Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Leibniz-Gemeinschaft

Research Themes

Domains across Linguistic Modules

We aim to investigate the structural, informational or computational units that play a privileged role in one or more sub-systems of language. A basic organizing principle of language (and perhaps cognition in general) is the breaking down of complex units into smaller pieces, within which certain relations and operations are defined. This means that domains of particular sizes are relevant for processes and dependencies that hold within linguistic modules, e.g. Phonology, Syntax, Morphology and Semantics and show up recurrently in concepts like locality and scope. The goal is to investigate the domains that are relevant for the different linguistic modules and to examine to what extent they align with each other, and how they interact when they don’t match up.

By its very nature, this theme will be centrally concerned with issues at the interfaces between modules.

It is supported by work within:

  1. the DFG project Agreement mismatches in relative clauses and related structures (KoMiRe)
  2. the DFG project Measures of change in the grammar of verbal predication (MeasChange)
  3. the DFG project Logic across languages: expressing and interpreting connectives cross-linguistically (CrossConn)
  4. the DFG project Acoustic insights into the root-affix asymmetry across languages (AIRAL)
  5. the Marie Curie project The grammar of inclusion: Exploring the Boundaries of Linguistic Competence (SEMSUBSET)
  6. the ERC Synergy grant project Realizing Leibniz‘s dream: Child languages as a mirror of the mind (LeibnizDream, Generator Group)
  7. the projects Register and the development of periphrasis in the history of English (SFB 1412-Register B01) and Speaker's choices in creole contexts: Bislama and Morisien (SFB 1412-Register A02) as part of the Collaborative Research Center Register (funded by DFG)
  8. the Berlin Interdisciplinary Network for Multilingualism (BIVEM), which was funded by the Berlin Senate until 2016 and is an integral part of ZAS since then.

Following completed projects contributed to this theme as well: 

  1. the DFG project Anaphoric Potential of Incorporated Nominals and Weak Definites (ANAPIN)
  2. the german-french collaboration project (DFG/ANR) Cross-linguistic phonetics and morphology using a time-aligned multilingual reference corpus built from documentations of 50 languages: Big data on small languages (DoReCo)
  3. the DFG/AHRC project Locality and the Argument-Adjunct Distinction: Structure-building vs. Structure-enrichment (LASER)
  4. the DFG project Relative measurement and the DP Border (DP-Border)

Project publications