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Rethinking Comparative Syntax (ReCoS)

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

Studying at Cambridge


ALEPH - Atomic Linguistic Elements of Phi

ALEPH - Atomic Linguistic Elements of Phi (Queen Mary, University of London)

Project Description

Research into phi-features (especially, person and number) has seen a recent explosion of interest both in typology and theoretical linguistics (morphology, semantics and syntax). The purpose of ALEPH is to bring together the empirical insights of these varied domains and to propose a unified inventory of person and number features that respects the different theoretical demands of syntax, semantics and morphology, whilst at the same time deriving the core typological generalizations without recourse to arbitrary stipulations.

The core idea is to develop a theory of the fundamental units (atoms) that human languages use in talking about person and number categories, and then to use this theory to make, and investigate, predictions about (i) how these categories are morphologically realized in a range of languages and (ii) they are interpreted.