23.11.2023 Wonderful News!Just recently our Group was granted with a CRC by the DFG on NEGATION. Helmut Weiß and me will lead a project on Negation and Affixation: "Negative Adjectives and Language Change". See the annnouncement: [Aktuelles]
Mein Unterricht an der Universität FrankfurtEinführung in die Sprachwissenschaft I/II: Bitte melden Sie sich über [QIS] für diesen Kurs an. Sie werden dann auf der OLAT-Plattform eingeladen, die alle weiteren Informationen zum Kurs beinhaltet. Bitte überprüfen Sie regelmässig Ihren Maileingang über die Uni-Mail-Adresse (vom HRZ-Account) auf Mitteilungen aus dem Kurs. Wenn Sie offiziell angemeldet sind, müssen Sie sonst nichts tun als auf die Einladung zu warten. Zur Vorbereitung auf die Sicht auf Sprache und zum weiteren Verständnis eignet sich Steven Pinker "Der Sprachinstinkt". Weitere klausurrelevante Literatur wird im OLAT-Kurs bekannt gegeben.
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My research interests primarily focus on formal semantics and pragmatics: I want to know how these areas connect to syntax and philosophy of language. I specialized in adjective semantics. More recently, however, I am working on the semantics of definite expressions with a special interest in Swiss German which has two definite articles. And, I engage in research on negation and genericity.
I held teaching positions at several German universities. To date, I am teaching in linguistics programs at the bachelor's level and the master's level at Frankfurt University.
[FAQ Lehre] [QIS]
My dissertation was on the syntax and semantics of result clause constructions and the like (in German). Part of that work was published in NLS. Moreover, I worked on presuppositions, negative polarity items, on resemblance and on definite noun phrases among others. Moreover, I am a co-editor of books on German linguistics and literature, approaches to meaning, on subjective meaning, and The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Semantics. SemCom 2021
Room IG 4.311
If you have questions, please contact me by e-mail.
Institut für Linguistik, Fach 2
+49 (0)69 79832388
In September 2023, I presented a talk on "On Differences in Kind Readings". I related the frequencies of different classes of adjectival modifiers of two nouns in German: "Auto" 'car' and "Flugzeug" 'airplane' to the psychological notions of Conceptual Distinctiveness (how many obvious subcategories there are to a concept), object frequency in typical visual input, and recognition performance in picture matching tasks. And, I calculate the entropies for the distribution of adjectival modification of the two nouns in the (DWDS core corpus). High entropy of the modification distribution is a good predictor for high distinctiveness and high object frequency in visual data for the concept related to the noun modified (many, even overlapping subcategories are available for the concept representing "Auto" 'car', wooden cars, blue cars, big cars etc.). Low distinctiveness might be related to what is called 'well-establishedness of a kind' in linguistics. [Slides] [Entropy - R Markdown]
In December 2023, I will present my work on contrary Negation in Bochum at the Colloquium on "Philosophy of Language, Logic, and Information."
In Mai 2023, I gave a talk on "Contrary Negation" at the Special Workshop on the History of Negation in the honor of Larry Horn at SALT. [Slides] The goal was to recall from the literature that negation interacts scopally with many types of quantifiers, even invisible ones like the degree operator POS, proposed in the literature on comparison. Affixal negation seems scopaly inert with respect to quantifiers in the same sentence (and takes narrow scope). I discuss the hypothesis that an interpretation of affixal negatives as classical negation is sufficient in order to capture data usually referred to as contrary negation. Even data that contradicts this hypothesis at first sight may be captured if we assume that the degree operator POS (usually a universal degree quantifier) also has an existential variant. A previous version of this talk was also presented in Mai 2022 at GGS in Stuttgart under the title "How many negations are there?". There is also a seminar script on Negation and Antonymy that I used in class [Script].
In March 2023, I gave a talk at the Workshop 'History of Negation' hosted online by Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal and Chiara Gianollo on "Deverbal Adjectives and Negatability Patterns" (in collaboration with Helmut Weiß). The main topic of the talk was to explain why the negative affix in "unaufhörlich" cannot be dropped and how "unaufhörlich" is related to "anfänglich". "Anfänglich" prohibits affixation with "un-". The explanation rests on the assumption that "aufhörlich" is an word-internal NPI and requires (word-internal) NPI licensing. And "anfänglich" is the corresponding PPI. This paper was presented in an earlier version in November 2022 in Budapest at FASL first. [Slides]
In May 2019, I was at SALT in Los Angeles and presented my poster on Swiss German definite articles. I relate the choice of the article to the temporal interpretation of the DP. Whereas in languages like English definite DPs are ambiguous between a time-dependent and a time independent reading, Swiss German distinguishes the reading by using the short or the long version of the definite article [Poster][Paper]. In the mean time I am an associate member of the Network Definiteness across Domains where I also presented my work on definiteness in December 2022.
In January 2019, I gave a presentation in a mini-workshop on result clause constructions at Frankfurt University. The aim of the talk was to show where the differences between result clause constructions and resultatives are. I elaborated the view that resultatives may get a similar meaning as result clause constructions, an idea brought up by Monica-Mihaela Rizea and Manfred Sailer, who organized the workshop together. Jack Hoeksema was invited speaker. [Slides]
Temporal information and definite descriptions: The view from Swiss German To appear in Proceedings of SALT 29
Disjunction in Comparatives 2018 [Paper] [Poster]
Degree relative clauses 2015 [Paper], Review of Grosu and Landmann 2015 [Shorty]
I supervised Abigail Anne Bimpeh's dissertation on Ewe semantics Logophoricity in Ewe: An Empirical-Semantic Assessment of y`e who is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in the LeibnizDream project (PI: Uli Sauerland) at Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS), Berlin. And, I am supervising Ahmad Al-Bitar who is working on different topics related to definiteness in Syrian Arabic. Both were members of the graduate school on nominal modification.
I mainly collaborated with Ede Zimmermann. Together, we led the project Relativsätze und Intensionalität as part of the Research Group "Relativsätze" 1783 (also with Magdalena Kaufmann). More recently, I started a collaboration with Helmut Weiß. The collaboration seeks to explain word formation patterns concerning "un"-affixation in German and to gain new insights on the development of Jesperson's cycle. We look at baseless negated adjectives (BNDAs) that are (mostly?) deverbal and negative polar adjectives (NPAs). The former resist dropping the negative affix, the latter do not allow affixation of the negative affix (UNLESS the are further negated) in German.