Workshop description

The workshop Arabic dialects in a typological perspective: descriptive and comparative issues aims at strengthening the link between two linguistic sub-disciplines that rarely interacted so far: Arabic Dialectology and Linguistic Typology. If (Arabic) dialectologists traditionally focus on the socio-historical factors producing diatopic variation within the same language, typologists are generally more interested in linguistic diversity across unrelated languages. However, given that the distinction between 'dialect' and 'language' lies primarily on sociolinguistics parameters, nothing can be predicted about the degree of typological variation across varieties of the same language (Bisang 2004). Moreover, the doubts raised over the reliability of massive cross-linguistic comparison incite to develop new comparative methods that go beyond genetic diversity and take into account dialect variation (Maslova 2000; Chamoreau 2012; Utz & Procházka 2012).

The goal of this workshop is to gather specialists of Arabic linguistics and linguistic typology in order to describe and compare typologically relevant morphosyntactic and semantic features across Arabic dialects and eventually to gain a better understanding of typological variation in Arabic. The contributions will present first-hand descriptive data on, inter alia, TAM marking, valency-changing, pseudo-verbs, locative and existential predication, and constituent order. 



Bisang, Walter, 2004. Dialectology and Typology: an integrative perspective. In B. Kortmann (ed.), Dialectology Meets Typology. Dialect Grammar from a Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Berlin-New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 11-46. 

Chamoreau, Claudine 2012. Dialectology, typology, diachrony and contact linguistics. A multi-layered perspective in Purepecha. Sprachtypologie und  Universalienforschung - Language Typology and Universals  65, (1): 6-25. 

Maas, Utz and Stephan Procházka (eds.), 2012. Moroccan Arabic in Typological Perspective. Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung - Language Typology and Universals 65, (4). 

Maslova, Elena. 2000. A dynamic approach to the verification of distributional universals. Linguistic Typology 4, (3): 307-333. 


Date & Venue

Friday, 29 November, 2019


Pôle des Langues et Civilisations, amphithéâtres 6-7

65, Rue des Grands Moulins

75013 - Paris




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