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Serial Verb Constructions across Modalities

In a serial verb construction (SVC), multiple independent lexical verbs are combined in a mono-clausal construction; this construction type is attested in numerous typologically unrelated languages, including creole and sign languages. In this research group, we address SVCs from a typological, theoretical, and psycholinguistic perspective.

Key objectives 

  • Identify common cross-linguistic patterns of SVCs.
  • Investigate potential modality-specific properties of SVCs.
  • Investigate the role of diachronic change: grammaticalization and language contact.
  • Develop formal approaches to account for structural properties of SVCs.
  • Investigate SVCs from a psycholinguistic perspective.


The group will meet approx. every 2-3 weeks on Fridays – for the time being at 10:00.

Coordinator and group members

Coordinator: Roland Pfau

Group members (preliminary list – in alphabetical order):

Enoch Aboh, Fenna Bergsma, Heleen Bos, Cindy van Boven, Jan Don, Pegah Faghiri, Hongmei Fang, Monique Flecken, Rene Genis, Vincent van Gerven Oei, Sune Gregersen, Kees Hengeveld, Nils Karsten, Jenia Khristoforova, Eva van Lier, Mijke Mulder, Gautam Ottur, Roland Pfau, Elisabetta Ragagnin, Marieke Schouwstra, Beyza Sümer, Eline Visser, Katherine Walker, Liesbeth Zack, Ewa Zakrzewska