Workshop "Where does grammar come in?"

Dozent(en)Géraldine Légendre und Markus Bader
AnsprechpartnerGuido Seiler
Termin 24.-25. November 2011
OrtStarkenstr. 44, seminar room (first floor), panel discussion: KG III, 3301





No registration required. Everybody welcome!



24 Nov 2011

09:30-12:30 Géraldine Legendre: "Syntactic representation and optimization: three cases studies in French (code-switching, auxiliary selection, and acquisition of inflection)"
The unit offers an introduction into Optimality-Theoretic syntax. It is argued that some abstract representations (such as IP) and an optimization-based approach are necessary. The argument is grounded in three empirical domains tied to the study of French: 1) code-switching (French-Wolof vs. other types of CS), 2) auxiliary selection in the past tense (French vs. Italian (dialects)/ German/Dutch), and 3) acquisition of verbal inflection in French based on spontaneous production. It will be demonstrated how Optimality Theory provides insights on cross-linguistic variation and the tools needed to handle it (minimally abstract representations, scales, harmonic alignment, constraint re-ranking, factorial typologies, and 'floating' constraints). It will be shown how the same tools can be used in other domains, too, including diachronic change.
14:00-16:00 Géraldine Legendre: reading group and/or individual meetings


25 Nov 2011


09:30-12:30 Markus Bader: "How grammar constraints usage -- a case study of German verb syntax"

This lecture discusses experimental results and corpus data concerning the formation of verbal clusters in German, with a focus on the so-called 'bekommen'-passive and on verbal clusters involving modal verbs and 'lassen' in complex tense forms. Clusters of the latter type are well-known for their word order which deviates from the German default order ("selected verb precedes selecting verb") by means of "auxiliar inversion" --- 'hat lesen wollen' instead of 'lesen wollen hat'.
Data from verb cluster formation are used to address the following issues: First, what is the relationship between gradient perception of grammaticality and frequency of occurence? In particular, is it possible to determine which comes first? Second, how can patterns of micro-variation be accounted for within syntactic theory?


(KG III, 3301)

Panel discussion with Aria Adli, Markus Bader, Lars Konieczny, Géraldine Legendre, Guido Seiler (chair): Where does grammar come in?