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This project investigates the limits and the effects of language contact on the syntax of Romanian in three different settings of language contact: vertical contact (the influence of Old Church Slavonic on old Romanian), long-term bilingualism (the bilingual Russian–Romanian Lipovan community), and contact in the setting of the Balkan Sprachbund. Focusing in detail on a single language (Romanian), we set out (i) to undertake an in-depth analysis of how (a set of) its syntactic structures have been affected by language contact and (ii) to undertake extensive analyses of particular phenomena and of the processes that underlie them rather than compiling a list/lists of features. Exploration of how language contact affects syntactic structure is relevant as the literature reports diametrically opposing views on this issue. Besides descriptive objectives (to establish the set of phenomena found in the contact settings investigated) and theoretical objectives (to establish a typology of processes observable in diachronic language contact and to ground the analyses in current parametric theory, which views individual features/structures not as completely independent, but, rather, as interrelated), the project also has an important methodological goal: to formulate a general framework for analysing language contact in syntax, which does not privilege one contact setting or another and to establish algorithms for assessing the impact of contact, suited for each setting in turn.

 


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