s languages relates to the language ecology and social history of speech communities. Contributors demonstrate how the complexity of gender systems can be studied synchronically, both in individual languages and over large cross-linguistic samples, and diachronically, by exploring how gender systems change over time. In addition to three chapters on the theoretical foundations of gender complexity, volume one contains six chapters on grammatical gender and complexity in individual languages and language families of Africa, New Guinea, and South Asia.

    This volume is complemented by volume two, which consists of three chapters providing diachronic and typological case studies, followed by a final chapter discussing old and new theoretical and empirical challenges in the study of the dynamics of gender complexity.

  • 3.
    Di Garbo, Francesca
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Olsson, BrunoWälchli, BernhardStockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity: Volume II: World-wide comparative studies2019Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The many facets of grammatical gender remain one of the most fruitful areas of linguistic research, and pose fascinating questions about the origins and development of complexity in language. The present work is a two-volume collection of 13 chapters on the topic of grammatical gender seen through the prism of linguistic complexity. The contributions discuss what counts as complex and/or simple in grammatical gender systems, whether the distribution of gender systems across the world’s languages relates to the language ecology and social history of speech communities. Contributors demonstrate how the complexity of gender systems can be studied synchronically, both in individual languages and over large cross-linguistic samples, and diachronically, by exploring how gender systems change over time. Volume two consists of three chapters providing diachronic and typological case studies, followed by a final chapter discussing old and new theoretical and empirical challenges in the study of the dynamics of gender complexity.

    This volume is preceded by volume one, which, in addition to three chapters on the theoretical foundations of gender complexity, contains six chapters on grammatical gender and complexity in individual languages and language families of Africa, New Guinea, and South Asia.

  • 4. Ender, Andrea
    et al.
    Leemann, Adrian
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Introduction2012In: Methods in Contemporary Linguistics / [ed] Andrea Ender, Adrian Leemann, Bernhard Wälchli, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2012, p. 1-17Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5. Ender, Andrea
    et al.
    Leemann, AdrianWälchli, BernhardStockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Methods in Contemporary Linguistics2012Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The present volume is a broad overview of methods and methodologies in linguistics, illustrated with examples from concrete research. It collects insights gained from a broad range of linguistic sub-disciplines, ranging from core-disciplines to topics in cross-linguistic and language-internal diversity or contributions towards language, space and society.

  • 6. Ender, Andrea
    et al.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The making of a festschrift, is it a ritual?2012In: Methods in Contemporary Linguistics / [ed] Ender, Andrea & Leemann, Adrian & Wälchli, Bernhard, De Gruyter Mouton , 2012, p. 143-167Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The Circum-Baltic languages: an areal-typological approach2001In: The Circum-Baltic languages: typology and contact. Vol. 2 Grammar and typology / [ed] Östen Dahl, Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2001, p. 615-750Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 8. Mayer, Thomas
    et al.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Rohrdantz, Christian
    Hund, Michael
    From the extraction of continuous features in parallel texts to visual analytics of heterogeneous areal-typological datasets2014In: Language Processing and Grammars: The role of functionally oriented computational models / [ed] Brian Nolan & Carlos Periñán-Pascual, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2014, p. 13-38Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we show that functionally motivatedprocedural approaches may help to automatically extract typological featuresfrom texts. This idea is illustrated with measuring cross-linguistic variationin the domain of morphological typology based on parallel texts. Second, wedemonstrate that the methodology developed in the field of visual analyticsallows for detecting patterns or regularities in the automatically extractedfeatures. At the heart of our approach lies an extended sunburst visualization,which enables a cross-comparison of a large number of features within thecontext of language genealogy and areal information. We provide evidence of theusefulness of the present approach with case studies where the visualizations ofthe extracted features reveal interesting insights.

