Head directionality change in Turkic in contact situations: a diachronic comparison between heritage Turkish and Balkan Turkic

This project is a supplement to the project Clause combining and word order in heritage Turkish across majority languages and is, thus, also a part of the DFG-funded Research Unit Emerging Grammars (RUEG). The project on clause combining investigates several syntactic changes taking place in heritage Turkish in contact with German and English, many of which are connected to a potential shift from head-final to head-initial syntax. Such a shift has already begun and taken hold to varying degrees in members of the Turkic language family in other contact situations, notably in the various Balkan Turkic varieties over the course of the several centuries during which they have been spoken in the Balkans. Studying this change in head-directionality is the principal aim of this supplemental project. This diachronic perspective makes it possible to compare the current syntactic changes in heritage Turkish with the changes in Balkan Turkic varieties already on the way to head-initiality. Such a comparison could provide insights into the changes taking place in heritage Turkish at present and predict the changes that might occur in the long run. Participants of the project are Christoph Schroeder as project leader, Cem Keskin as postdoctoral researcher, and Nil Özkul as project assistant. Our external cooperation partners are Jaklin Kornfilt (Syracuse University) , Stavros Skopeteas (University of Bielefeld), Elisabetta Ragagnin (Ca' Foscari University of Venice) und Astrid Menz (Hamburg University) .