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 topic will be centrally concerned with issues at the interfaces between modules and is supported by work within the DFG funded projects Relative measurement and the DP Border (Alexiadou & Sauerland) and Anaphoric Potential of Incorporated Nominals and Weak Definites (Krifka), the Marie-Curie-project The grammar of inclusion: Exploring the Boundaries of Linguistic Competence (Falco) as well as by the project Register and the development of periphrasis in the history of English (Alexiadou & McFadden) as part of the Collaborative Research Center Register.

Project publications