• B Book
  • BE: Edited Book
  • PJ: Paper in peer revied journal
  • PR: Paper in edited volumes with peer review
  • - Publications with no peer review


  1. Language typology/language universals: 2011a, 2011c, 2009a, 2007a, etc.
  2. Complexity (hidden complexity as the neglected side of complexity): forth b, d, 2009b, 2008a.
  3. Grammaticalization and areal specifications of grammaticalization: 2011d, 2010b, 2008a, 2008e, 2004b, 1996a.
  4. Language contact/areal typology: forth d., 2010a, 2008a, 2006a, 2004a, 2001a. - East and mainland Southeast Asia:  2008e, 2004b, 1998a, 1998b, 1996, 1992. - Ethiopia: 2006e, 2004d.
  5. Constructions: 2010b, 2008e, 1998a.


Papers on individual linguistic phenomena

  1. Parts of speech/word classes (Late Archaic  Chinese as a precategorial language): Bisang 2011a, 2008b, 2008d, 2008f.
  2. Serial verb constructions: Bisang 2009a,  1996, 1995, 1992, 1991, 1986.
  3. Classifier systems: 2012b, 2011b, 2010c,  2009c, 2008c, 2002, 1999, 1993.
  4. Finiteness and clause combining: forth j,  2007a, 2001b, 1998b, 1998d.
  5. Information structure: 2009d, 2000, 1999b. (vi)  Argument structure: 2008g, 2006c, 2006d.
  6. Tense-Aspect-Modality (TAM): 2004b, 2003.


Forthcoming  papers

  • Forth a. Bisang, Walter and Malchukov, Andrej. Grammaticalization and Cross-Linguistic Variation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter [Comparative Handbooks of Linguistics].
  • Forth. b. Bisang, W. “Grammaticalization in Chinese—a cross-linguistic perspective”, in: Xing, Janet (ed.), A Typological Approach to Grammaticalization & Lexicalization: East Meets West. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Forth. c. Une typologie de la transcatégorialité entre la syntaxe et la morphologie. Mémoires de la Siciété de Linguistique de Paris.
  • Forth d. Bisang, W. & Czerwinski, P. Performance in knowledge assessment tests from the perspective of linguistic typology. In: Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, Olga; Bisang, Walter and Wittum, Gabriel (eds.). Frontiers and Advances in Positive Learning in the New Age of Information (PLATO). Springer Nature Switzerland.


