Reciprocals Across Languages

Grant number: DP0343354

Abstract

Reciprocity lies at the heart of social organization and human evolution. This project will examine how reciprocity is expressed, and what the different subtypes of reciprocal meaning are, by carrying out linguistic fieldwork on fifteen little-known languages of Australia and its region, making available detailed descriptions of reciprocals that until now have only been available for English and a few European languages. The fieldwork on undescribed, and in most cases endangered, languages will be supplemented by a ground-breaking survey of how the various notions of reciprocity are expressed in languages around the world.