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Complex sentences in languages of the Amazonian Southwest

Grant number: 20/01759-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Luciana Raccanello Storto
Grantee:Luciana Raccanello Storto
Host Investigator: Katharina Haude
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Structure et Dynamique des Langues (SEDYL), France  


This research project to be developed abroad intends to propose an innovative methodology to work with the description and analysis of complex sentences in indigenous languages, which integrates recent advances that typologists and formalists have attained (van Gijn, Haude & Muysken 2011, van Gijn, Hammond, Matic, van Putten & Galucio 2014 e Amaral, Maia, Nevins & Roeper 2018). The proposal is to approximate both theoretical traditions, suggesting a methodology in which researchers from both fields will collect data based on questionnaires on contextualized complex sentences and compare their results in search of universals and variation. Complex sentences constitute a challenge to linguistics because they are the most complex structures present in any language. Up to the moment, linguists from both traditions have been persuing their objectives independently in the study of such structures, but recent developments in the field suggest that they are now ripe to face the challenge of comparing results. For instance, two international workshops about complex sentences, organized in Brazil by members of the COSY Project from ZAS, Berlin, took place in 2019, in which formalists and typologists presented their work on complex sentences of indigenous languages of Brazil. The proponent, specialized in formal syntax, will organize a conference that will take place in March 2021 at Sedyl, Paris, conjointly with her supervisor Katharina Haude (CNRS at Sedyl), specialized in typological syntax, in which researchers from bothe theoretical traditions will be invited to contribute with data and analyses of complex sentences such as, for example, various types of embedded clauses and constructions of non-verbal predication. They will present, besides data from texts, answers to questionnaires in which contextualized complex sentences will be elicited in a standard manner for different languages. It is expected that debates will lead to fruitful discussions, which may generate coauthorships among participantes in chapters in a book that will be edited by Storto and Haude. As a result from this collaboration we intend to create a research group that will continue to contribute in the same way in a conference in 2022, to take place at the Linguistics Department in Universidade de São Paulo (the home institution of the project). The proponent will create questionnaires that address questions of formal syntax and semantics and her supervisor at Sedyl (Université Paris Sorbonne Cité) will be in charge of addressing questions raised by functional typologists when writing the conference calls. This project also aims to contribute to the reconstruction of the history of contact in Southwest Amazonia, a linguistic area described in the literature as the Guaporé-Mamoré, referring to two rivers at the border between Brasil (Rondônia) and Bolívia (Crevels & van der Voort 2008). It is a region that has been highly multilingual in the past, of which little is known both linguistically and from an archaeological and anthropological point of view. The poponent and her supervisor in Paris especialize in languages of this region (Karitiana in RO, Brasil and Movima in Bolívia, respectively). Collaborators of both researchers will participate in the conferences, in order to obtain comparable data in various languages. (AU)

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