SIS code: 
Semester: 
winter
E-credits: 
2/3

Variability of languages in time and space

Variabilita jazyků v čase a prostoru

 

SIS code: NPFL 100 (the course's site in SIS)

 

Teachers: Anja Nedoluzhko, Magda Ševčíková, Šárka Zikánová

Fall term 2022/2023: Wednesday 10:40-12:10 in S8

Moodle: https://dl1.cuni.cz/course/view.php?id=13687
- please enroll in the course (using the link & SIS login and password) to access slides and additional materials

Course completion requirements (1+2+3):

  1. Successful completion of 3 homework assignments
  2. Attendance and participation in the class
  3. Successful completion of the final in-class test at the end of the term

 

Did you know that...

  • there are languages with less than three vowels and more than 30 consonants?
  • stress can be totally unbounded?
  • there may be up to 7 consonants in one syllable?
  • there may be a special case for doing something without someone?
  • Hungarian has 19 cases, while old French has only two?
  • a protolanguage can be reconstructed?
  • inflection and derivation are quite close to each other?

How to compare languages if they are so different?

The course is an introduction to how multiple languages can be approached by linguistic analysis. First, different approaches to classification of the world’s languages will be summarized (genealogical classification, areal typology, language typology). Referring to existing resources containing information on many languages, we will focus on language typology of phonological, morphological, and syntactic features. Recent approaches to typology of word formation will be presented too.

 

Course schedule

 

  • October 5, 2022 - Intro: Description and objectives of the course, lecture topics, course completion requirements

 

  • October 12, 2022 - Lecture 1
    • Basic facts and linguistic resources on the world's languages

       

  • October 19, 2022 - Lecture 2
    • Linguistic variation and standardization

       

  • October 26, 2022 - Lecture 3
    • Genetic classification and areal linguistics

       

  • November 2, 2022 - Lecture 4
    • Phonological Typology, Consonant and Vowel inventories

       

  • November 9, 2022 - no classes: Dean's Sports Day

 

  • November 16, 2022 - Lecture 5
    •  Syllable structure and patterns, Suprasegmentals (stress, length, tones)

       

  • November 23, 2022 - Lecture 6
    • Morphological typology

       

  • November 30, 2022 - Lecture 7
    • Word formation across languages. Approaches to cross-linguistic study of word-formation

       

  • December 7, 2022 - Lecture 8
    • Typology of syntactic features. Comparing word order across languages (S-V-O, V-O, S-V, word order in nominal groups)

       

  • December 14, 2022 - Lecture 9
    • Language universals - are there any? Statistical vs. absolute universals

       

  • December 21, 2022 (backup)

 

  • January 4, 2022 - Final test

 

References:

  • Jan Bičovský: Vademecum starými indoevropskými jazyky. Praha: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Filozofická fakulta, 2009.
  • Lyle Campbell: Historical linguistics: An introduction. 2004.
  • Bernard Comrie: Language universals and linguistic typology. 1989.
  • Terry Crowley – Claire Bowern: An introduction to historical linguistics. 2010.
  • František Čermák: Jazyk a jazykověda (Přehled a slovníky). Praha: Karolinum, 2004.
  • Jiří Černý: Dějiny lingvistiky. Olomouc: Votobia, 1996.
  • Jiří Černý: Úvod do studia jazyka. Olomouc: Rubico, 1998.
  • Tomáš Duběda: Jazyky a jejich zvuky. Univerzálie a typologie ve fonetice a fonologii. Praha: Karolinum, 2005.
  • Adolf Erhart: Základy jazykovědy. Praha: SPN, 1984.
  • Victoria Fromkin – Robert Rodman – Nina Hyams: An Introduction to Language. International Student Edition. Boston: Wadsworth, 2006.
  • Eva Hajičová – Petr Sgall – Jarmila Panevová: Úvod do teoretické a počítačové lingvistiky. Svazek 1: Teoretická lingvistika. Praha: Karolinum, 2002.
  • Martin Haspelmath et al. (eds.): Language typology and language universals. 2001.
  • Hans Henrich Hock: Language history, language change, and language relationship: an introduction to historical and comparative linguistics. 2009.
  • Jakov G. Testelec: Vvedenie v obščij sintaksis. Moskva: Izdatel'stvo RGGU, 2001

Online resources: