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B02 - Split case marking and constituent order variation in East Africa

This project investigates prominence relations in East African languages with different types of split case marking systems that interact with constituent order. The focus is on languages that mark case on postverbal (but not on preverbal) agents or subjects. Using spoken language corpora, we identify the features that trigger differential marking and study their interaction and variability in languages across the region.

See list of publications



Prof. Dr. Birgit Hellwig

Deputy Spokesperson of the CRC, Principal Investigator B02

Office: Allg. Sprachwissenschaft, Meister-Ekkehart-Straße 7
E-mail: bhellwig(at)
Phone: (+49) 221 470-3889
Web: Prof. Dr. Birgit Hellwig


Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alice Mitchell

Principal Investigator B02

Office: African Studies, Meister-Ekkehart-Straße 9
E-Mail: alice.mitchell(at)
Phone: (+49) 221 470-6936
Web: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alice Mitchell


Dr. Gertrud Schneider-Blum

Postdoc B02

Office: SFB, Luxemburger Str. 299, room 2.10
E-mail: schneider_blum(at)
Phone: (+49) 221 470-89906
Web: Dr. Gertrud Schneider-Blum


Mandy Lorenzen

PhD in B02

Office: SFB, Luxemburger Str. 299, room 2.10
E-Mail: mandy.lorenzen(at)
Phone: (+49) 221 470-89906


Milo Reinmöller

Student assistant B02



To appear

  • Dimmendaal, Gerrit J. To appear. The comparative method and language change in accretion zones: A view from the Nuba Mountains. In Na’ama Pat-El, Patience Epps & Danny Law (eds.), Historical linguistics and endangered languages: Exploring diversity in language change. London: Routledge.
  • Hellwig, Birgit. To appear. Children’s narratives in Papua New Guinea: A case study of Qaqet. In Christiane Bongartz & Jacopo Torregrossa (eds.), What’s in a narrative? Variation in story-telling at the interface between language and literacy. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
  • Hellwig, Birgit. To appear. Expressing events of directed caused accompanied motion in Qaqet. In Anna Margetts, Birgit Hellwig & Sonja Riesberg (eds.), Caused accompanied motion: Bringing and taking events in a cross-linguistic perspective. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Mitchell, Alice. To appear. Documenting difference: Interactional approaches to the documentation of special registers. In Richard Sandoval & Nicholas Williams (eds.), Interactional approaches to language documentation (Language Documentation & Conservation SP). Honolulu, Hawai’i: University of Hawai’i Press.
  • Mitchell, Alice. To appear. Phasal polarity in Barabaiga and Gisamjanga Datooga (Nilotic): Interactions with tense, aspect, and participant expectation. In Raija Kramer (ed.), The expression of phasal polarity in African Languages, 441-466. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • Schneider-Blum, Gertrud. To appear. The impact of attentional centring on ergative marking in Tima. STUF - Language Typology and Universals.






  • Dimmendaal, Gerrit J. 2017. Areal contact in Nilo-Saharan. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Cambridge Handbook of Areal Linguistics, 446-470. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Schneider-Blum, Gertrud. 2017. Once or more often? On pluractionality marking in Tima. STUF - Language Typology and Universals 70(1). 163-194. pdf

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