  • 9.
    Miestamo, Matti
    et al.
    Allmän språkvetenskap /General linguistics Helsingfors universitet.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Introduction2007In: New challenges in typology: Broadening the horizons and redefining the foundations / [ed] Miestamo, Matti; Wälchli, Bernhard, Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2007, p. 1-8Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Miestamo, Matti
    et al.
    Allmän språkvetenskap /General linguistics Helsingfors universitet.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    New challenges in typology: Broadening the horizons and redefining the foundations2007Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 11. Rohrdantz, Christian
    et al.
    Hund, Michael
    Mayer, Thomas
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Keim, Daniel A.
    The World's Languages Explorer: Visual Analysis of Language Features in Genealogical and Areal Contexts2012In: Computer graphics forum (Print), ISSN 0167-7055, E-ISSN 1467-8659, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 935-944Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a novel Visual Analytics approach that helps linguistic researchers to explore the world's languages with respect to several important tasks: (1) The comparison of manually and automatically extracted language features across languages and within the context of language genealogy, (2) the exploration of interrelations among several of such features as well as their homogeneity and heterogeneity within subtrees of the language genealogy, and (3) the exploration of genealogical and areal influences on the features. We introduce the World's Languages Explorer, which provides the required functionalities in one single Visual Analytics environment. Contributions are made for different parts of the system: We introduce an extended Sunburst visualization whose so-called feature-rings allow for a cross-comparison of a large number of features at once, within the hierarchical context of the language genealogy. We suggest a mapping of homogeneity measures to all levels of the hierarchy. In addition, we suggest an integration of information from the areal data space into the hierarchical data space. With our approach we bring Visual Analytics research to a new application field, namely Historical Comparative Linguistics, and Linguistic and Areal Typology. Finally, we provide evidence of the good performance of our system in this area through two application case studies conducted by domain experts.

  • 12. Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt
    et al.
    Wälchli, BernhardStockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Aggregating dialectology, typology, and register analysis: linguistic variation in text and speech2014Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This volume aims to overcome sub-disciplinary boundaries in the study of linguistic variation - be it language-internal or cross-linguistic. Even though dialectologists, register analysts, typologists, and quantitative linguists all deal with linguistic variation, there is astonishingly little interaction across these fields. But the fourteen contributions in this volume show that these subdisciplines actually share many interests and methodological concerns in common. The chapters specifically converge in the following ways: First, they all seek to explore linguistic variation, within or across languages. Second, they are based on usage data, that is, on corpora of (more or less) authentic text or speech of different languages or language varieties. Third, all chapters are concerned with the joint analysis (also sometimes known as “aggregation” or “data synthesis”) of multiple phenomena, features, or measurements of some sort. And lastly, the contributors all marshal quantitative analysis techniques to analyse the data. In short, the volume explores the text-feature-aggregation pipeline in variation studies, demonstrating that there is much mutual inspiration to be had by thinking outside the disciplinary box.

  • 13. Wiemer, Björn
    et al.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Contact-induced grammatical change: Diverse phenomena, diverse perspectives2012In: Grammatical Replication and Borrowability in Language Contact / [ed] Wiemer, Björn & Wälchli, Bernhard & Hansen, Björn, Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton , 2012, p. 3-64Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 14. Wiemer, Björn
    et al.
    Wälchli, BernhardStockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.Hansen, Björn
    Grammatical Replication and Borrowability in Language Contact2012Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The volume presents new insights into two basic theoretical issues hotly debated in recent work on grammaticalization and language contact: grammatical replication and grammatical borrowability. The key issues are: How can grammatical replication be distinguished from other, superficially similar processes of contact-induced linguistic change, and under what conditions does it take place? Are there grammatical morphemes or constructions that are more easily borrowed than others, and how can language contact account for areal biases in borrowing (vs. calquing) of grammatical formatives? The book is a major contribution to the ongoing theoretical discussion concerning the relationship between grammaticalization and language contact on a broad empirical basis.