Published books and papers

  • 2018a. Ansaldo, Umberto, Bisang, Walter and Szeto, Pui Yiu. “Grammaticalization in isolating languages and the notion of complexity”, in: Heiko Narrog and Bernd Heine (eds.), Grammaticalization from a Typological Perspective, 219-234. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2018b. Bisang, W. “Gramaticalización y variación tipológica”, in: Regúnaga, A., Spinelli, S. & Orden, M. E. (ed.), IV Encuentro de Lenguas Indígenas Americanas (ELIA), 77–111. Santa Rosa: Editorial de la Universidad Nacional de La Pampa.
  • 2018c. Bisang, W. “Nominal and verbal classification–a comparative perspective”, in: McGregor, William B. and Wichmann, Søren (eds.). The Diachrony of Classification Systems, 241–282. (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 342). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • 2018d. Bisang, W. “Knowledge representations and cognitive skills in problem solving—a view from linguistic typology”. In: Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, O., Wittum, G. & Dengel, A. (Eds.), Positive Learning in the Age of Information (PLATO) - A Blessing or a Curse?, 127–144. Wiesbaden: Springer.
  • 2017a. Bisang, W. “Areal typology”. In: Sybesma, Rint (ed.), Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, Vol. 1, 176–180. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
  • 2017b. Bisang, W. “Serial verbs”. In: Sybesma, Rint (ed.), Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, Vol. 3, 699–705. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
  • 2017c. Bisang, W. and Wu, Yicheng. Numeral classifiers in East Asia. Linguistics 55, 257–264. Introduction to Special Issue on “Numeral Classifiers in East Asia”.
  • 2017d. Bisang, W. “Grammaticalization”. Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Linguistics. Online publication. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199384655.013.103.
  • 2017e. Pommerening, Tanja and Bisang, Walter (eds.), Classification from Antiquity to Modern Times. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • 2017f. Pommereing, Tanja and Bisang, Walter. Classification and categorization through time. In: Pommerening, Tanja and Bisang, Walter (eds.), Classification from Antiquity to Modern Times, 199–230. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • 2017g. Bisang, W. Classification between grammar and culture—a cross-linguistic perspective. In: Pommerening, Tanja and Bisang, Walter (eds.), Classification from Antiquity to Modern Times, 1–17. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • 2017h. Bisang, Walter & Malchukov, Andrej (eds.). Unity and Diversity in Grammaticalization Scenarios. Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • 2016a. Bisang, W. “Linguistic change in grammar”. In: Allan, Keith (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistics, 366–384. Oxford: Routledge.
  • 2016b. Bisang, W. “Chinese syntax”. In: Chan, Sin-wai (ed.), The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Chinese Language, 354–377. Oxford: Routledge.
  • 2016c. Bisang, W. “Finiteness and nominalization—convergence and divergence”. In: Chamoreau, Claudine (ed.), Finiteness and Nominalization, 13–41. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • 2015a. Bisang, W. [PR] “Modern Khmer”, in: Jenny, Mathias and Sidwell, Paul (eds.), The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages, 677-716. Leiden: Brill.
  • 2015b. Bisang, W. [PJ] “Hidden complexity—the neglected side of complexity and its consequences”. Linguistics Vanguard ISSN (Online), 2199-174X, DOI: 10.1515/linvan-2014-1014,
  • 2015c. Bisang, W. [PJ] “Problems with primary vs. secondary grammaticalization: the case of East and mainland Southeast Asian languages. Language Sciences 47, 132-147.
  • 2015d. “Sprachtypologie oder die sprachliche Vielfalt und was sie zusammenhält”. In: Lamping, Dieter (Hrsg). Geisteswissenschaft heute. Die Sicht der Fächer. Alfred Kröner Verlag / Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
  • 2015e. “Parts of speech”, in: Wright, James D. (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 5. 2nd edition, 553-561. Oxford: Elsevier. Doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.53029-3.
  • 2015f. Lu, Bingfu, Zhang Guohua & Bisang, W. “Valency classes in Mandarin”. In: Malchukov, Andrej and Comrie, Bernard (eds.), Valency Classes in the World’s Languages, 709-764. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2014a. Robbeets, M. and Bisang, W.(eds.) [BE] Paradigm Change in Historical Reconstruction: The Transeurasian Languages and Beyond. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • 2014b. Bisang, W. [PR] “On the strength of morphological paradigms—a historical account of radical pro-drop”, in: Robbeets, M. and Bisang, W. (eds.), Paradigm Change in Historical Reconstruction: The Transeurasian Languages and Beyond, 23-60. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • 2014c. [PJ] Bisang, W. “Overt and hidden complexity—two types of complexity and their implications”. Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 50.2, 127-143.
  • 2013a. [PR] “Chinese from a typological perspective”. In: Tseng, Chiu-yu / 鄭秋豫 (ed.), Papers from The Fourth International Conference on Sinology: Human Language Resources and Linguistic Typology / 第四屆國際漢學會議論文集:語言資訊和語言類型, 1-32. Taibei: Academia Sinica.
  • 2013b. [PR] Bisang, W. “Word-class systems between flexibility and rigidity—an integrative approach”, in: Rijkhoff, Jan and Eva van Lier (eds.), Flexible word-classes: A Typological Study of Underspecified Parts of Speech, 275-303. Oxford University Press.
  • 2013c. [PR] Bisang, W., Wang, Luming and Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina. “Subjecthood in Chinese—neurolinguistics meets typology”. In: Jing-Schmidt, Zhuo (ed.), Increased Empiricism: Recent Advances in Chinese Linguistics, 23-47. Amsterdam and Phidalphia: Benjamins.
  • 2013d. [PR] Bisang, W. “Language contact between geographic and mental space”, in: Auer, P., M. Hilpert, A. Stukenbrock and B. Szmrecsanyi, Linguistic Perspectives on Space: Geography, Interaction, and Cognition, 61-100. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter (Series Linguae et Litterae).
  • 2013e. Bisang, W. “Die ‘Chinesische Grammatik’ von Georg von der Gabelentz aus typologischer Sicht”. Preface to the reprint of: Gabelentz, G. von der. 1881. Chinesische Grammatik. Mit Ausschluss des niederen Stiles und der heutigen Umgangssprache. Leipzig: T. O. Weigel. Tübingen: Stauffenburg.
  • 2012a. [PJ] Li, Xuping and Bisang, Walter. “Classifiers in Sinitic languages: From individuation to definiteness-marking.” Lingua 122, 335-355.
  • 2012b. [PR] Bisang, W. “Numeral classifiers with plural marking—a challenge to Greenberg.” In Xu, Dan (ed.), Plurality and classifiers across languages of China. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2011e. [PJ] Schumacher, Petra B., Walter Bisang, & Linlin Sun. “Perspective in the Processing of the Chinese Reflexive ziji: ERP Evidence”. In Hendrickx, I., A. Branco, S. Lalitha Devi, & R. Mitkov. (eds.) Anaphora Processing and Applications, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 7099. Heidelberg: Springer, 119-131.
