Rara & Rarissima —
Collecting and interpreting unusual characteristics of human languages
Leipzig (Germany), 29 March - 1 April 2006

looking for rarissima


The idea for these two volume arose in the context of a plenary lecture by Larry M. Hyman during the ALT Summer School in Linguistic Typology in Cagliari preceding the fifth meeting of the Association for Linguistic Typology, 2003. Mentioning the unique case of “affixation by place of articulation in Tiene”, Hyman argued that there should be a more consistent interest in rarities, as a counterpart to the widely practiced pursuit of broad-scale typological generalizations. In reaction, Jan Wohlgemuth, David Gil, Orin D. Gensler and Michael Cysouw organized an international conference around the topic of rara and rarissima which was held in Leipzig from 29 March to 1 April 2006.

The two books presented here consist of a selection out of the fifty-two papers that were presented at that conference. For the conference we invited papers that would discuss and reflect on the impact of rara on linguistic theory and linguistic universals. Additionally, we explicitly solicited papers dealing with the description and analysis of (apparently) rare features in individual languages.

Conference homepage


The proceedings were edited by Jan Wohlgemuth and Michael Cysouw and were published 2010 by Mouton de Gruyter in two separate volumes:

Errata & addenda

Errata, addenda or other (updated, corrected, etc.) information pertaining to the papers printed in these volumes could have been listed here.
So far, no one bothered to submit any.

Contact with the editors

Dr. Jan Wohlgemuth
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Linguistics
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

rara2006 [at] eva.mpg.de or wohlgemuth [at] eva.mpg.de
Fax +49-341-3550-333