The history of Indo-European genitive: a diachronic investigation into mechanisms of Case-assignment and Case-realization within the Noun Phrase


The general aim of the project consists in the integration of synchronic and historical investigation of genitive Case in order to describe the syntax of genitives in a number of ancient Indo-European languages and to uncover the diachronic paths leading to the systems witnessed by their modern descendants. The investigation will face a number of problems of significant empirical and theoretical import, both from the genealogical and the typological point of view. It will have to be assessed whether it is possible, on the basis of extant data, to reconstruct at least some traces of a common proto-system of genitive Case assignment for Indo-European languages. The different realization of nominal arguments and possessive structures in subsequent stages of the various languages will have to be analyzed looking for local causes of change in the linguistic history, considering the role of areal factors, and evaluating the effect of proposed diachronic universals. A particular attention will be devoted to the comparison of argument realization in nominal structures and in the clause, searching for possible common developments and cross-categorial harmonic effects.

  • Gianollo, Chiara - Project leader
  • Zukunftskolleg
Funding sources
Name Finanzierungstyp Kategorie Project no.
Exzellenzinitiative third-party funds research funding program 508/09
Further information
Period: 01.11.2008 – 31.10.2010