On the relationship between typology and the description of Uralic languages

Matti Miestamo


Language typologists are dependent on data provided by descriptive linguists working on individual languages, who, in turn, benefit from typologists’ results, which give them new insights into the properties of their respective languages. The article addresses the relationship between typology and Uralic descriptive linguistics. The state of description of Uralic languages is examined by surveying the availability of descriptive sources on Uralic languages in the Glottolog database, which is widely used by typologists. Ways in which Uralic studies and language typology can be brought closer to each other for the benefit of both fields are discussed giving a number of recommendations for writing typologically-oriented grammars of (Uralic) languages. Finally, the use of typologically informed questionnaires in language description is briefly addressed.


descriptive grammar; language description; language documentation; language typology; publishing; questionnaires; Uralic languages

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/jeful.2018.9.1.02


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ISSN-L 1736-8987
ISSN 1736-8987 (print)
ISSN 2228-1339 (online)