SOAS University of London

SOAS Scholar awarded BA/Leverhulme grant for research on discourse and syntax in Taqbaylit Berber

18 September 2018

Dr Aicha Belkadi, Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, has been awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme grant for a research project investigating alternations in word orders inside core clauses in Taqbaylit, a Berber language indigenous to Algeria.

The project ‘Flexible word orders: how much do syntax and discourse do?’, in collaboration with Dr Samir Ben Si Said (Université Mouloud Mammeri de Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria) and Dr Candide Simard (University of the South Pacific, Fiji), will analyse the linguistic properties of arguments occurring in different clause positions and will also contain a detailed study of tune and rhythm of speech in these alternative word orders.  

Berber clause research

Speakers of Taqbaylit in Algeria

Through this research, they aim to get a better understanding of the interaction of discourse and syntax and gather empirical data to add to their current research.

The research grant will support the collection and annotation of digital audio corpus of spontaneous and natural discourse in Taqbaylit from native speakers living in London and Algeria. Their results will be published in peer-reviewed journals, and the corpus published online.