  • 15.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Algorithmic typology and going from known to similar unknown categories within and across languages2014In: Algorithmic typology and going from known to similar unknowncategories within and across languages: Linguistic Variation in Text and Speech / [ed] Benedikt Smrecsanyi & Bernhard Wälchli, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014, p. 355-393Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper introduces three algorithms for the extraction of lexical and grammatical markers in parallel texts. The starting point for all of them is that trigger distributions are used as semantic cues. Automatic processing chains apply the same procedures (so-called “procedural universals”) to directly comparable texts of all languages. The domain-internal distribution of markers is usually highly diverse cross-linguistically due to polymorphy (there are many markers instantiating the same domain, but which also expressother meanings at the same time). Polymorphy structures a domain into subdomains in cross-linguistically different ways, and this structure canbe used for the aggregation of markers into cross-linguistically recurrent marker types and for assessing the domain-specific similarity relationships between languages.

  • 16.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    'As long as’, 'until' and 'before' clauses: Zooming in on linguistic diversity2019In: Baltic Linguistics, ISSN 2081-7533, Vol. 9, p. 141-236Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates 'before', 'until' and 'as long as' clauses in the Baltic languages in their wider areal and genealogical context in a sample of 72 modern and ancient doculects of European and Indo-European languages. In a bottom-up construction of the semantic map of 'before', 'until' and 'as long as' connectors from parallel text data, a fourth cluster intermediate between 'before' and 'until' with negative main clauses is identified. The typology resulting from the different overlaps of clusters locates Baltic languages in an intermediate zone between Western, Eastern, and Northern European languages. This goes hand-in-hand with a high diversity of Baltic languages in their typology of 'before', 'until' and 'as long as' clauses. The temporal connectors found in Baltic varieties can be classified according to whether they originate from strategies expressing temporal identity (simultaneity) or non-identity (non-simultaneity). Many connectors in Baltic derive from correlative constructions and originally express identity, but can then shift from simultaneity towards posteriority as they gradually lose their association with correlative constructions. Since temporal clauses are never atemporal and are hence incompatible with permanent states and since negation often expresses permanent states, negation—a marker of non-identity—is prone to develop non-polarity functions in 'before' and 'until' clauses. The Baltic and Slavic languages are rich in various kinds of expanded negation (translation equivalents in other languages lack negation) and expletive negation (negation does not have the function of expressing negative polarity) in 'before' and 'until' clauses. However, indefinite negative pronouns often retain their negative semantic value when standard negation in temporal clauses is expanded and semantically bleached.

  • 17.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Co-compounds2015In: Word-formation: an international handbook of the languages of Europe / [ed] Müller, Peter O., Ohnheiser, Ingeborg, Olsen, Susan, Rainer, Franz, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2015, p. 707-727Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Grammaticalization clines in space: Zooming in on synchronic traces of diffusion processes2012In: Grammatical Replication and Borrowability in Language Contact / [ed] Wiemer, Björn & Wälchli, Bernhard & Hansen, Björn, Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton , 2012, p. 233-272Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Indirect measurement in morphological typology2012In: Methods in Contemporary Linguistics / [ed] Ender, Andrea & Leemann, Adrian & Wälchli, Bernhard, Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton , 2012, p. 69-92Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Ištiktukai "eventives": the Baltic precursors of ideophones and why they remain unknown in typology2015In: Contemporary approaches to Baltic linguistics / [ed] Peter Arkadiev, Axel Holvoet, Björn Wiemer, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2015, p. 491-521Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Logophoricity in Eastern Vidzeme: The Literary Latvian idiolect of Andrievs Niedra and Leivu Estonian2015In: Baltic Linguistics, ISSN 2081-7533, Vol. 6, p. 141-192Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Eastern Vidzeme is an important, hitherto neglected, area for the study of logophoricity in the Circum-Baltic languages. This paper shows, on the one hand, that logophoricity in Latvian is not restricted to Latgalian dialects, but is almost fully consistent in the writings of the novelist Andrievs Niedra (1871–1942) originating from Tirza, and on the other hand, that Leivu Estonian, a moribund South Estonian language island in Northeastern Vidzeme between Gulbene and Alūksne, is the only Estonian variety having developed a logophoric pronoun.

