Summary: Typological studies based on original texts
Bernhard.Waelchli at UNI-KONSTANZ.DE
Tue Jul 11 13:18:31 UTC 2006
Sorry for mistakenly having sent to all my answer to Martin in the local
vernacular. Please, throw it away! Here is, however, a list of
references as a result of a query I posted some weeks ago about
typological studies based on original texts.
I have received answers by Peter Austin, Balthasar Bickel, Greville
Corbett, Matthew Dryer, Nick Evans, Martin Haspelmath, Kees Hengefeld,
Paul Hopper, Pieter Muysken, Michael Noonan, Paolo Ramat, Maria
Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Stephen Matthews, and Wolfgang Schulze, and I am
happy that what started as a simple information question also resulted
in some more general discussion.
Some of you argued that I should include a broader range of studies than
what I asked for (lower number of languages, other kinds of studies).
Since I find all the studies that have been pointed out to me highly
relevant and useful, I simply included everything I got (as far as I
could identify the references) and added some more. I certainly missed a
lot and am still grateful for additional references.
I am especially grateful to Paolo Ramat for having pointed out the
relevance of parallel texts and questionnaires as other additional
sources expanding the typologist's toolkit beyond reference grammars. In
addition, psycholinguistic approaches have to be mentioned, using
non-verbal stimuli for data collection, including the well-known Pear
stories and Frog stories. In my view these are all instances of a single
hyper-approach to data collection in typology, which I call "descriptive
typology", viz. all typological data collection processes based on
primary sources rather than descriptions and on exemplars rather than
Because the list of references got quite long, here is what corresponds
most prototypically to the original query:
- John Myhill's (1992) typological discourse analysis (including all the
previous work mentioned there, especially by Talmy Givón) (thanks to
Stephen Matthews and Kees Hengefeld for having pointed out this to me.)
- Matthew Dryer's about 1,000 datapoints based on texts in WALS (in a
total of more than 20,000 data points: it is really amazing, Matthew,
how you manage to do this!),
- Michael Noonan's (2003) unpublished work about referential density
(including much own fieldwork) [see also Bickel's 2003 study on
referential density, Balthasar is still working on it with a larger
sample of languages.]
- Tom Güldemann's (2001) unpublished study.
The references that follow are in no way exhaustive for exemplar-based
typological approaches. The list is strongly biased toward what has been
pointed out to me and toward what I have added to the list. Please, tell
me if you have some more. The list is certainly highly deficient,
especially in the domains of phonology and phonetics. Maybe it is
nevertheless of some use.
LIST OF REFERENCES
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Bernini, Giuliano & Ramat, Paolo. (1996). Negative sentences in the
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Biber, Douglas. (1995). Dimensions of register variation. A
cross-linguistic comparison. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bickel, Balthasar. (2003). Referential density in discourse and
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Bowerman, Melissa (1996). Learning how to structure space for language:
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Bowerman, Melissa & Choi, Soonja (2001). Shaping meanings for language:
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Chafe, Wallace L. (ed.) (1980). The pear stories. Cognitive, cultural
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