New year, new projects! In January 2024, three new research projects will start at the ZAS in the Collaborative Research Center CRC 1412 "Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of Situational-Functional Variation". In addition, three others are continuing with new scientific staff. Two projects came to the end of their first funding phase in December 2023.
In the project "Speaker choice in three Saamaka communities", Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Artemis Alexiadou (project leader) and Dr. Tonjes Veenstra from the Syntax and Lexicon research areas are investigating whether language separation/choice and language mixing function as register markers in Saamaka-speaking communities in the Tongo.
Alexiadou - together with Prof. Dr. Viola Schmitt (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) - also heads the project "Doubling and Register Variation". The project deals with the question of whether optional morphological doublings are cross-linguistically correlated to registers. Of particular interest is the role played by the accessibility of the implicit discourse question (i.e. the so-called question-under-discussion). Former ZAS staff member Jordan Chark is a member of the HU Berlin team.
A further project is starting in the research area of Semantics and Pragmatics, namely the project "Register in the cross-linguistic diachrony of logical particles" under the direction of Prof. Dr. Uli Sauerland and Prof. Dr. Richard Waltereit (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). The project investigates and models the relationship between language change and register knowledge, in particular how change is driven and in which direction, i.e. "from above" (by higher registers) or "from below" (by lower registers). Dr. Moreno Mitrovic is a member of staff at the ZAS.
In addition, the following research projects are continuing at ZAS, some with new members: In the project "Modeling meaning-driven register variation", Dr. Roland Mühlenbernd, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Uli Sauerland and Dr. Stephanie Solt (all Semantics and Pragmatics research area), is continuing to investigate how semantic differences interact with register knowledge and how this can be modelled.
The project "Variation in situated interaction" is also entering its second phase under the direction of Dr. Stefanie Jannedy from the Laboratory Phonology research area. The project deals with socially agreed-upon requirements and interactions of the discourse functions, discourse situation, and social characteristics of the addressee on the intra-individual variation at the lexical, phonetic/phonological and posture levels.
What is new is that the ZAS will in future be involved in the project "Situation-register congruence meets morphosyntax and verb-argument violations: Real-time and post-sentence comprehension", as Prof. Dr. Pia Knoeferle and Dr. Katja Maquate (both Humboldt University) will now be joined by Prof. Natalia Gagarina from the research area Language Development and Multilingualism as head of the project. The project uses eye-tracking and EEG to investigate whether comprehenders draw on a single conceptual store (usage-based) for a word’s standard and colloquial versions (e.g. “Schuhe” vs. “Latschen”) or whether these are represented in distinct lexical assemblies and/or processed via distinct mechanisms. Kateryna Lefremenko is a member of staff at the ZAS.
The projects "Speaker's choices in a creole context: Bislama and Morisien" and "Register and the development of periphrasis in the history of English" ended with the first funding phase at the end of 2023.