Joint Research Projects

Exploration into Dynamicity of Grammar (1): Multiplicity and Distributedness in Grammar (2017.04-2020.03)


About the Project

Project term: 2017.04–2020.03

This project examines the reality and the nature of structural diversity within a grammatical system and considers the implications of this internal multiplicity for the general theory of grammar. Grammar is commonly assumed to take shape as an integrated system of general patterns. This integrated view has been serving as a dominant metaphor in our approach to grammar. Thus, the question of contextual variation has almost never been given serious treatment in the theoretical study of the grammatical system. The observed variations have typically been considered to be superficial, peripheral, and unessential phenomena that do not have any relevance to how the system of grammar is built. This project questions this integrated view and explores an alternative view of grammar where grammar is thought to consist of multiple overlapping but separate systems. According to this view, the observed structural variations are direct reflections of multiplicity in grammar. We will explore this multiplicity in grammar by examining two different kinds of contextual variations: (1) variations with respect to major structural principles including word order and grammatical markings and (2) subregularities found in the system (i.e., patterns and regularities that are local to a particular genre or context).

Toshihide NAKAYAMA, Project Coordinator (Professor, ILCAA)

For details, please see here.