  • 2011d. [PR] Bisang, W. “Grammaticalization and typology”. In Narrog, Heiko and Heine, Bernd (eds), Handbook of grammaticalization, 105-117. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2011c. [PR] Bisang, W. “Variation and reproducibility in linguistics”, in: Siemund, Peter (ed.), Linguistic Universals and Language Variation, 237-263. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2011b. Gerner, Matthias and W. Bisang. “Social deixis classifiers in Weining Ahmao.” In Rara & Rarissima: Documenting the fringes of linguistic diversity, (EALT, Empirical approaches to linguistic typology, 46), Wohlgemuth, Jan and Michael Cysouw (eds.). 75-94. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2011a. [PR] Bisang, W. “Word Classes”, in: Song, Jae Jong (ed.), The Oxford handbook of Linguistic Typology, 280-302. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2010c. [PJ] Gerner, Matthias & Walter Bisang. “Classifier declinations in an isolating language: On a rarity in Weining Ahmao.” Language and Linguistics 11, 579-623.
  • 2010b. [PR] Bisang, W. “Grammaticalization in Chinese—a construction based account”, in: Traugott, Elisabeth C. and Graeme Trousdale (eds), Gradience, Gradualness, and Grammaticalization, 245-277. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • 2010a. [PR] Bisang, W. “Areal language typology”, in: Auer, Peter and Schmidt, Jürgen E. (eds.), Language and space. An international handbook of linguistic variation. Vol. 1: Theories and methods, 419-440. [Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft]. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2009a. [PJ] Bisang, W. “Serial Verb Constructions”, in: Language and Linguistics Compass 3, 792-814. Doi: 10.1111/j.1749-818X.2009.00128.x.
  • 2009b. [PR] Bisang, W. “On the evolution of complexity — sometimes less is more in East and mainland Southeast Asia”, in: Sampson, Geoffrey, David Gil and Peter Trudgill (eds.), Language complexity as an evolving variable, 34 – 49. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2009c. [PJ] Gerner, M. and Bisang, W. “Inflectional classifiers in Weining Ahmao: Mirror of the history of a people”, in: Folia Linguistica Historica 30, 183 - 218. (Societas Linguistica Europaea).
  • 2009d. Sonaiya, Remi and Bisang, W. “Left of focus—insights on topic and information structure from the perspective of Yoruba”, in: Urua, Eno-Abasi, Moses Ekpenyong and Firmin Ahoua (eds.), Language development beyond borders (A Festschrift in honour of Professor Dr. Dafydd Gibbon), 359-410. Uyo, Nigeria: Glomosoft.
  • 2008a. [PJ] Bisang, W. “Grammaticalization as an areal phenomenon — the case of East and mainland Southeast Asian languages and its consequences for concepts of complexity and maturation”, in: 语言学论丛 [Yuyanxue Luncong] 38, 64-98.
  • 2008b. [PR] Bisang, W. “Precategoriality and argument structure in Late Archaic Chinese”, in: Leino, Jaakko (ed.), Constructional reorganization, 55-88. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • 2008c. [PJ] M. Gerner & W. Bisang. “Inflectional speaker-role classifiers in Weining Ahmao’, in: Journal of Pragmatics 40, 719–731.
  • 2008d. Bisang, W. “Underspecification and the noun/verb distinction: Late Archaic Chinese and Khmer”, in: Steube, Anita (ed.), The discourse potential of underspecified structures: event structures and information structures, 55 – 83. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  • 2008e. [PR] Bisang, W. “Grammaticalization and the areal factor: The perspective of East and mainland Southeast Asian languages”, in: López-Couso, María José & Elena Seoane (eds.), Rethinking Grammaticalization. New Perspectives, 15 – 35. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • 2008f. [PJ] Bisang, W. “Precategoriality and syntax-based parts of speech — the case of Late Archaic Chinese”, in: Studies in Language 32, 568-589. Reprinted 2010 in: Ansaldo, Umberto, Jan Don and Roland Pfau (eds.), Parts of speech. Empirical and theoretical advances, 65-86. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • 2008g. [PJ] Philipp, M., I. Bornkessel, W. Bisang, M. Schlesewsky. “The role of animacy in real time comprehension of Mandarin Chinese: Evidence from auditory event-related brain potentials”, Brain  and Language 105, 112-133.
  • 2007a. [PR] Bisang, W. “Categories that make finiteness: discreteness from a functional perspective and some of its repercussions”, in: Nikolaeva, Irina (ed.), Finiteness. Theoretical and empirical foundations, 115-137. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2007b. Bisang, W. “Some general thoughts about linguistic typology and dialogue linguistics”, in: Grein, Marion and Weigand, Edda (eds.), Dialogue and culture, 53-72. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • 2007c. “Issues on language and linguistics”, in: Akinrinade, Sola, Dipo Fashina, David O. Ogungbile & J. O. Famakinwa (eds.), Rethinking the humanities, 291 – 318. Ile Ife, Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo University Press, Faculty of Arts.
  • 2006a. [PR] Bisang, W. “Contact-induced convergence: Typology and areality”, in: Brown, Keith. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Vol. 3, 88-101. Oxford: Elsevier.
  • 2006b. [PR] Bisang, W. “South East Asia as a Linguistic Area”, in: Brown, Keith. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Vol. 11, 587-595. Oxford: Elsevier.
  • 2006c. [PR] Bisang, W. “Widening the perspective: Argumenthood and syntax in Chinese, Japanese and Tagalog”, in: Hole, Daniel, Meinunger, André & Abraham, Werner (eds.), Datives and other cases. Between argument structure and event structure, 331-381. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • 2006d. [PR] Bisang, W. “From meaning to syntax — semantic roles and beyond”, in: Bornkessel, Ina, Matthias Schlesewsky, Bernard Comrie and Angela D. Friederici (eds.), Semantic role universals and argument linking, 191-236. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2006e. [PR] Bisang, W. “Linguistic areas, language contact and typology: Some implications from the case of Ethiopia as a linguistic area”, in: Matras, Yaron, April McMahon and Nigel Vincent (eds.), Linguistic areas. Convergence in historical and typological perspective, 75-98. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • 2005. [BE] Bisang, W., Thomas Bierschenk, Detlev Kreikenbom & Ursula Verhoeven (eds.), Prozesse des Wandels in historischen Spannungsfeldern Nordostadfrikas/ Westasiens. Akten zum 2. Symposium des SFB 295. Würzburg: ERGON.
  • 2004a. [PR] Bisang, W. “Dialectology and typology — an integrative perspective”, in: Kortmann, Bernd. ed. Dialectology meets typology. Dialect grammar from a cross-linguistic perspective, 11-45. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2004b. [BE/PR] Bisang, W. “Grammaticalization without coevolution of form and meaning: The case of tense-aspect-modality in East and mainland Southeast Asia”, in: Bisang, Walter, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann and Björn Wiemer (eds.), What makes grammaticalization?  - A look from its fringes and its components, 109-138. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2004c. [BE] “Kultur und Sprache aus der Perspektive des Kontaktes”, in: Bisang, Walter, Thomas Bierschenk, Detlef Kreikenbom und Ursula Verhoeven (eds.), Kultur, Sprache, Kontakt, 1-52. Würzburg: Ergon.
  • 2004d. Crass, Joachim & Bisang, Walter. “Einige Bemerkungen zum äthiopischen Sprachbund und ihre Relevanz für die Areallinguistik”, in: Bisang, Walter, Thomas Bierschenk, Detlef Kreikenbom und Ursula Verhoeven (eds.), Kultur, Sprache, Kontakt, 169-199. Würzburg: Ergon.
