Crosslinguistic Study of Word Order
Matthew Dryer Principal Investigator
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ABSTRACT The research is part of an ongoing project investigating word order among the languages of the world. The goals of the project are: (1) to establish a large cross-linguistic data base on word order that will be made available to other linguists; (2) to investigate the ways in which word order characteristics correlate with each other; (3) to test universal hypotheses about word order; (4) to examine possible explanations for word order correlations and universals; and (5) to investigate the geographical and genetic distribution of word order characteristics. In the earlier phases of the project, data has been collected for a variety of word order parameters, morpheme position parameters, and a few other typological parameters from a total of 603 languages. The primary goal of this phase is to attempt to fill in a variety of different gaps in the data base, to collect data on a number of additional parameters, and to produce a book that describes the basic results of the project and makes the data base available for the use of other linguists.