TUL Projects

1. The expression of comparison of equality and similarity

The programme is financed by the TUL federation (Fédération de Recherche - FR 2559 Typologie et Universaux Linguistiques).
Programme leaders: Claudine Chamoreau (SEDYL) and Yvonne Treis (LLACAN)
Duration: January 2014 – December 2018


  • CRLAO: K. Chirkova, G. Jacques
  • DDL: F. Rose, B. Pakendorf, M. Vuillermet
  • LACITO: F. Guérin, C. Taine-Cheikh, C. Moyse-Faurie
  • LLACAN: O. Ambouroué, M. van de Velde, M. Vanhove, P. Roulon-Doko, M.-C. Simeone-Senelle, Y. Treis, M. Hassan Kamil
  • SEDYL: C. Chamoreau, Danh Thành Do-Hurinville, A. Donabédian, J. Rangel

External participants:

B.Fourcaud (U. Antilles Guyane)

Invited speakers:

C. Umbach (U Cologne), E. König (FU Berlin), S. Vassilaki (Inalco), C. Fuchs (CNRS-Lattice), J.-F. Nunez (Inalco), H. Chappell (EHESS), B.Hellwig (U. Cologne), J. Ylikoski (UiT Tromø)

All languages of the world have means to express different types of comparison but certain comparison constructions have been studied more extensively than others. While constructions of comparison of inequality (especially of superiority) have been relatively well studied both from a typological perspective as well as from the perspective of individual languages, constructions of comparison of equality have so far attracted little attention from descriptivists and typologists. The study of the means of expression similarity and simulation has only started recently. Therefore, these three little studied types of comparison are under investigation in this programme.

Comparison of equality expresses that a comparee and a standard of comparison are share one specific parameter of comparison to the same degree (quantitative comparison). Comparison of similarity expresses multi-facetted/multi-dimensional equivalence, i.e. equivalence in manner (qualitative comparison). Simulation is a type of comparison semantically apart. In simulative constructions a speaker expresses that an observed similarity is not real and/or pretended.
More information... (in French)

Scientific objectives of the programme:

  • A typology of constructions of equality and similarity
  • A typology of the “systems” of comparison
  • Development of questionnaires and specific verbal and non-verbal stimuli

Languages studied:

  • Afroasiatic: Arabic, Afar, Beja, Kambaata, Baskeet
  • Niger-Congo: Gbaya, Myene
  • Indo-European: German, English, French, Greek
  • Finno-Ugric: Saami
  • Tungusic: Even
  • Austroasiatic: Vietnamese
  • Caucasian languages: Chechen, Ingush
  • Creole: Guadeloupean Creole (French-based), Casamance Creole (Portuguese-based)
  • Sino-Tibetan: Sinitic languages, Lizu, Japhug
  • Amerindian languages: Emerillon (Tupi-Guarani), Ese Ejja (isolate), Mojeño Trinitario (Arawak), Pesh (Chibchan), Purepecha (isolate)