Concessive conditionals. A typological study

Start - End 
2020 - 2024 (ongoing)
Department of Linguistics
Research Focus 
Additional tags 
Linguistic typology



The present study is concerned with adverbial clauses called concessive conditionals from a functional-typological perspective. Based on a convenience sample of ca. 100 language, it investigates the coding strategies used to express concessive conditionality in the languages of the world, distinguishing between three quantificational strategies: scalar concessive conditionals (corresponding to English 'even if'), alternative concessive conditionals (E. 'whether ... or ...'), and universal concessive conditionals (E. 'no matter WH/WH-ever'). Combining different methods to collect data on these severely underdescribed constructions, careful attention will be paid to which grammatical features determine the coding strategy in any given language, using sophisticated statistical methods such as conditional inference trees and random forest. Moreover, it will be investigated which other clause types concessive conditionals share structural properties with (presumably conditionals, concessives, and interrogatives), in order to determine the status of concessive conditionals in syntactic and conceptual space. In a final step, a functional explanation will be given for the attested correlation.



Phd Student(s)


Bastian Persohn

English Department - FSU Jena