It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
Research on grammaticalisation and lexicalisation usually assumes a functional or semantic change as the first step of the development. However, it is less clear what prompts this change in the first place. The background hypothesis to this conference is that sub-grammatical restrictions on the way items can be combined in constructions, which then develop into lexical or grammatical units, play a pivotal role in motivating these crucial functional and semantic changes. That is, the synchronic combinability of words can shape paths of grammaticalisation and lexicalisation. The conference brings together researchers investigating this hypothesis especially in the context of periphrastic passive constructions in the languages of Europe, but also from a typological and theoretical viewpoint.
Historical Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Syntax