[Lingtyp] Question about helpful design of a comparative, multilectal grammar

Yukinori Kimoto yk.kimoto at gmail.com
Sun Jun 17 07:45:07 UTC 2018

Dear Rasmus,

It might be of help if you refer to a way of exposition in which you first provide an overview of common grammatical features shared by all the dialects/languages, followed by grammatical sketches of each dialect/language focusing on some "irregular/unusual" patterns.  Lynch, Ross, and Crowley (2002) The Oceanic Languages is a case in point. In a typological overview of Oceanic languages, some common or usual grammatical features found in these languages are described, and the following grammar sketches of individual languages focus on unusual patterns they have or some phenomena worth mentioning. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=FhOuslPWYGoC&hl

Best wishes,


Yukinori Kimoto, Ph.D
Graduate School of Humanities, Nagoya University
JSPS Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Visiting scholar, University of Melbourne
e-mail: yk.kimoto at gmail.com
phone: +81-90-6370-2777

> 2018/06/15 23:02、Rasmus Bernander <rasmusbernander at gmail.com>のメール:
> Dear members of the Lingtyp list,
> I’m currently involved in a project called “Linguistic Variation as an Indicator of Historical Relations and Language Contact: A Comparative grammar of four Mara Bantu languages (Tanzania)”. The project is funded by Koneen Säätiö and led by Dr. Lotta Aunio, Department of Languages, University of Helsinki. As implied in the title, the project aims at offering a linguistic description of four closely related (yet structurally versatile) Bantu varieties, Ikoma, Nata, Isenye and Ngoreme (known collectively as the Western Serengeti languages).  More information about the project can be found at this homepage: https://blogs.helsinki.fi/mara-project/
> We are struggling a bit with the question about the ideal way of designing the linguistic description. We would like to ask you ”Humans who read grammars”, i.e. you researchers who make typological (and/or comparative and/or specific theoretical) work and thus have great experience in reading grammars as well as extracting information from grammars: What would you consider being the most helpful and straightforward way to organize the structure of a multilectal grammar of this kind? We would prefer to find a way to systemize the data in a manner where we don’t have to prioritize one variety over the others and where we can also present the subsystems of the non-main varieties in a coherent way. It seems that some grammars use color/symbol coding for different varieties. Do you consider that helpful? Or do you have other, similar ideas on how one would succeed in creating a really clear and comprehensible comparative grammar?
> Many thanks in advance!
> /Rasmus Bernander
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