The linking of simple units to to more complex units is a central feature of human language. The Research Area Syntax & Lexicon deals with the properties of these connections and investigates the nature and complexity of these connections across languages.
Our research is based on formal theories, but also has practical applications, such as in the creation of an extensive database backed by corpus data of clause-embedding predicates in different languages has been created. The investigations on the different possibilities for expressing complex ideas by combining words or sentences will be incorporated into the research on comprehensibility and language mixing.
The project investigates the semantics of different forms of nominal incorporation (especially pseudo- or syntactic incorporation) and of weak definites. Of central interest is the anaphoric potential of such expressions, i.e. the question of whether speakers can refer to the incorporated nominals or the weak definites in the following discourse.
DFG Heisenberg Program
Empi-Ling examines representative samples of the world's language to answer questions such as: How different are the approximately 7,000 currently spoken languages in terms of sound, form, and meaning and what are the constraints on this diversity? Which processes lead to the differentiation and convergence of languages?
The main goal of this research is to analyze the interrelation between social gender and grammatical gender across languages. The main question that will be investigated is: How does the social gender as established in a given society affect the use of grammatical gender?
The project examines relative clauses as attributes to 1st or 2nd person personal pronouns. Correct agreement between subject and finite verb in these constructions is rarely found in German real life communication. This project will collect and examine relevant constructions in German, Polish and Italian through experiments. The goal is to gain general insights about agreement patterns.
This project investigates the interaction between two ways of understanding change by comparing and contrasting for the first time the behavior of Verbs of Change in two major empirical domains: their interaction with diagnostics of event structure and their behavior in various types of measurement constructions.
The main focus of the joint project QUEST is on the potential for subsequent use or secondary use of audiovisual, annotated language data in the humanities. Based on the development of quality standards and curation criteria for digital language data, quality assurance procedures for the creation and curation of such resources will be developed and tested.
(CRC 1412-Register A02)
The subproject in the CRC 1412 „Register: Language-Users’ Knowledge of Situational-Functional Variation" investigates situation-specific individual linguistic variation and its contribution to the expression of social meaning in two creole communities, dealing with Bislama, spoken in Vanuatu, and Morisien, spoken in Mauritius. It relates situational and social meaning aspects with particular linguistic features and will also be concerned with the emergence of new registers.
(CRC 1412-Register B01)
The subproject in the CRC 1412 „Register: Language-Users’ Knowledge of Situational-Functional Variation" will examine periphrastic alternations in the history of English to shed light on what the profile of specific changes can tell us about register knowledge.