New episode of angesprochen. Universals: What do all languages have in common?

angesprochen is a monthly series of interviews where we talk with linguists about their present research. In June 2015 Robert Schikowski and Juliane Schröter talked to Balthasar Bickel from the Department of Comparative Linguistics about language universals.

In our everyday lives we often make the experience that languages are vastly different and that it is not always easy to translate between them. It seems all the more surprising that typology claims to know universal tendencies not only for the few languages we usually speak but for all the different languages of the world. We talk with Balthasar Bickel (UZH, Department of Comparative Linguistics) about which universals are known to exist, how they develop, and which role the human body plays in their evolution.

Joel Andrés Prokopchuk