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P3: Nominal morphosyntax and word order in heritage Russian across majority languages

Luka Szucsich, HU Berlin; Natalia Gagarina, ZAS Berlin

The project investigates novel grammatical patterns regarding nominal morphological categories
and word order in heritage Russian in Germany and in the U.S. Furthermore, the project aims at
theoretically modeling emerging grammatical varieties in the investigated domains and in
general from the perspective of RUEG’s three joint ventures (henceforth JV): JVI (“Language
Change Hypothesis”) dealing with the systematicity of non-canonical grammatical patterns, JVII
(“Interface Hypothesis”) locating new linguistic developments at external versus internal
interfaces, and JVIII (“Internal Dynamics Hypothesis”) teasing apart contact-induced from
language-internal change. Nominal morphosyntax, especially case, is often taken to belong to
the narrow grammatical system involving internal interfaces. Word order phenomena at the left
sentential periphery are often associated with the interaction of syntax and information
structure/discourse (external interface). Lastly, verb placement (especially with respect to the
direct object: head-complement vs. complement-head) is regarded as belonging to core syntax.
We will compare heritage speakers’ data to those of monolingual Russian speakers from
Russia, and, following RUEG’s unified elicitation setting, we will take informal/formal and
spoken/written registers and age into account. The project will contribute to the understanding
of linguistic change in bi- (or multi-)lingual communities depending on multiple factors (register,
grammatical domain, linguistic interface, contact setting, etc.) by taking up a strongly
comparative approach, and to theoretical accounts of emerging grammatical patterns.

Cooperation partners:

Tanja Anstatt, University of Bochum
Nina Kazanina, University of Bristol
Maria Voeikova, Institute of Linguistic Research St. Petersburg
Ianthi Tsimpli, Cambridge University
Ludovica Serratrice, University of Reading
Marit Westergaard, UiT The Arctic University