    Given the high diversity of logophoricity in Latvian, it is important to study idiolects with large corpora, and written language deserves more study. Like Finnish dialects and Leivu Estonian, Niedra’s idiolect uses logophoric pronouns even for marking the report addressee in questions. Unlike in the Latgalian tales discussed by Nau (2006), logophoricity can be extended beyond the domain of report to thought. A distinction between allophoric (frame and report speaker are different) and autophoric reports (frame and report speaker are the same) is introduced. It is argued that logophoric pronouns are a non-deictic and non-coreference-based strategy to mark reports, that their function is not primarily reference tracking, and that logophoric pronouns in Latvian are constructionalized rather than grammaticalized.

  • 22.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Morphosemantics, constructions, algorithmic typology and parallel texts2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Unlike morphology (the internal formal structure of words) and semantics (the study of the meaning of words and sentences), morphosemantics is concerned with the link between marker and meaning. Traditional approaches to morphosemantics such as semiotics and construction grammar argue that the relationship between image acoustique and concept is symbolic. This works well if the links are known (in the “proficiency mode”). In this talk I argue that there is a statistical alternative which is particularly useful if the links are not known (in the “discovery mode”). Meanings and markers form collocations in texts which can be measured by means of collocation measures. However, there is a considerable non-isomorphism between marker and meaning. As is well known a marker can have many different meanings (polysemy). Somewhat less well known is that a meaning is often expressed by many different markers, both paradigmatically and syntagmatically (polymorphy).

    To make meanings and markers commensurable, they must be converted into units of the same kind. This same kind is the set of contexts in a text or corpus where a marker or meaning occurs. If the distribution of a meaning in a corpus is known, its corresponding marker complex can be determined which consists of a paradigmatically and syntagmatically ordered set of simple markers. The markers considered here are surface markers of two types: word forms and morphs (continuous character strings within word forms). More abstract marker types such as lexemes, grammatical categories and word classes might often be better markers than surface markers, but they are not available in the discovery mode.

    Marker complexes are a simple construction type. A procedural approach to construction grammar is adopted where marker complexes are viewed as an intermediate stage in a processing chain of increasingly more complex construction types from simple markers via marker complexes to syntactic constructions. Marker complexes have the advantage that they can be extracted automatically from massively parallel texts, i.e. translations of the same text into many languages, such as the New Testament used here. In parallel texts the same meanings (with certain restrictions) are expressed across different languages. This means that a functional domain can be defined as a set of contexts where a certain meaning occurs.

    The same procedure is applied to cross-linguistically similar material and the procedure applied to cross-linguistic data is fully explicit and therefore replicable. It can be implemented in a computer program and run without the intervention of a typologist (algorithmic typology). The underlying idea is that the procedure of extraction is invariant (procedural universal) whereas the extracted structures can be highly variable depending on the texts and languages to which they are applied.

    The talk considers to what extent surface markers are sufficient as input for the identification of constructions in a range of grammatical and lexical domains in a world-wide convenience sample of somewhat more than 50 languages. One of the domains considered in more detail is comparison of inequality. Comparison of inequality is expressed in most languages of the sample by an at least bipartite marker complex consisting of the parts standard marker (‘than’) and predicate intensifier (‘more’, ‘-er’). It will be argued here that both of them are intrinsic parts of the comparative construction. These findings are not fully in accordance with Leon Stassen’s typology of comparison – a classical study in functional domain typology – which is based exclusively on the encoding of the standard NP. Other domains considered in the talk include negation, ‘want’, future, and predicative possession.