  • 2003. Kullavanijaya, Pranee & Bisang, Walter. “Another look at aspect in Thai”, in: Manusya, Journal of the Humanities (Special Issue Nr. 6), 43-56.
  • 2002. [PJ] Bisang, W. “Classification and the evolution of grammatical structures: a universal perspective”, in: Leuschner, Torsten (ed.), Language evolution in a typological perspective. Thematic volume in Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung (STUF), 55.3, 289-308.
  • 2001a. [BE] Bisang, W. “Areality, grammaticalization and language typology. On the explanatory power of functional criteria and the status of Universal Grammar”, in: Bisang, Walter (ed.), Language typology and universals, 175-223. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  • 2001b. [PR] Bisang, W. “Finite vs. non finite languages”, in: Haspelmath, Martin, Ekkehard König, Wulf Œsterreicher and Wolfgang Raible (eds.), Language Typology and Language Universals, Volume 2, 1400-1413. [Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft.] Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2001c. Bisang, W. “Syntax/morphology asymmetry in Vietnamese - a consequence of contact by writing between Vietnamese, Chinese and Standard Average European Languages”, in: Igla, Birgit and Thomas Stolz (eds.) „Was ich noch sagen wollte …“ A multilingual Festschrift for Norbert Boretzky on occasion of his 65th birthday, 189-201. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  • 2001d. [BE] Bisang, W. “Das Klassische Chinesisch – eine gesprochene Sprache“, in: Schmidt, Maria Gabriela and Walter Bisang (ed.), Philologia et Linguistica. Festschrift für Helmut Humbach zu seinem 80. Geburtstag, 543-562. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier.
  • 2000. [PJ] Bisang, W. & Sonaiya, R. “Information structuring in Yoruba”, in: Linguistics 38.1, 169-197.
  • 1999a. [PR] Bisang, W. “Classifiers in East and Southeast Asian languages: Counting and beyond”, in: Gvozdanovic, Jadranka (ed.), Numeral types and changes worldwide, 113-185. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 1999b. [PJ] Bisang, W. and Sonaiya, Remi. “The function of the High Tone Syllable in Yoruba.”, in: The Journal of African Languages and Linguistics (JALL) 20, 1-19.
  • 1999c. [PJ] Bickel, Balthasar, Bisang, Walter and Yadava, Yogendra. “Face vs. empathy: the social foundation of Maithili verb agreement”. Linguistics.
  • 1998a. [PR] Bisang, W. “Grammaticalization and language contact, constructions and positions”, in: Giacalone Ramat, Anna and Paul Hopper (eds.), The limits of grammaticalization, 13-58. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • 1998b. Bisang, W. “The view from the far East. Comments on seven thematic areas”, in: Van der Auwera, Johan with Dónall P. Ó Baoill (eds.), Adverbial constructions in the languages of Europe, 641-812. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 1998c. Bisang, W. “Verb serialization and attractor positions: Constructions and their potential impact on language change and language contact”, in: Leonid Kulikov, Leonid and Heinz Vater (eds), Typology of verbal categories, Papers presented to Vladimir Nedjalkov on the occasion of his 70th birthday, 255-271. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  • 1998d. Bisang, W. “Structural similarities of clause combining in Turkic, Mongolian, Manchu-Tungusic and Japanese - a typological alternative to the hypothesis of a genetic relationship”, in: Johanson, Lars. ed. The Mainz Meeting.Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Turkish Linguistics, 199 - 223. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz. [Eröffnungsvortrag zur 7th International Conference on Turkish Linguistics].
  • 1998e. Bisang, W. “Die Sprachtypologie und einige ihrer Folgen für die Übersetzbarkeit - ein Versuch”, in: Huber, Dieter & Erika Worbs. eds. Ars Transferendi: Sprache, Übersetzung, Interkulturalität, 25 - 44. Festschrift für Nikolai Salnikow. Frankfurt a. M.: Lang.
  • 1997a. [PJ] Bisang, W. and Remi Sonaiya. “Perfect and beyond, from pragmatic relevance to Perfect: The Chinese sentence particle le and Yoruba ti”, in: Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 50.2, 143-158.
  • 1997b. Bisang. W. “Verbserialisierung in ost- und südostasiatischen Sprachen”, in: Thümmel, W. & Utz Maas. Infinitive. Sprachtypologische Studien, 10 - 34. Osnabrück: Secolo.
  • 1996a. [PJ] Bisang, W. “Areal typology and grammaticalization: Processes of grammatical­ization based on nouns and verbs in East and mainland South East Asian languages”, in: Studies in Language, 20.3, 519-597.
  • 1996b. Bisang, W. “Sprachliche Areale in Asien am Beispiel der Satzverknüpfung”, in: Boretzky, Norbert & Werner Enninger & Thomas Stolz (eds.), Areale, Kontakte, Dialekte. Sprache und ihre Dynamik in mehrsprachigen Situationen, 24-50.  Bochum: Brockmeyer.
  • 1995. [PR] Bisang, W. “Verb serialization and converbs - differences and similarities”, in: König, Ekkehard and Martin Haspelmath (eds.), Converbs in cross-linguistic perspective, 137-188. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 1993a. [PJ] Bisang, W. “Classifiers, quantifiers and class nouns in Hmong”, in: Studies in Language. 17.1, 1-51.
  • 1993b. Bisang, W. “Der Konverb-Typ und der Verbserialisierungs-Typ: Skizze zu einer Arealtypologie der Satzverbindung in den Sprachen Asiens”, in: Ebert, Karen H. ed. Studies in clause linkage (Papers from the First Köln-Zürich Workshop), 57-70. Zürich: Seminar für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft.
  • 1992a. [B] Bisang, W. Das Verb im Chinesischen, Hmong, Vietnamesischen, Thai und Khmer. Vergleichende Grammatik im Rahmen der Verb­serialisierung, der Grammatikalisierung und der Attraktor­positionen. [Language Universals Series, 7]. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.
  • 1992b. Bisang, W. “The internal structure of adverbial clauses in Georgian, Avar, and Abkhaz”, in: Hengeveld, Kees. ed. The Internal Structure of Adverbial Clauses, 3-45. EUROTYP Working Papers V.5.
  • 1992c. [PJ] Bisang, W. “Zum Paiwan, einer Sprache des Philippinischen Strukturtyps auf Taiwan”, in: Asiatische Studien 1992, 557-566.
  • 1991a. Bisang, W. “Verb serialization, grammaticalization and attractor posi­tions in Chinese, Hmong, Vietnamese, Thai and Khmer”, in: Seiler, Hansjakob and Waldfried Premper (eds.), Partizipation, 509-562. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.
  • 1991b. Bisang, Walter & Peter Rinderknecht. Hrsg. Von Europa bis Ozeanien, von der Antonymie zum Relativsatz - Gedenkschrift für Meinrad Scheller. Arbeiten des Seminars für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Zürich, Nr. 11.
  • 1991c. Bisang, W. “Die Hervorhebung im Chinesischen: Zur diachronen Kontinuität des Äquationalsatzmusters im Rahmen der Diskurs­pragmatik”, in: Rinderknecht, Peter & Walter Bisang (Hrsg.),  Von Europa bis Ozeanien, von der Antonymie zum Relativsatz - Gedenkschrift für Meinrad Scheller, 39-75.
  • 1988. Bisang, W. Hmong-Texte, eine Auswahl mit Interlinearübersetzung aus Jean Mottin, Contes et légendes Hmong Blanc (Bangkok: Don Bosco 1980). Arbeiten des Seminars für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Zürich, Nr. 8. 125 pp.
  • 1986. [PJ] Bisang, W. “Die Verbserialisierung im Jabêm”, in: Lingua 70,131-62.
  • 1985. Bisang, W. Das Chinesische Pidgin-Englisch: Ein bilinguales Pidgin im Spannungsfeld von Superstrat, Substrat und eigener Kreativität. Amsterdam. Amsterdam Asia Studies, No. 58. 66  pp.


