Research training group GRK DFG 1624/1 "Frequency effects in language"


Frequency as a determinant in usage-based models of language change, language processing and language acquisition

The research training group (RTG, 'DFG-Graduiertenkolleg') aims to carry out empirically rich and methodologically co-ordinated research on frequency effects in language, with an empirical focus on standard and non-standard varieties of European languages. Frequency is defined in terms of number of occurrences of a given linguistic structure in a particular linguistic system or sub-system (as approximated by a suitable corpus). Frequency is assumed to be a possible determinant in usage-based models of language change, language acquisition and language processing. While the default assumption is that there is a non-trivial relation between frequency of occurrence thus defined and mental and structural representation, the frequency factor will be investigated with a view both to its explanatory potential and to its limitations. In its integration of descriptive-linguistic and cognitivist approaches and its broad empirical corpus base, the envisaged research is without parallel, both on the national and international levels, and opens up a new, constructively critical approach to usage-based modelling in linguistics. The two-pronged approach – extending the breadth of empirical coverage, while at the same time increasing the sophistication of the theoretical models – is a timely one that has great innovative potential.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Workshop on Voice and Bodylanguage with Katharina Padleschat on 7.-8. March 2018.

NEWS: Laura Terassa and Evghenia Goltsev have submitted their dissertations to the faculty; Annette Fahrner has defended her dissertation; Ana Estrada has defended her dissertation.

NEWS ALUMNI: Ana Estrada has started a position as lecturer at the Département de langues et littératures romanes at Université de Liège.