  • 23.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Non-specific, specific and obscured perception verbs in Baltic languages2016In: Baltic Linguistics, ISSN 2081-7533, Vol. 7, p. 53-135Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Opportunistic perception verbs (‘see’, ‘hear’, as opposed to explorative perception verbs, ‘look’, ‘listen’) express the opportunity for perception and are condition-oriented (exposure, i.e. the perceiver’s exposure to a percept), not participant-oriented, in their aspectual structure. The Baltic languages, as other languages in Central, East, and Northern Europe, have specific perception verbs, which are a subtype of opportunistic perception verbs, for the expression of restricted exposure. The lexical character of specificity in Baltic—unlike Russian where it is integrated into a rigid grammatical aspect system—is more favorable for uncovering the underlying semantic factors of specificity, which differ across perceptual systems. Restrictedness of exposure is a scale rather than a dichotomy, and cross-linguistic comparison in parallel texts reveals that specificity is a scale with much variation as to where the borderline between specific and non-specific perception verbs is drawn in the languages of the area. Obscured perception verbs, which emphasize difficulty in discrimination, are another set of condition-oriented perception verbs in Baltic and Russian and are closely related to specific verbs synchronically and diachronically.

    This paper describes non-specific, specific, and obscured perception verbs in the Baltic languages and attempts to capture their variability within six dimensions (morphology, area, diachrony, specificity, modality, obscured verbs). A precondition for this endeavor is a critique of earlier approaches to the semantics of perception verbs. Nine major biases are identified (nominalism, physiology, discrete features, vision, paradigmatic modelling, aspectual event types, dual nature models, participant orientation, and viewing activity as control). In developing an alternative, the approach greatly profits from Gibson’s ecological psychology and Rock’s theory of indirect perception. 

  • 24.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The dynamicity of stative resultatives2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 25.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The extension of person name markers to noun class markers2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Using a diverse convenience sample with languages from all continents, this paper explores how noun class markers can develop from person name markers or from personal pronouns via person name markers.

    Person name markers can grammaticalize from nouns or from personal pronouns. They can have or lack sex distinctions. In some languages they cumulate with case or topic. Noun classes fall into gender and classifiers, which typologists find increasingly difficult to distinguish. Gender tends to be more grammaticalized, which is largely due to cumulation with another grammatical category, notably number, case and/or person. Instances of recent origin of gender, such as animacy in Slavic, where gender has developed from different object marking and has travelled down the animacy hierarchy from pronouns to proper names and further to appellative humans and animals, as can be observed in Old Russian and Russian, demonstrate that the tight interaction of gender with case, number or person can date back to the origin of the gender category, and need not be a secondary development from classifiers.

    A first step in the extension of person name markers is older kinship terms, notably ‘father’ and ‘mother’ and human interrogatives ‘who?’. Person name markers can then further develop to uniqueness markers. There are several instances where non-canonical noun class systems can be shown to have originated from person name markers, notably Nalca (Mek, Trans-New Guinea phylum), Owa (Oceanic, Austronesian) and Mopan Maya.

    In a wide range of languages from different places in the world, noun class markers are so-called pronominal articles, which means that noun class markers have the same form as third person pronouns and have developed from third person pronouns. Interestingly, many languages with pronominal articles use pronominal articles with proper names. This suggests that pronominal articles can grammaticalize via person name markers.

  • 26.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The feminine anaphoric gender gram, incipient gender marking, maturity, and extracting anaphoric gender markers from parallel texts2019In: Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity: Volume II: World-wide comparative studies / [ed] Francesca Di Garbo, Bruno Olsson, Bernhard Wälchli, Berlin: Language Science Press, 2019, p. 61-131Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to carry out a typological study of feminine anaphoric gender grams (such as English she/her) in a large world-wide convenience sample of 816 languages based on a strictly procedural definition. The investigation pursues a radically functional approach where the functional equivalence of the forms under study is assured by exploring an identical search space in parallel texts (translations of the New Testament) in all languages of the sample. This is the first large scale typological study of grammatical gender based on parallel texts, and a large part of the paper is devoted to methodological aspects. The study shows that gender has a functional core like any other grammatical category, and that it can at least partly be studied without resort to the notions of noun class, agreement and system. The results show that a large number of languages possess simple forms of gender, often representing incipient gender from a grammaticalization perspective. The paper discusses how simple gender differs from more mature and genealogically more stable forms of anaphoric gender. Finally the feminine anaphoric gram type is considered in its wider context, reconciling it to the traditional global approach focusing on the notions of system, noun class and agreement.