Translation from Chinese

  • Mao,  Dun. „Wo ein Wille ist …“, in: Meisig, Konrad. 2003. Hrsg. Orientalische Erzähler der Gegenwart, 299 – 318. (Beiträge zur  Indologie 31). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.


A  selection of presentations/Summer Schools between 2007 – 2019

Presentations in 2019

March 06: Plenary speaker at the 41st Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society (41. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft) in Bremen on “Grammar between Explicitness and Economy”.

Presentations in 2018

Dec 12: Keynote speaker at the Australian Linguistic Society Conference 2018, Adelaide, Australia. Lecture on “Manifestations of complexity in grammar and discourse”.

Oct 09: Shanghai (PR China), Fudan University: Lecture on “Complexity in linguistic typology—Chinese, the West and beyond”.

Oct 08: Shanghai (PR China), Jiaotong University: Lecture on “On the omission of subjects and objects in Chinese and mainland Southeast Asian languages—an explanation from historical linguistics”.

Sept 27: Jinhua (PR China), Zhejiang Normal University, International Dept of Culture and Teacjing (浙江师范大学国际文化与教育学院): Lecture on “Linguistic typology and the question of how to account for cross-linguistic variation”.

Sept 06 – Oct 12: Hangzhou (PR of China), Zhejiang University, Dept of Humanities   (浙江大学人文学院), Chair Professorship (求实讲座教授): Course on Linguistic Typology: Introduction to Typology I and II (6 hours), Classifiers (3 hours), Parts of Speech (3 hours), Argument Structure (3 hours).

May 28: Invited talk at the University of Cologne, Collaborative Research Centre 1252 “Prominence in Language”. Title of presentation: “Numeral classifiers and prominence—definiteness and indefiniteness in East and mainland Southeast Asian languages”.

May 24: together with Patryk Czerwinski: University of Mainz, International PLATO Conference: Positive Learning in the Age of Information. Title of presentation: “Performance in knowledge assessment tests from the perspective of Linguistic Typology”.

March 07 – 09: Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft, DGfS) in Stuttgart, together with Quang Kim Ngoc. Topic: “Classifiers and definiteness/indefiniteness in Vietnam­ese”. Workshop on “Specificity, definiteness and article systems across languages”.

March 02: Invited speaker to Birthday Symposium of Raimund Kastenholz (African Linguistics) at the University of Mainz. Topic: “On the Omission of Arguments—Africa and East Asia between Economy and Explicitness” (in German: “Über die Weglassbarkeit von Argumenten — Afrika und Ostasien zwischen  Ökonomie und Explizitheit”).

February 09: Invited speaker to Birthday Symposium of Richard Wiese, University of Marburg, Germany. Topic: “Morphology and Grammaticalization between Open and Hidden Complexity” (in German: “Morphologie und Grammatikalisierung zwischen offener und versteckter Komplexität”).

February 01: Invited speaker to the Collaborative Research Centre 833 “The construction of meaning: the dynamics and adaptivity of linguistic structures” in Tübingen (Germany). Topic: “Numeral classifiers and definiteness/indefiniteness in East and mainland Southeast Asia”.


Presentations in 2017

December 14 – 16: Key-note at “The 2nd International Symposium on Chinese Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (ISOCTAL-2)”, Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca: “The properties of grammaticalization in Chinese—a comparative perspective” (Dec 15, 2017).

