Joint Research Projects

Exploration into the Mechanism of Language Change and Variation through the Dialogue between Theoretical Linguistics, Linguistic Typology, and Quantitative Linguistics (2021.04–2024.03)


About the Project

Project term: April, 2021–March, 2024

The structure of a language can undergo phonological, morphological, semantic, and syntactic changes. The micro-changes present within these larger changes are triggered by economic efficiency, innovation, linguistic contact, and additional factors. Over hundreds of years, these pressures can produce dramatic changes in a language. Intrinsically, a word’s phonological, morphological, semantic, and syntactic structures differ in their level of susceptibility to change; however, they interact with each other over long periods of time, which can cause a language to change at different speeds and to varying degrees. Therefore, this project systematically investigate the mechanisms that facilitate linguistic change and discusses how best to typologically classify languages in relation to language contact and change by collecting knowledge and data from researchers that specialize in various fields of linguistics, including theoretical linguistics (in particular: syntax, phonology, and semantics), linguistic typology, social linguistics, and historical linguistics.

Yoshiki OGAWA, Project Coordinator (Professor, Tohoku University)

For details, please see here