  • 27.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The incomplete story of feminine gender loss in Northwestern Latvian dialects2017In: Baltic Linguistics, ISSN 2081-7533, Vol. 8, p. 143-214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to show that Northwestern Latvian dialects (also called Tamian) are insufficiently characterized by placing them on a simple linear hierarchy of feminine gender loss, which is how they are traditionally approached in Latvian dialectology. While Lithuanian and Central and High Latvian dialects all have very similar and fairly canonical gender systems, various Northwestern Latvian dialects display a wealth of underexplored non-canonical gender properties, such as the reactivated topic marker gender relic, honorific feminine gender, pronominal adjectives behaving differently from attributive adjectives, the noun ‘boy’ turning into a hybrid feminine noun, and a third controller gender restricted to some diminutives. Feminine gender loss is traditionally explained by Livonian (Finnic) substrate. It is shown in this paper that the developments in NW Latvian have multiple causes, one of them being apocope (loss of short vowels infinal syllables), a common feature of NW Latvian dialects which prompted many developments making NW Latvian different from Central Latvian dialects and which is also ultimately due to language contact. Apocope and other developments made the system more complex. The non-canonical gender properties described in this paper are the effect of subsequent developments reducing system complexity again.

  • 28.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The morphologization of negation constructions in Nalca (Mek, Tanah Papua), or, how nothing easily moves to the middle of a word2018In: Linguistics, ISSN 0024-3949, E-ISSN 1613-396X, Vol. 56, no 6, p. 1413-1461Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Mek language Nalca has undergone a rapid synthetization of verbal negation by way of two successive stages of asymmetric negation, the first one involving referential zeroing with a verbal noun, the second one reintroducing person marking with an auxiliary in analogy to non-verbal predicates. This development can be traced in texts in the more conservative closely related Mek language Eipo. Referential zeroing originally had the connotation of absolute negation (more than the denial of one specific event). As Nalca negation was integrated into inflectional morphology, it developed some of the hallmarks of autonomous morphology - morphomes and empty morphs. Nalca negation illustrates how grammaticalization and analogy can go hand-in-hand. The fusion of verbal negation is a case of the morphologization of a construction which does not occur in isolation but in concert with other similar processes, together entailing a fragmentation of negation marking. Finally, the Nalca development shows that cases of fusion of verbal negation must be taken into account when dealing with the interplay of existential negation and verbal negation in terms of cyclic processes.

  • 29.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The rise of gender in Nalca (Mek, Tanah Papua): The drift towards the canonical gender attractor2018In: Non-canonical gender systems / [ed] Sebastian Fedden, Jenny Audring, Greville G. Corbett, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, p. 68-99Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 30.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Cysouw, Michael
    Lexical typology through similarity semantics: Toward a semantic map of motion verbs2012In: Linguistics, ISSN 0024-3949, E-ISSN 1613-396X, Vol. 50, no 3, p. 671-710Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses a multidimensional probabilistic semantic map of lexical motion verb stems based on data collected from parallel texts (viz. translations of the Gospel according to Mark) for 100 languages from all continents. The crosslinguistic diversity of lexical semantics in motion verbs is illustrated in detail for the domain of 'go', 'come', and 'arrive' type contexts. It is argued that the theoretical bases underlying probabilistic semantic maps from exemplar data are the isomorphism hypothesis (given any two meanings and their corresponding forms in any particular language, more similar meanings are more likely to be expressed by the same form in any language), similarity semantics (similarity is more basic than identity), and exemplar semantics (exemplar meaning is more fundamental than abstract concepts).