September 25 – 26: Course on “Gramaticalización, construccionalización y tipológica” at Universidad de Buenos Aires: Instituto de Lingüística, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

September 20: keynote at “IV Encuentro de Lenguas Indígenas Americanas” on “Gramaticalización y variación tipológica”, Universidad Nacional de la Pampa, Santa Rosa, Argentina.

September 19: Universidad Nacional de la Pampa, Santa Rosa, Argentina: “Curso de gramaticalización”.

July 15 – 16: keynote at The 3rd International Symposium on Linguistic Typology/第三届语言类型学国际学术研讨会 (Shanghai, International Studies University (SHISU)/上海外国语大学. Opening speech: “Radical pro-drop and typology—a historical and sociolinguistic account”.

June 05 – June 16: Chulalongkorn University Summer School of Southeast Asian Linguistics, CU-SEAL 2017, Bangkok: Two-weeks course on “Grammaticalization in East and mainland Southeast Asia”.

May 04 – 06: Invited speaker at Cambridge Comparative Syntax 6 (CamCoS 6), University of Cambridge. Topic: “A historical account of radical pro-drop”.

April 22 – 23: Invited speaker at International Symposium on Typological Regularity of Semantic Change in Grammaticalization & Lexicalization, Western Washington University (WWU), Bellingham (USA). Topic: “Grammaticalization—a cross-linguistic typological perspective” (opening presentation).

January 21: Invited speaker: Société de Linguistique de Paris, Paris, meeting on “De la transcatégorialité dans les langues naturelles : description, modélisation, acquisition et application”. Topic: “Une typologie de la transcatégorialité entre la syntaxe et la morphologie [A typology of transcategoriality between syntax and morphology]”.


Presentations in 2016

February 10: Jerusalem, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Symposium commemorating Hans Jakob Polotsky on the 25th anniversary of his death. Paper on “Clause combining: between nominalization, finiteness and information structure”.


Presentations in 2015

March 04 – 06: Workshop on “VO-OV: Correlations of Head-complement order in grammar and lexicon” at the German Linguistics Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft, DGfS) together with Gisbert Fanselow (Potsdam) and Hubert Haider (Salzburg).

March 12 – 14: International symposium on “Grammaticalization. Areal patterns of grammaticalization and cross-linguistic variation in grammaticalization scenarios” at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Organizers: Andrej Malchukov and Walter Bisang Symposium Grammaticalization

March 21 – 28: Beijing (P. R. China): Lectures at China University of Political Science and Law, Foreign Languages School (中国政法大学外国语学院):
March 24: “Linguistic variation worldwide and the position of Chinese” (Distinguished Scholar Award 名家论坛嘉奖)
March 25: “Die Übersetzungsproblematik aus sprachtypologischer Sicht”
March 26: “Approaches to linguistic Complexity”

April 15 – May 10: Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China), School of Humanities (人文学院), Center for the Study of Language and Cognition (语言与认知研究中心):
Lecture Series on “Linguistic complexity: implications from the perspective of typology and linguistic change” (between April 20 and May 07):

  1. Approaches to linguistic complexity, overt vs. hidden complexity
  2. Introduction into Linguistic Typology
  3. Grammaticalization: Pathways and parameters
  4. Grammaticalization: Constructions
  5. Language contact and areality: consequences for complexity, grammaticalization and typology
  6. The case of radical pro-drop—a historical account
  7. Rounding off—additional perspectives and theoretical implications

May 09: Invited speaker: International Workshop on Typological Studies of Sinitic Languages (Zhejiang University, Center for the Study of Language and Cognition): “Grammaticalization and Typological Variation”.

June 13 – June 26: San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas, Mexico), Cientro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS). Doctoral Seminar on “Gramaticalización” (in Spanish), 40 hours plus assessment of student projects and correction of papers.

September 02 – 05: Leiden (NL): 48th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE): Two oral presentations:
On the strength of morphological paradigms—a historical account of radical pro-drop between hidden and overt complexity (Sept 04),
together with Sun, Linlin: Basic word order and precategoriality in classical Chinese—new evidence for SVO (September 05).

Presentations in 2014

March 25: University of Lyon (Université Lumière Lyon 2), Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage:
Paper on: “Radical pro-drop—a diachronic account based on morphological paradigms.

May 29 – June 7: Ciudad de México, Cientro de investigaciones y estudios superiores en antropología social (CIESAS):
Lecture series on Grammaticalization and areal typology in Spanish: “Gramaticalización y tiplogía areal”, 5 courses from June 02 to June 06.

June 11 – 13: University of Tübingen (SFB 833): Invited speaker to “The Semantics of African, Asian and Austronesian languages (Triple A1)
Paper on: “Definiteness and indefiniteness in numeral-classifier languages of East and mainland Southeast Asia”.

June 25: Paris, Université Diderot: Invited speaker to the celebration of Marie-Claude Paris / Journée d’hommage à Marie Claude Paris.
Paper on: “Sur l’interaction entre syntaxe, sémantique et pragmatique et ce que l’on peut apprendre du chinois” [On the interaction of syntax, semantics and pragmatics and what we can learn from Chinese].

September 01 – 05: Teacher at the “Indian Summer School” at National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow.

  • Topic: “Linguistic complexity, grammaticalization, and contact”:
  • Approaches to linguistic complexity, overt vs. hidden complexity
  • Approaches to grammaticalization
  • Grammaticalization and contact—hidden complexity in the languages of East and mainland Southeast Asia
  • The case of radical pro-drop—a historical account
  • Rounding off—additional perspectives and theoretical implications

September 10 – 13: Presentation at the International Conference of European Linguistics / Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE 2014) in Poznan.

