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Chaire Internationale 2023 - Peter Arkadiev - Université Johannes-Gutenberg (Allemagne)

Dernière mise à jour : il y a 3 jours

Nous accueillerons à partir du 09 mai 2023, le professeur Peter Arkadiev de l'université Johannes-Gutenberg (Mayence - Allemagne) pour une série de quatre séminaires sur le thème "Problems of polysynthesis, with special reference to the Northwest Caucasian languages". Les séminaires auront lieu à l'INALCO, 65 rue des Grands Moulins 75013 Paris - Salle 4.18, aux dates suivantes :

- le 09 mai de 17h30 à 19h00

- le 16 mai de 18h00 à 19h30

- le 23 mai de 18h00 à 19h30

- le 30 mai de 18h00 à 19h30

Résumé général:

The course will deal with the notions of “polysynthesis” and “polysynthetic language”, traditionally conceived of as showing extreme morphological complexity of the verb and mainly known from North America and the neighbouring regions, with other hotspots in such areas as Amazonia, Northern Australia or Tibet. The course will discuss approaches to polysynthesis in linguistic typology, problems with the various definitions of polysynthesis and the fuzzy and multifaceted nature of the concept and the cross-linguistic variation in the associated empirical domain. In addition, it will offer a detailed overview of polysynthesis and related phenomena in the Northwest Caucasian languages, which have so far not figured with sufficient prominence in typological studies of the phenomenon. Seminars 2–4 will start with a brief recapitulation of the main contents of the previous seminar.

Seminar 1: 9 May: What is polysynthesis?

After a brief introduction to the history of the notion of polysynthesis starting with the works of Pierre-Étienne (Peter) Du Ponceau (1819) and a presentation of a few characteristic examples of polysynthetic structures, I shall offer a discussion of various definitions of polysynthesis found in the linguistic literature, from Joseph Greenberg’s “A quantitative approach to the morphological typology of language” (1954) to the recent compendium “The Oxford Handbook of Polysynthesis” (Fortescue, Evans & Mithun eds. 2017). Empirical and conceptual problems arising from these definitions will be discussed, showing that polysynthesis is by necessity a multifaceted notion without clearly delineated boundaries.

Lecture 1 Slides :

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Seminar 2: 16 May: Internal variation and fringes of polysynthesis

The second session will address the morphological typology of polysythesis, i.e. cross- linguistic variation in the morphological makeup (on both syntagmatic and paradigmatic axes) of languages characterised as “polysynthetic” according to some of the more recent definitions. Starting with the proposals by Johanna Mattissen (2004, 2017), I shall offer a typological overview of such phenomena associated with polysynthesis as head-marking, polypersonalism, incorporation, lexical affixation (Mithun 1997, Mattissen 2006) and productive noninflectional concatenation (de Reuse 2009). I shall also present examples of these phenomena manifesting themselves in the languages traditionally not considered “polysynthetic” (e.g. Lithuanian, cf. Arkadiev 2021) and discuss their implications for the typology and diachrony of polysynthesis.

Lecture 2 Slides :

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Seminar 3: 23 May: Polysynthetic morphology in Northwest Caucasian languages

In seminar 3 I shall offer a more detailed discussion of the grammatical structures of the Northwest Caucasian languages (cf. Arkadiev & Lander 2020) with reference to the properties associated with polysynthesis. These languages are characterised by a high degree of morphological complexity in both verbs and nominals, extreme polypersonalism coupled with a rich system of valency-increasing devices, and a large number of affixes expressing spatial, aspectual, modal and evaluative meanings. It will be shown that the Northwest Caucasian polysynthetic verbal morphology cannot be unequivocally characterise