Course Content (Syllabus)
Approximately 7000 languages are spoken at present. Despite the obvious diversity that derives from this large number, languages share numerous common features and differ in principled ways. Typology refers to the linguistic field that seeks to understand what a possible language is, which structures are common, rare or even unattested and why. In this course we tackle the above issues and examine typological findings across various sub-fields, such as phonology, morphology and syntax. Methodological and theoretical issues are also addressed, including language-sample-construction, typological databases, typological schools of thought, language families and universals. For their evaluation, students will be asked to conduct a short-scale typological study of their own or discuss theoretical debates that are raised by the functionalist vs. the formalist schools of thought.