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Past Core Project: Linguistic Dynamics Science Researchs


Term: 2010.4〜2015.3
Leader: Toshihide NAKAYAMA
Member: Tokusu KUREBITO, Hideo SAWADA, Asako SHIOHARA, Izumi HOSHI, Honoré WATANABE, Yasuhiro YAMAKOSHI, Norikazu KOGURA


The goal of this project is to advance research on the nature of structural diversity among human languages and on the complex dynamics that shape the linguistic structure.

Diversity and dynamics are aspects that have been significantly underestimated, or ignored, in mainstream theoretical linguistic studies.

Traditionally, languages have been assumed to share a large part of the basic structure as Universal Grammar. However, a gradually increasing number of descriptive grammars on under-documented languages suggest that structural variation among human language is much deeper and more complex than we ever expected.

Language as a system has generally been considered to be autonomous. That is, the properties of the linguistic system are independent of external functional forces, including socio-cultural, historical, and pragmatic forces. Such a view has begun to be questioned recently in the research on language change and on use of grammar within discourse.

If we take the results of descriptive and usage-based research seriously, we need to reevaluate and reformulate the traditional theoretical framework. This project aspires to build a new, realistic theoretical framework for capturing the nature of human language.

This project is run in coordination with the Linguistic Dynamics Science Project 2 (LingDy2).

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