Jenneke van der Wal - Linguist

curriculum vitae
publications & presentations


Welcome to my home page!


I am a researcher in African and general linguistics, currently employed at Harvard University.


My research is inspired by the question ‘what determines our grammar and its variation across languages?’. Formulating our thoughts in sentences is for a large part restricted by the syntactic rules of the particular language we speak. Another force that shapes our sentences, however, is the packaging of information: what is the most important bit of information, and how do I convey that to my interlocutor? This interface between morphosyntax and pragmatics, and particularly the crosslinguistic variation in this area, keeps fascinating me.


Key research terms: comparative morphosyntax, information structure, Bantu languages, grammaticalisation, formal typology


On these pages you can find information about my research activities, and about the language Makhuwa.