  • Together with Sun Linlin, paper on: “Precategoriality in classical Chinese between Construction Grammar and metaphor”.

October 02: University of Leiden (NL). Invited speaker, workshop on “Southern Min: Contact, context and diachrony”.
Paper on: “Radical pro-drop from a diachronic perspective”.

Presentations in 2013

March 07 – 08: With Robbeets, Martine: Organization of a Workshop at Mainz University on “Paradigm Change in Historical Reconstruction—the Transeurasian Languages and beyond”.
Paper on: “The strength of morphological paradigms between economy and explicitness”.

August 05 – 09: Paper at the 21st International Conference on Historical Linguistics, University of Oslo (Norway).
Paper on: “Problems with secondary grammaticalization: the case of East and mainland Southeast Asian languages”, in Workshop on “Secondary grammaticalization and other later stage processes in grammaticalization”.

August 15 – 18: Presentation at Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT 10) in Leipzig at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the University of Leipzig, Germany.
Paper on: “Numeral classifiers as markers of (in)definiteness—conditions of grammaticalization and the existence of pre-established categories”.

August 29: Invitation to the “Complexity Debate” at the 44th Poznan Linguistic Meeting (Poland). Short presentation on “Hidden complexity vs. overt complexity”.

October 17: Invited speaker to a workshop on “Chinese Numeral Classifiers: Semantics, Structure and Pragmatics/小型语言学国际研讨会:量词的语义,结构与语用”, Zhejian University, Center for the Study of Language and Cognition/浙江大学语言与认知研究中心。
Paper on: “Numeral classifiers as (in)definiteness markers, differences and similarities between Sinitic and Non-Sinitic”.

November 04 – 08: Lecture Series on “Linguistic complexity” at Sonora University (Universidad de Sonora), Hermosillo, Mexico. Daily lessons, 4 hours/day.

  • Approaches to complexity I,
  • Hidden complexity: East and mainland Southeast Asia (EMSEA), Western Africa and Creoles,
  • Hidden complexity and maturation,
  • How to measure hidden complexity,
  • Approaches to complexity II.

November 11 – 12: Invited speaker to “Seminario de complejidad sintáctica 2013/ Seminar on Syntactic Complexity 2013” at Sonora University (Universidad de Sonora), Hermosillo, Mexico.
Paper on: “Grammaticalization in a language with a high degree of hidden complexity: two types of maturation and two types of complexity”.

November 30 – December 01: Keynote speaker at “The 1st International Symposium on Linguistic Typology/首届语言类型学国际学术研讨会” at Changshu Institute of Technology/常熟理工大学.
Paper on: “Linguistic Typology—evidence for a holistic approach from Sinitic and mainland Southeast Asian languages”.

Presentations  in 2012

March  21 – 23 Invited speaker, workshop on “Grammatische und lexikalische Strukturen  im Wandel”, University of Cologne.
Paper on: “Argument  realization—the use of zeros, pronouns and lexical nouns between grammar and  culture”.

April/May Visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong.
Topic: Language and Complexity. Four  lectures on (i) Approaches to Complexity in Linguistics, (ii) Hidden  Complexity: The Case of East and Mainland Southeast Asian Languages, (iii)  Hidden Complexity in West African Kwa Languages and in Creole Languages, (iv)  Language and Complexity: The Wider Perspective.

Three lectures at Hong Kong  Polytechnic University: Workshop on “Stance and Discourse”, May 07 – 09: (i)  Stance between grammar and discourse, (ii) The multifunctionality of numeral  classifiers, (iii) Clause combining between finiteness, nominalization and  information structure.

June 20 – 23: Invited speaker, “4th International Conference on Sinology / 第四屆國際漢學會議”, Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica  (ILAS), Taibei (Taiwan).
Opening paper on: “Chinese from a  typological perspective”.

July 09 – 14: Teacher at LOT Summer School (Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taal­wetenschap),  the Netherlands National Graduate School of Linguistics (, Utrecht (NL).
Topic: Complexity and the typology of  East and mainland Southeast Asian languages.

August 22 – 24: Invited speaker, international conference on “Concept Types and  Frames” (CTF12) in Düsseldorf, CRC/SFB 991: The  Structure of Represen­tations in Language. Cognition and Science.
Topic: The multifunctionality of  numeral classifiers and determination.

November 13 – 14: Invited Speaker, “Seminario de complejidad sintáctica”, University of  Sonora, Mexico.
Topic: The hidden side of complexity.

November 14 – 17: Keynote speaker, “XII Encuentro  Internacional de Lingüística en el Noroeste”, University of Sonora, Mexico.
Topic: On the  cross-linguistic similarity of grammatical categories—what happens if numeral  classifiers mark (in)definiteness?

November 29 – December 01, 2012 Invited Speaker, Workshop on  “Mainland Southeast Asian Languages: The state of the art 2012“, Max Planck  Insittute of Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig.
Topic: The  languages of Mainland Southeast Asia and their typological characteristics between hidden and overt complexity.

Presentations  in 2011

June 17 – 19: Keynote speaker, “North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics 23  (NACCL 23), University of Oregon, together with Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky  (University of Marburg).
Topic: “Subjecthood in  Chinese—neurology meets typology” (W. Bisang & I. Bornkessel-Schlesewsky).

July 20 – 24: Two presentation, “Association for Linguistic Typology 9”, Hong Kong:  The University of Hong Kong.
Topic (i), July 20: “Isolation as an  area-specific epiphenomenon that cannot be transferred easily to other  languages” (Workshop on analyticity),
Topic (ii): July 22: “Nominal and  verbal classification—why the former is far more widespread than the latter”.

