6 blocks of 2 hours each

This class offers an introduction to linguistic typology, the systematic study of the diversity and unity of the languages in the world. Topics explored in the class include methodological issues of cross-linguistic comparison, overviews of major comparative studies and patterns of variation they reveal, and finally, ways to classify and explain these patterns. The use of modern language data for diachronic studies as well as aspects of language where large scale cross-linguistic comparison is still in demand are presented and discussed as well.




Lectures 1–3, basics and methodology: Ljuba Veselinova

Lectures 4–6, theoretical foundations, areal typology: Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm


General introductions to typology:

  • Croft, William. 1990 / 2003. Typology and universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Moravscik, Edith. 2013. Introducing linguistic typology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Song, Jae Jung (ed.). 2011. The Oxford handbook of linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Song, Jae Jung. 2001. Linguistic typology: morphology and syntax. Harlow: Longman
  • Velupillai, Viveka. 2012. An introduction to linguistic typology. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co
  • Whaley, Lindsay. 1997. Introduction to typology: The unity and diversity of language. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

A very brief introduction to typology that may be read in advance is:

  • Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. 2012. Typology, theory and methods. In Kortmann, Bernd (ed.), WSK-dictionary Online Theories and methods in linguistics (Wörterbücher der Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft), Berlin: de Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/wsk.35.0.typologytheoriesandmethods

Useful sites:

Lecture presentations, including detailed lists of relevant references, will be published on the course site.