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The rise of complex verb constructions in Germanic

Sponsored by the Swedish Research Council (2018-2021)

Project members:

  • Evie Coussé (Department of languages and literatures, Gothenburg), principal investigator
  • Gerlof Bouma (Språkbanken, Gothenburg)
  • Nicoline van der Sijs (Meertensinstituut, Amsterdam)
  • Dirk-Jan de Kooter (Meertensinstituut, Amsterdam)
  • Trude Dijkstra (Meertensinstituut, Amsterdam)

Project description

The project is situated in the field of historical linguistics. It addresses an understudied case of language change: the rise of complex verb constructions in Germanic. This development is present in all Germanic languages, yet the exact outcome of the change is different for each individual language, leading to cross-linguistic variation. The project aims to increase our factual knowledge of the rise of complex verb constructions in Germanic, with an empirical focus on English, Dutch, German and Swedish. It also aims to enhance our understanding of the process of ‘constructional complexification’ which is hypothesized to lie behind the rise of complex verb constructions. The project investigates both language internal and external motivations and mechanisms of complexification combining the frameworks of diachronic construction grammarand comparative linguists. Methodologically, it introduces the use of parallel corpora in historical linguistics, compiling a multilingual parallel corpus of historical Bible translations, which will be made available for other diachronic research after the completion of the project.

Read more

Project plan, "The rise of complex verb constructions in Germanic" (pdf)

EDGeS Diachronic Bible Corpus

The project is currently compiling the EDGeS Diachronic Bible Corpus, a synchronically and diachronically parallel corpus of Bible translations in English, Dutch, German and Swedish, spanning six and a half centuries. This page will provide links to download locations upon completion of the corpus.

Presentations

Evie Coussé & Gerlof Bouma (2019) The rise of complex verb constructions in Germanic. A project sketch. Talk for Research Area Linguistic Structures. Göteborg (Sweden), 28 November 2019.

Gerlof Bouma, Evie Coussé, Dirk-Jan de Kooter & Nicoline van der Sijs (2019) Building a Diachronic and Contrastive Parallel Corpus. Poster at Digital Humanities Conference 2019. Utrecht (The Netherlands), 9-12 July 2019.

Evie Coussé (2019) Swedish funding for Dutch historical linguistics. Talk at the Gent-Lancaster Grammar Workshop. Gent (Belgium), 10 May 2019.

Evie Coussé (2019) The rise of complex verb constructions in Germanic. A project sketch. Talk for the Ghent University Research Group on Linguistic Meaning & Structure (GLMIS) & Diachronic and Diatopic Linguistics Research Group (DiaLing). Gent (Belgium). 26 April 2019.

Evie Coussé & Nicoline van der Sijs (2019) The rise of complex verb constructions in Germanic. A project sketch. Talk for the Taalcontact Research Meeting at Meertens Instituut. Amsterdam (The Netherlands). 8 April 2019.

Evie Coussé (2019) The rise of complex verb constructions in Germanic. A project sketch. Talk for the Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics (QLVL) Research Group. Leuven (Belgium). 3 April 2019.

Sidansvarig: Fredrik Fällman|Sidan uppdaterades: 2019-12-06
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