September 08 – 11: Presentation, “International Conference of the Societas Linguistica  Europaea 44”, University of Logroño (Spain).
Topic: “Complexity, areality and the  necessity of a multilevel approach to typology”.

October 11: Invited speaker, workshop on “Évolution des structures morpho­syn­taxiques,  vers une typologie intégrative”, CNRS & Fédération Typologie et uni­versaux  linguistiques, Paris.
Topic: “Person and beyond—the functions of person markers in clause com­bining and  discourse”.

October 12 – 14: Invited speaker, workshop on “Finiteness and nominalization”, Com­plexité  syntaxique et diversité typologique (Programme international de co­opération  scientifique, PICS 4704), CNRS & Universidad de Sonora (Mexico), Paris:  INALCO.
Topic: “Finiteness  and nominalization—convergence and divergence”.

Presentations  in 2010

May 14 – 16: Presentation within the framework of COST A31, “Stability and Adap­tation  of Classification Systems in a Cross-Cultural Perspective”. Final Meeting,  Paris.
Topic: “Nominal and verbal  classification—a comparative perspective”.

August 09 – 10: Invited speaker, “Internationale Gablentz-Konferenz 2010”:  Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik der Humboldt-Universität /  Ost-West-Gesell­schaft für Sprach- und Kulturforschung e.V., Berlin:  Humboldt-Universität.
Topic: “Georg von der Gabelentz als  sprachwissenschaftlicher Sinologe und Sprachtypologe – Wechselwirkungen  zwischen zwei Disziplinen”.

September 02 – 05: Presentation, “International Conference of the Societas Linguistica  Europaea 43”, University of Vilnius (Lithuania).
Topic: “Conditions for the development  of morphological paradigms”.

Presentations  in 2009

March 12 – 13: Presentation within the framework of COST A31, “Stability and  Adaptation of Classification Systems in a Cross-Cultural Perspective”, workshop  on “The diachrony of classification systems”, NIAS, Wassenaar (NL).
Topic: “The  development of classifier systems in mainland Southeast Asia—the role of  taxonomy and meronymy”.

April 19 – 23: Invitation as a guest lecturer to the University of Uppsala.
Topic (i), April 20: “Chinese from a  typological perspective—pragmatics and com­plexity”, Topic (ii), April 22: “Hidden  complexity—the other side of complexity in linguistics and some of its  consequences for typological and evolutionary approaches”.

July 2 – 4: Two presentations, “17th Annual Conference of the  International Association of Chinese Linguistics / 國際中國語言學學會第十七屆年會”. CNRS-EHESS, Paris.
Topic: (i): “Classifiers and areality  in East and mainland SE Asia—divergence within convergence and its origins”,
Topic (ii) together with Li Xuping:  “Classifiers in Sinitic languages: from atomiz­ation to reference”.

August 07 – 21: Teacher at the 2009 Summer School of the University of Marburg on  “Models of Language Variation and Change / Modelle von Sprachvariation und  Sprachwandel”, Universität Marburg.
Topic: “Linguistic typology and  grammaticalization—the perspective of language contact” (9 lessons).

Presentations  in 2008

May 12 – 14: Workshop on “New Directions in Historical Linguistics”, funded by the  ESF-EUROCORES Program: The Origin of Man, Language and languages (OMLL). Lyon:  Dynamique du langage.
Topic: Together with H. Chappel:  “Problems with areality—the case of East and Southeast Asian languages”.

May 06 – June 05: Visiting professor at the Centre  de recherches linguistiques sur l’asie orientale (CRLAO), CNRS-EHESS, Paris.
Topic (i), May 07: “Complexity — Overt  vs. Hidden Complexity”,
Topic (ii), May 20 : “Areality from  the perspective of East and mainland Southeast Asian languages”,
Topic (iii), May 28: “Verb  serialization in East and mainland Southeast Asian languages”,
Topic (iv), May 29: “Precategoriality  in Late Archaic Chinese” at LACITO.

September 25 – 27: Keynote speaker, “XV. Tagung des Fachverbands Chinesisch e.V.  Chinesich—eine Herausforderung für den Fremdsprachenunterricht”, Freie  Universität Berlin.
Topic: “Das Chinesische aus  sprachtypologischer Sicht – Pragmatik und Komplexität”.

September 25 – 28: Presentation, “Syntax of the World’s Languages III”, Freie Universität  Berlin.
Topic: “Hidden complexity in syntax”.

October 31 – November 02: Invited speaker, workshop on “Functional projections in analytic languages (the Sino-Kwa project)”  (kick-off meeting). University of Leiden (NL).
Topic: “The domains of grammar and  pragmatics in Yoruba and in East and mainland Southeast Asian languages”.

November 26 – 28: Invited speaker, “Workshop III: Language space and geography”, FRIAS,  University of Freiburg.
Topic: “Language contact between  geographic and mental space”.

Presentations  in 2007

April 12 – 14: Invited speaker, workshop on “Language Complexity as an Evolving  Variable”, Leipzig, MPI Evolutionary Antropology.
Topic: “On the evolution of  complexity—sometimes less is more in East and mainland Southeast Asia”.

June 28 – 30: Keynote speaker, “XXIèmes Journées de Linguistique d' Asie Orientale" / Paris Meeting on East Asian Linguistics, CRLAO,  CNRS-EHESS, Paris.
Topic: Grammaticalization as an areal  phenomenon—the case of East and mainland Southeast Asian languages and its  consequences for concepts of complexity and maturation

September 21 – 24: Presentation, “Association for Linguistic Typology VII” (ALT VII), Paris.
Topic:  “Stability vs. flexibility in contact-induced change”.