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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