• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site
ФКН
Book
The Oxford Handbook of the Languages of the Caucasus
In press

Edited by: M. Polinsky.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

Article
Goal realization: An empirically based comparison between English, German and Greek

Георгакопулос А., Härtl H., Sioupi A.

Languages in Contrast. 2019. Vol. 19. No. 2. P. 280-309.

Book chapter
Head-dependent marking
In press

Lander Yu., Nichols J.

In bk.: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

Lecture 'Possession in North Saami: Rich Morphology in Competition with an Analytic Construction' by Laura Janda

Lecture 'Possession in North Saami: Rich Morphology in Competition with an Analytic Construction' by Laura Janda

On May 13 a lecture 'Possession in North Saami: Rich Morphology in Competition with an Analytic Construction' by Laura Janda (the University of Tromsø, Norway) took place at HSE. The event was organized by the School of Linguistics.

Abstract

North Saami (a Finno-Ugric language spoken by about 20,000 people in Northern Scandinavia) is replacing the use of possessive suffixes on nouns with an analytic construction. Our data (>30K examples culled from >10M words) track this change through time and parameters of syntax, semantics, frequency, genre, and geography. Since this change follows an S-curve, the most important factor should be differential weighting of the two linguistic variants. Although language change is unquestionably different from biological evolution, we challenge the assertion that it must be driven by social values alone. We find evidence of both inherent and socially conditioned fitness values. The innovative variant may be inherently more fit because it has a wider syntactic and semantic range and is indispensable, whereas its competitor can always be replaced. Furthermore, intense pressure on this minority language conditions a fitness advantage for the innovative construction, which is morphologically simpler. There is evidence that the possessive suffix is being reinterpreted as a vocative derivational morpheme. 
Video of the lecture (Youtube)