Dr. Stephanie Solt

Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)

Dr. Stephanie Solt ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im Forschungsbereich 4 ‚Semantik & Pragmatik‘. Sie leitet am ZAS folgende Projekte:

Ihre Forschungsinteressen konzentrieren sich auf die Semantik und Pragmatik von Mengen- und Gradausdrücken, insbesondere Skalenstruktur, Gradmodifikation und den Ausdruck von Vagheit und Approximation sowie die experimentelle Semantik. Ihr aktuelles Projekt untersucht eine wenig erforschte Klasse von Polaritätselementen, die sich durch ihre unterschwellige oder abschwächende Wirkung auszeichnen.


A05 Modeling meaning-driven register variation: Politeness and face management


ZAS, Pariser Str. 1, 10719 Berlin

+49 30 20192 504

solt@leibniz-zas.de https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3269-8461



Veröffentlichungen und Präsentationen


  • Pescuma, Valentina Nicole; Serova, Dina; Lukassek, Julia; Sauermann, Antje; Schäfer, Roland; Adli, Aria; Bildhauer, Felix; Egg, Markus; Hülk, Kristina; Ito, Aine; Jannedy, Stefanie; Kordoni, Valia; Kühnast, Milena; Kutscher, Silvia; Lange, Robert; Lehmann, Nico; Liu, Mingya; Lütke, Beate; Maquate, Katja; Mooshammer, Christine; Mortezapour, Vahid; Müller, Stefan; Norde, Muriel; Pankratz, Elizabeth; Patarroyo, Angela Giovanna; Plesca, Ana-Maria; Ronderos, Camilo R.; Rotter, Stephanie; Sauerland, Uli; Schulte, Britta; Schüppenhauer, Gediminas; Sell, Bianca Maria; Solt, Stephanie; Terada, Megumi; Tsiapou, Dimitra; Verhoeven, Elisabeth; Weirich, Melanie; Wiese, Heike; Zaruba, Kathy; Zeige, Lars Erik; Lüdeling, Anke; Knoeferle, Pia; Schnelle, Gohar  (2023) Situating language register across the ages, languages, modalities, and cultural aspects: Evidence from complementary methods  In: Frontiers in Psychology [DOI] [PDF] [ViVo]
    In the present review paper by members of the collaborative research center ‘Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of SituationalFunctional Variation’ (CRC 1412), we assess the pervasiveness of register phenomena across different time periods, languages, modalities, and cultures. We define ‘register’ as recurring variation in language use depending on the function of language and on the social situation. Informed by rich data, we aim to better understand and model the knowledge involved in situation- and function-based use of language register. In order to achieve this goal, we are using complementary methods and measures. In the review, we start by clarifying the concept of ‘register’, by reviewing the state of the art, and by setting out our methods and modeling goals. Against this background, we discuss three key challenges, two at the methodological level and one at the theoretical level: 1. To better uncover registers in text and spoken corpora, we propose changes to established analytical approaches. 2. To tease apart between-subject variability from the linguistic variability at issue (intra-individual situation based register variability), we use within-subject designs and the modeling of individuals’ social, language, and educational background. 3. We highlight a gap in cognitive modeling, viz. modeling the mental representations of register (processing), and present our first attempts at filling this gap. We argue that the targeted use of multiple complementary methods and measures supports investigating the pervasiveness of register phenomena and yields comprehensive insights into the cross-methodological robustness of register-related language variability. These comprehensive insights in turn provide a solid foundation for associated cognitive modeling.
  • Mühlenbernd, Roland; Solt, Stephanie  (2022) Modeling (im)precision in context  In: Linguistics Vanguard [DOI] [PDF] [ViVo]
    Abstract Speakers’ choice between linguistic alternatives often depends on the situation, a prime example involving level of precision at which numerical information is communicated. We report on a production study in which participants report the time of an event in two different situations, and demonstrate that the results can be reproduced by a probabilistic game-theoretical model in which the speaker’s choice reflects a tradeoff between informativity, accuracy and hearer-oriented simplification. These findings shed light on the pragmatics of (im)precision, and the dynamics of situationally driven pragmatic variation more generally.
  • Beltrama, Andrea; Solt, Stephanie; Burnett, Heather  (2022) Context, precision, and social perception: A sociopragmatic study  In: Language in Society [DOI] [ViVo]
    Abstract In two perception experiments we explore the social indexicality of numerical expressions, comparing the evaluation of three variants: precise (e.g. ‘forty-nine minutes’) vs. explicitly approximate (e.g. ‘about fifty minutes’) vs. underspecified (e.g. ‘fifty minutes’). We ask two questions: (i) What constellations of social meanings are associated with each of these variants? (ii) How are such indexical associations modulated by the conversational setting? We find that the choice of approximate vs. precise forms differentially impact speaker evaluation along the social dimensions of Status, Solidarity, and anti-Solidarity, with underspecified numbers showing a flexible behavior. Furthermore, these associations are to some extent affected by the conversational setting, in particular the demands on descriptive precision placed by the context and the interlocutors’ goals. These findings reveal an intimate connection between pragmatic reasoning and social perception, highlighting the importance of integrating pragmatic theory in the study of social indexicality. (Social meaning, pragmatic variation, social perception, numerals, (im)precision)*
  • Umbach, Carla; Solt, Stephanie  (2021) Comparison via 'eher'  In: Journal of Semantics [DOI] [PDF] [ViVo]
    Abstract This paper is about the semantics of the German adverb eher, which has three, or perhaps four, readings: temporal, epistemic, metalinguistic and—depending on whether it is accepted as a genuine reading—preference. In its epistemic reading, eher gained prominence in semantics because it was used by Kratzer (1981) to argue that the notion of possibility is gradable. Eher has also received attention from a diachronic perspective, where it has been compared to the English adverb rather ( Gergel 2009). Our analysis starts from the temporal reading which, first of all, expresses temporal precedence. We argue that temporal eher is indexical (unlike früher/‘earlier’), comparing closeness to a perspectival center, and that the non-temporal readings inherit their basic structure from the temporal one. The analysis of the non-temporal readings will be embedded in a Kratzer-style ordering semantics, deviating from the standard picture in assuming (i), that both the modal base and the ordering source are relativized to a perspective holder and (ii), that in the case of metalinguistic eher, interpretations (in the sense of Barker 2002/ Krifka 2012) are compared instead of worlds. Our analysis is different from that developed by Herburger & Rubinstein (2018), which ignores the temporal as well as the metalinguistic reading and takes recourse to “degrees of belief”. At the end of the paper, we briefly look at expressions related to eher, including English more and its German counterpart mehr as well as English rather, and also at the modal reading of German schon (‘already’).
  • Präsentationen

  • Solt, Stephanie  (2023) Not very easy: towards the unification of scalar implicature & understatement  In: The 33rd meeting of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT 33), Yale Uiversity, New Haven [ViVo]
  • Solt, Stephanie  (2022) Towards an alternative-based theory of understatement   In: Workshop on Alternatives, Expectations and Domain Widening, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv [ViVo]
  • Solt, Stephanie  (2022) 'Much', polarity and register   In: Online-Colloquium "Empirical English Linguistics", Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin [ViVo]
  • Solt, Stephanie  (2021) On the social meaning of (im)precision in context  In: Workshop on Oppressive Speech, Societies and Norms (Theme 3: Social Meaning & Semantics/Pragmatics of Harmful Speech), Berlin, Germany [ViVo]