AG 7: Syntaktische Variation: Theorien und Methoden
Raum IG 454 (Erdgeschoss)
Freitag, 09.03.2012, 13.00 bis 13.30 Uhr
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Franziska Maria Hack
University of Oxford
Question formation in Northern Italy — a case for dialect syntax, typology and linguistic theorizing
In recent years, focus has shifted from the investigation of standard languages to non-standard varieties and researchers have become aware of the importance of relating research into syntactic microvariation to general typological principles and tendencies (cf. Siemund 2001, Kortmann 2004). In line with this approach, this paper brings together the micro-perspective (dialect syntax) and the macro-perspective (grammatical theory and typology) on linguistic variation by studying question formation in varieties of northern Italy.
The first part of the paper deals with methodological issues of how to collect and elicitate microsyntactic data in an appropriate way. Problems and ways to overcome these will be discussed on the basis of recent fieldwork studies of my own.
In the second part of the talk, I show how research into syntactic microvariation can help (a) to refine typological overviews and generalizations and (b) to correct principles and models proposed in grammatical theory such as Cheng’s (1997) Clausal Typing Hypothesis. Drawing on data from Northern Italian varieties, I show that some of these principles, which are claimed to apply cross-linguistically, do not, in fact, hold.
Moreover, I shall also address the issue of how we should treat variation in typological overviews. If we take syntactic variation research as a division of labour between dialect syntacticians on the microsyntactic level and typologists on the cross-linguistic level, which variant should the microsyntactician pass on to the typologist and which additional information should be provided?
Cheng, Lisa Lai-Shen (1997): On the Typology of Wh-Questions. New York & London: Garland Publishing.
Kortmann, Bernd (Hg.) (2004): Dialectology meets Typology. Dialect Grammar from a Cross- Linguistic Perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Siemund, Peter (2001): Interrogative constructions. In: Burkhard, Armin, Hugo Steger & Herbert Ernst Wiegand (Hg.): Language Typology and Language Universals. An International Handbook [= Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft , Vol. 20.2]. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, 1010–1028.