Course code
Name of lecturer
Federico Giusfredi
Federico Giusfredi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
NN - -
Language of instruction
not yet allocated

Learning outcomes

Linguistic interference on the micro-phenomenic levels of lexical loans and calques (cf. Gusmani 1993) is the most evident type of contact, and was easily identified in both modern and historical languages. Contact, however, can affect human languages in deeper and more complex ways (cf. Myers-Scotton 2002; Oksaar 1996, pp- 3-5). Morphology, morphosyntax and syntax can be involved (cf. Hill 2013 and 2015; Schrijver 2014), with unidirectional or mutual alterations on the structural and systemic levels. Structural interference can be limited to patterns occurring in single linguistic acts – be they ancient linguistic materials such as bi- or multilingual inscriptions, or locally limited cases of code-switching in limited geo-linguistic areas – but it can also represent a step towards a systematic diachronic change (cf. Consani 2015; Haspelmath 2001) – from the mutual influence of neighbouring languages on the levels of morphology and morpho-syntax up to the instantiation of proper areal systems.

Aim of the workshop is to discuss historical language-contact in its systemic implications, either by facing its theoretical aspects or by presenting and discussing specific cases, including (but not limited to):

- diachronic morphological interference
- diachronic morphosyntactic interference
- diachronic syntatic interference
- the socio-linguistic patterns of diachronic interference
- theoretical modeling of language contact in ancient and modern languages
- identification and description of language contact in ancient and modern languages

(The workshop is organized within the framework of the project SLUW, that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under the MARIE SKLODOWSKA-CURIE Grant agreement no. 655954.)

Consani, C. ed. 2015. Contatto interlinguistico fra presente e passato. Milano: Led
Gusmani, R. 1993. Saggi sull’interferenza linguistica, Firenze: Le Lettere.
Haspelmath, M. 2001. “The European linguistic area: Standard Average European”, in Language Typology and Language Universals (Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft vol. 20.2). Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 1492–1510.
Hill, Eugen (2013), “Sprachkontakt und die Flexionsmorphologie bei der Ausbreitung des Indogermanischen”, in Indogermanischen Forschungen 118, pp. 169-192.
Hill, Eugen (2015), “Suppletion replication in grammaticalization and its triggering factors”, in Language Dynamics and Change 5, pp. 52-91.
Myers-Scotton, C. 2002. Contact Linguistics: Bilingual Encounters and Grammatical Outcomes, Oxford University Press.
Oksaar, E. 1996. “The history of contact linguistics as a discipline”, in Goebl, Hans et al. (eds.): Kontaktlinguistik/contact linguistics/linguistique de contact: ein internationales Handbuch zeitgenössischer Forschung/an international handbook of contemporary research/manuel international des recherches contemporaines. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 1–12.
Schrijver, Peter (2014), Language contact and the origin of the Germanic languages, Routledge Studies in Linguistics, New York, Routledge.


Friday April 21

9:00: Opening

9:15: James Clackson, “Contact and Convergence among the Indo-Euopean languages of ancient Italy”.

10:00: Andrea Scala, “Phonological rules borrowing: some case studies / L'importazione di regole fonologiche: alcuni casi di studio”

10:45: Coffee break

11:15: Paola Cotticelli and Federico Giusfredi, “Ancient Anatolian languages and language contact: some methodological reflections”

12:00: Jens E. Braarvig, “Representation of Sanskrit grammar in Buddhist Chinese. Some examples”

12:45: Lunch

14:00: Ilya Yakubovich, “Universals of Language Contact and the Written Languages”

14:45: Lorenzo Verderame, “The other way round: Akkadian influences on Sumerian language”

15:30 : Coffee break

16:00: Carlotta Viti, “Historical languague contact between Indo-European and Semitic in argument structure and in clause organization”

16:45: Marco Mancini, TBA

Saturday April 22

9:00: Vittorio Tomelleri, “Parallel trajectories in the Caucasus?”

9:45: Birgit Alber and Stefan Rabanus, “Sibilants in Cimbrian”

10:30: Coffee break

11:00: Gianguido Manzelli, Contact-induced phenomena from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea among Germanic, Saamic, Finnic, Slavonic and Indo-Aryan (Romany) languages: predicative possession and experiential constructions

11:45: Round Table

Assessment methods and criteria

The students will attend the workshop (and sign the attendance sheet) and submit (at least one week before the date of the exam) a short report on one of the papers.

Teaching aids

  • pdf   Locandina   (pdf, it, 5440 KB, 10/04/17)