  • 31.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Di Garbo, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The dynamics of gender complexity2019In: Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity: Volume II: World-wide comparative studies / [ed] Francesca Di Garbo, Bruno Olsson, Bernhard Wälchli, Berlin: Language Science Press, 2019, p. 201-364Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this chapter we view grammatical gender as a category type that emerges, evolvesand disappears in languages as a result of diachronic processes and whose complex-ity grows and diminishes through time (§1–§2). Traditional approaches to gram-matical gender focus on two properties that already presuppose a high degree ofmaturity of gender systems: noun classes and agreement. Here we conceive of gen-der rather as a category type with a semantic core of animacy and/or sex reflectingclasses of referents, which have a propensity to turn into classes of noun lexemes.When growing and retracting, gender characteristically follows the animacy or in-dividuation hierarchy. However, this hierarchical patterning breaks down whenanimacy leaks into the inanimate domain led astray by many different associativepathways, which is why lexical organization according to noun classes has to beinvoked to maintain some sort of order (§3). Gender manifests itself in the form ofmarking on noun-associated words, often within the local domain of noun phrases.Here we put gender marking into the wider context of nominal morphology (non-lexical markers within the noun phrase), which often originate in independent usein headless noun phrases and are extended to headed noun phrases only in a sub-sequent development (§4). As more mature manifestations of gender get organizedin the form of noun classes, they typically follow certain pathways of develop-ment that can be subsumed under the formula “From X to Y” (§5–§6). Agreementis fuzzy as its prototypical non-noun targets gradually develop by way of decate-gorialization from nouns, and controllers and targets are not always simple words,but can be complex (consist of syntactic formal groups) and controllers can be en-tirely contextual (§7). Gender should not be considered in isolation as it is – moreoften than not – parasitic on other grammatical category types, notably number,case, and person, with which it cumulates and which contribute to its high degreeof complexity (§8). Number is particularly tightly intertwined with gender in plu-ralia tantum and other phenomena related to lexical plurality (§9). As gender isorganized in form of systems, its diachronic evolution cannot be captured in termsof individual diachronic processes. When gender systems evolve, there is virtuallyalways co-evolution of connected events. Hence the study of system evolution isindispensable for understanding the complexity of gender (§10). However, the evo-lution of gender also displays characteristic areal and genealogical patterns and issensitive to external factors of language ecology (§11).

  • 32.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Ender, Andrea
    Wörter2013In: Sprachwissenschaft: Grammatik – Interaktion – Kognition / [ed] Peter Auer, Stuttgart: Verlag J. B. Metzler, 2013, p. 91-135Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 33.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Olsson, Bruno
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Exploring the cross-linguistic relationship between resultative constructions and participles2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt
    Introduction: The text-feature-aggregation pipeline in variation studies2014In: Aggregating Dialectology, Typology, and Register Analysis: Linguistic Variation in Text and Speech / [ed] Benedikt Szmrecsanyi & Bernhard Wälchli, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014, p. 1-25Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Sölling, Arnd
    The encoding of motion events: Building typology bottom-up from text data in many languages2013In: Variation and Change in the Encoding of Motion Events / [ed] Juliana Goschler & Anatol Stefanowitsch, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2013, p. 77-113Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates eleven fundamental questions of motion event encoding from a massively cross-linguistic (i.e. typological) perspective in a bottom-up approach in parallel and original texts making use of quantitative and qualitative methods and various visualization methods. It is found that motion events can be encoded by lexical and grammatical means, by words and morphemes and tend to be expressed by constructions rather than simple markers (distributional spatial semantics). It is argued that local decomposition is more appropriate to address the semantics of motion events than global decomposition and that motion event typology consists of continuous rather than discrete variables. In motion event typology there are many features with only weak correlations (high heterogeneity). Both universal and culture-dependent aspects of motion event encoding are identified and areal trends in motion event typology are addressed (notably the deviant behavior of the North American continent).

  • 36.
    Wälchli, Bernhard
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    von Waldenfels, Ruprecht
    University of Bern.
    Measuring morphosemantic language distance in parallel texts2013In: Approaches to Measuring Linguistic Differences / [ed] Lars Borin & Anju Saxena, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2013, p. 475-506Chapter in book (Refereed)
1 - 36 of 36
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