Leaders : Alexandre François, Lameen Souag, Martine Vanhove
This project is at the crossroad between synchronic lexico-semantic typology and the diachronic study of semantic change. It aims at examining several semantic fields whose cross-linguistic structure has yet to be mapped in detail in the perspective of language change. This will be achieved through the study of cross-linguistic variations in the lexicon which show recurrent patterns and typological trends in a limited number of semantic domains (motion, impact and manipulation, cognition), using existing lexical databases and building a dedicated one. Understanding the dynamics of lexical typology is essential not only in order to explain the stability of statistical universals, but more broadly in order to shed light on one of the thorniest problems of historical linguistics: semantic reconstruction.