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

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Invited (plenary) speakers

Timeframe: 90 minutes of presentation and discussion.

Frans Plank  : 3rd Person Plural in Distancing Pronominal Address for Individuals: Rare by Chance or Necessity?
Larry Hyman : Affixation by Place of Articulation: Rare and mysterious
Ian Maddieson : Phonetic Rara (lecture in memory of Peter Ladefoged)
Daniel L. Everett : Case studies of rara: the general vs the specific in the formation of American linguistics and philosophy

Abstracts of accepted papers

Timeframe: 30 minutes of presentation, plus 15 minutes of discussion.

This is a tentative schedule and subject to change.
Please don't forget to check back shortly before the conference for an up-to-date version.

Slot - Day
MPI EVA Lecture Hall
BioCity Lecture Hall
Name Title Name Title

Session: Number and Reduplication

Session: General Issues I
01 - 29/3
Jeff Good
Rarum begets rarum: A rare clitic and morphosyntactic reduplication in Chechen and Ingush.   [pdf] Jan Rijkhof
Rara and Linguistic Theory.   [pdf]
02 - 29/3
Hein van der Voort
Reduplication of person suffixes in Kwaza (isolate, Brazil).   [pdf] Kaius Sinnemäki Languages with SOV word order and no morphological marking of core arguments.   [pdf]
03 - 29/3
Sebastian Nordhoff
The Subtractive Plural Morpheme in Sinhala.   [pdf] Matthew Baerman Tracking the amphisbaenic paradigm: morphological polarity.   [pdf]
PL - 29/3
Frans Plank
3rd Person Plural in Distancing Pronominal Address for Individuals: Rare by Chance or Necessity?

Session: Phonetics/Phonology I

Session: Negation
04 - 30/3
Didier Demolin  &
Marie Vuillermet
Voiceless implosives: a comparison between South American and African languages.   [pdf] Christiane Pilot-Raichoor
The Dravidian zero negative : conceptualisation and diachronic context of its morphogenesis.   [pdf]
05- 30/3
Christian DiCanio
The Phonetics of Laryngealization in Takean Thong Chong.   [pdf] Matti Miestamo
Negatives without negators.   [pdf]

Session: Phonetics/Phonology II

Session: Agreement/Tracking I
06 - 30/3
Pavel Iosad
Right at the Left Edge: Initial Consonant Mutations in the World's Languages.   [pdf] Anna Berge
Unexpected non-anaphoric marking in Aleut.   [pdf]
07 - 30/3
Siri Tuttle Syllabic obstruents in Ahtna Athabaskan.   [pdf] Peter Schmidt
Agreeing adverbials: rare but (mostly) areal.   [pdf]

Session: Lexical Classes

Session: Agreement/Tracking II
08 - 30/3
Matthias Gerner & Walter Bisang
Classifiers in Weining Ahmao: a fully inflectual system in an isolating language.   [pdf] Gunther De Vogelaer & Johan van der Auwera
When typological rara become productive: the extension of grammatical agreement in Dutch dialects.   [pdf]
09 - 30/3
Teresa McFarland
(paper read by Christian DiCanio)
Ideophones and templatic morphology in Totonaco de Filomeno Mata.   [pdf] Ruth Singer
Mawng lexicalized agreement in typological perspective.   [pdf]

Session: Lexical Classes (cont.)

Session: Agreement/Tracking II (cont.)
10 - 30/3
Dmitry Idiatov
Rare and nonexistent interrogative pro-word types: interrogative pro-verbs and Co.   [pdf] Tom Güldemann
"Janus-headed" nominals: the morphosyntax of agreement in Taa.   [pdf]
PL - 30/3
Larry Hyman Affixation by Place of Articulation: Rare and mysterious [pdf]

Session: Case & Roles I

Session: Phonetics/Phonology III
11 - 31/3
Seppo Kittilä
Ablative as a marker of benefaction.   [pdf] Urmas Sutrop
Ternary oppositions, Estonian three-way quantity contrast, and the Baltic polytonic Sprachbund.   [pdf]
12 - 31/3
Sylvie Voisin
An uncommon type of valency operator in Wolof.   [pdf] Johannes Helmbrecht
The accentual system of Hocank (Winnebago) - a typological rarity.  [pdf]

Session: Case & Roles II

Session: Phonetics/Phonology IV
13 - 31/3
Søren Wichmann
A cross-linguistically rare case system in Tlapanec.   [pdf] Didier Demolin
The production of bilabial trills.   [pdf]
14 - 31/3
Michael Daniel
Monotransitivity in 'give'-constructions (exploring the periphery of ditransitives).   [pdf] Maria Butskhrikidze
The nature of consonant sequences in Modern Georgian.   [pdf]

Session: Agreement/Tracking III

Session: Numerals
15 - 31/3
Alice Harris
Explaining Exuberant Agreement.   [pdf] Harald Hammarström Rarities in Numeral Systems.   [pdf]
16 - 31/3
Denis Creissels
Person agreement in Akhvakh [pdf]
Thomas Hanke The rarity scale of addition.   [pdf]

Session: Lexical Semantics

Session: General Issues II
17 - 31/3
Mari Bogatkin-Uusküla  & Urmas Sutrop
The puzzle of two terms for red in Hungarian.   [pdf] Frederick Newmeyer
Accounting for Rare Typological Features in Formal Syntax: Three Strategies and Some General Remarks.   [pdf]
PL - 31/3
Ian Maddieson Phonetic rara
Lecture in memory of Peter Ladefoged

Session: Case & Roles I

Session: Verbs and Events I
18 - 01/4
Márcia Cançado 
Talking about Agents and Beneficiaries in Brazilian Portuguese.   [pdf]

Bernhard Wälchli
Positive and negative rarities in the cross-linguistic encoding of motion events.   [pdf]
19 - 01/4
Andrej Malchukov
“Quirky case”: cross-linguistically rare phenomena in case-marking.   [pdf] Marian Klamer & František Kratochvíl
Classifying events and referents: Rarissima in Abui verbs.   [pdf]

Session: Case & Roles II

Session: Verbs and Events II
20 - 01/4
Richard Rhodes
A unique grammatical relation in Algonquian syntax.   [pdf] Katharina Haude
Nominal tense in Movima.   [pdf]
21 - 01/4
Nicole Kruspe
Split marking in Semelai.   [pdf] Boštjan Dvořák & Ilse Zimmermann Imperative Subordination in Slovenian.   [pdf]

Session: Historical Linguistics

Session: Verbs and Events III
22 - 01/4
Orin Gensler Shared quirks, ancient areality, and homelands: A case study from Afroasiatic. [pdf] Valentin Goussev & Maria Brykina
Three Rara from Nganasan.   [pdf]
23 - 01/4
Balthasar Bickel What favors the development of rara? A Himalayan case study.   [pdf]
Leena Kelkar-Stephan Future to express habitual actions in the past or present, and past to express immediate future! [pdf]

Session: General Issues III

Session: General Issues IV
24 - 01/4
Michael Cysouw
The importance of rara for a theory of linguistics  [pdf]
Jan Wohlgemuth Rare today – gone tomorrow
PL - 01/4

Daniel L. Everett Case studies of rara: the general vs the specific in the formation of American linguistics and philosophy
Lecture in memory of Peter Ladefoged


  1. Ding, Picus: 'Nephew'='Grandson' and 'Brothers'='Sisters': Unusual kinship terms in two Sino-Tibetan languages [pdf]
  2. Gil, David: Highly Associational Languages
  3. Olesya Khanina: Rara in the desiderative domain: hints for the theory.   [pdf]

Last updated: March 25, 2006