Diss.: Nonverbal predication in Erzya / Guest lecture on primary-data typology in Helsinki

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at
Thu May 27 07:21:37 UTC 2010

Dear All,

Rigina Turunen will defend her PhD thesis "Nonverbal predication in Erzya :
Studies on morphosyntactic variation and part of speech distinctions" at the
university of Helsinki on June 4th, 2010 (see the university event calendar
for more information:
http://helsinginyliopisto.etapahtuma.fi/Default.aspx?tabid=304&id=973 ). The
dissertation will be available in electronic form at
https://oa.doria.fi/handle/10024/61618 .

The opponent, Prof. Bernhard Wälchli (Bern), will give a guest lecture on
in lecture hall 7, Unioninkatu 40 (Metsätalo), on the day before, Thursday
June 3rd, from 12:00 to 14:00. The abstract of his talk is attached to the
end of this message.

All interested listeners in Helsinki (or within a reasonable distance ;-))
are welcome.


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johanna Laakso
Universität Wien, EVSL Abteilung Finno-Ugristik
Campus AAKH Spitalgasse 2-4 Hof 7
A-1090 Wien
johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at | http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Johanna.Laakso/
Tel. +43 1 4277 43019 | Fax +43 1 4277 9430
Bernhard Wälchli (Bern)

Typology is often criticized for not fully doing justice to data:
"Namely, instead of describing all the variation, the diverse
constructions and systems become forced into general patterns"
(Turunen 2010: 157 ( https://oa.doria.fi/handle/10024/61618 )). In this
talk I will argue that this is mainly a problem of secondary-data
typology, and might, at least partly, be overcome by primary-data
typology, which allows for less data reduction and for approaches to
typology not resulting in classifications of languages into a small
number of discrete types.

Primary-data typology is a cover term for all typological data
collection processes based on primary sources rather than reference
grammars (and other descriptions) and on exemplars rather than
abstractions. Possible data sources include translational
questionnaires, non-verbal questionnaires, retold stories, parallel
texts and original texts. I will present aspects of four different
case studies dealing with co-compounds, lexicalization patterns in
motion events, positional states, and morphological typology. All
studies considered are based on world-wide samples, but the
presentation acknowledges the particular contribution from Finno-Ugric
languages, hereby illustrating that Uralic studies would have much to
contribute to primary-data typology.

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