DDL - UMR 5596
ISH - Bat C
14 avenue Berthelot
69007 Lyon
TĂ©l : 04 72 72 64 12
Fax : 04 72 72 65 90


 You are here : Home / Projets / Salta

Work package 1

Work package 1 will provide a typological survey of spatial asymmetries in language: How asymmetric are linguistic descriptions of space? To what extent is this the result of asymmetries in language structure? Are perceptual asymmetries reflected in language structure, or are linguistic asymmetries reflected in language use, with possible effects on our general cognitive abilities?
One major feature of languages in this respect is that they seem to encode asymmetries or reproduce cognitive asymmetries, at various levels. Focusing on such asymmetries, namely source vs goal, deictic motion or deictic orientation (itive and ventive), and asymmetries related to the marking of verticality and elevation (‘up’ and ‘down’), we will endeavor to gauge how extensive they are.
A systematic cross-linguistic survey on a large set of data will lead us to evaluate the degree of asymmetry in individual language and to build a typology of spatial asymmetries. These asymmetries are to be taken in terms of both locus and semantic distinctions.

Scientific team leaders: Alice Vittrant & Christine Lamarre

WP1.1 : Language structure & the locus of asymmetry

  • We will look into spatial asymmetry in terms of morphosyntactic encoding of the various semantic components of a motion event. The main goal of WP1.1 will be to provide data (in the form of a typological survey) to establish the extent of structural asymmetries in spatial grams. The data gathered within WP1.1 will be further analyzed from two more theoretical viewpoints, in order to confirm or challenge previous hypotheses on the emergence of spatial asymmetries, with diachronic (WP1.2) and structural perspectives.

Scientific team leaders: Christine Lamarre, Benjamin Fagard

WP1.2 : Diachrony and grammaticalization paths

  • For those languages which allow it, i.e. wherever historical documents are available, we will look into the origin and evolution of spatial asymmetries. For instance, it is quite clear that the overabundance of ablative markers (case and adpositions alike) is linked to the systematic bleaching of their ablative meaning, witnessed in Classical Languages, Celtic and other languages. However, tendencies noticed have never been the focus of a systematic contrastive and diachronic survey. WP1.2 will remedy this with an investigation into spatial asymmetries in diachrony, taking into account Romance, Slavic, Germanic languages, Burmese, Vietnamese and Chinese.

ASLAN -  Université de Lyon -  CNRS -  Université Lumière Lyon 2 -  MSH-LSE -  IXXI -  DDL :  Contact |  Terms of use |