Prof. Dr. Stefan Müller
Situated syntax: Exploring and modeling syntactic register variation in German
Dorotheenstraße 24 , Raum 3.345
(030) 2093-9631Website https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4413-5313
Publications & Presentations
Müller, Stefan (2023) Germanic Syntax: A Constraint-Based View [DOI] [PDF] [ViVo]This book is an introduction to the syntactic structures that can be found in the Germanic languages. The analyses are couched in the framework of HPSG light, which is a simplified version of HPSG that uses trees to depict analyses rather than complicated attribute value matrices. The book is written for students with basic knowledge about case, constituent tests, and simple phrase structure grammars (advanced BA or MA level) and for researchers with an interest in the Germanic languages and/or an interest in Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar/Sign-Based Construction Grammar without having the time to deal with all the details of these theories. Müller, Stefan (2023) Grammatical theory: From transformational grammar to constraint-based approaches. Fifth revised edition [DOI] [PDF] [ViVo]This book introduces formal grammar theories that play a role in current linguistic theorizing (Phrase Structure Grammar, Transformational Grammar/Government & Binding, Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical Functional Grammar, Categorial Grammar, Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Construction Grammar, Tree Adjoining Grammar). The key assumptions are explained and it is shown how the respective theory treats arguments and adjuncts, the active/passive alternation, local reorderings, verb placement, and fronting of constituents over long distances. The analyses are explained with German as the object language. The second part of the book compares these approaches with respect to their predictions regarding language acquisition and psycholinguistic plausibility. The nativism hypothesis, which assumes that humans posses genetically determined innate language-specific knowledge, is critically examined and alternative models of language acquisition are discussed. The second part then addresses controversial issues of current theory building such as the question of flat or binary branching structures being more appropriate, the question whether constructions should be treated on the phrasal or the lexical level, and the question whether abstract, non-visible entities should play a role in syntactic analyses. It is shown that the analyses suggested in the respective frameworks are often translatable into each other. The book closes with a chapter showing how properties common to all languages or to certain classes of languages can be captured. The book is a translation of the German book Grammatiktheorie, which was published by Stauffenburg in 2010. The following quotes are taken from reviews: With this critical yet fair reflection on various grammatical theories, Müller fills what was a major gap in the literature. Karen Lehmann, Zeitschrift für Rezensionen zur germanistischen Sprachwissenschaft, 2012 Stefan Müller’s recent introductory textbook, Grammatiktheorie, is an astonishingly comprehensive and insightful survey for beginning students of the present state of syntactic theory. Wolfgang Sternefeld und Frank Richter, Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 2012 This is the kind of work that has been sought after for a while [...] The impartial and objective discussion offered by the author is particularly refreshing. Werner Abraham, Germanistik, 2012 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. Machicao y Priemer, Antonio; Müller, Stefan; Schäfer, Roland; Bildhauer, Felix (2022) Towards a treatment of register phenomena in HPSG In: Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Nagoya University & Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics [ViVo] Müller, Stefan; Machicao y Priemer, Antonio (2022) Modelling Register Variation in HPSG In: CRC 1412 – Spring Retreat 2022 [PDF] [ViVo] Machicao y Priemer, Antonio; Müller, Stefan (2021) NPs in German: Locality, theta roles, possessives, and genitive arguments In: Glossa: a journal of general linguistics [DOI] [ViVo]
Since Abney (1987), the DP-analysis has been the standard analysis for nominal complexes, but in the last decade, the NP analysis has experienced a revival. In this spirit, we provide an NP analysis for German nominal complexes in HPSG. Our analysis deals with the fact that relational nouns assign case and theta role to their arguments. We develop an analysis in line with selectional localism (Sag 2012: 149), accounting for the asymmetry between prenominal and postnominal genitives, as well as for the complementarity between higher arguments and possessives, providing a syntactic and semantic analysis.
Alexiadou, Artemis; Lüdeling, Anke; Adli, Aria; Donhauser, Karin; Dreyer, Malte; Egg, Markus; Feulner, Anna Helene; Gagarina, Natalia; Hock, Wolfgang; Jannedy, Stefanie; Kammerzell, Frank; Knoeferle, Pia; Krause, Thomas; Krifka, Manfred; Kutscher, Silvia; Lütke, Beate; McFadden, Thomas; Meyer, Roland; Mooshammer, Christine; Müller, Stefan; Maquate, Katja; Norde, Muriel; Sauerland, Uli; Szucsich, Luka; Verhoeven, Elisabeth; Waltereit, Richard; Wolfsgruber, Anne; Zeige, Lars Erik (2020) Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of Situational-Functional Variation In: REALIS: Register Aspects of Language in Situation [DOI] [PDF] [ViVo]The Collaborative Research Center 1412 “Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of Situational-Functional Variation” (CRC 1412) investigates the role of register in language, focusing in particular on what constitutes a language user’s register knowledge and which situational-functional factors determine a user’s choices. The following paper is an extract from the frame text of the proposal for the CRC 1412, which was submitted to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in 2019, followed by a successful onsite evaluation that took place in 2019. The CRC 1412 then started its work on January 1, 2020. The theoretical part of the frame text gives an extensive overview of the theoretical and empirical perspectives on register knowledge from the viewpoint of 2019. Due to the high collaborative effort of all PIs involved, the frame text is unique in its scope on register research, encompassing register-relevant aspects from variationist approaches, psycholinguistics, grammatical theory, acquisition theory, historical linguistics, phonology, phonetics, typology, corpus linguistics, and computational linguistics, as well as qualitative and quantitative modeling. Although our positions and hypotheses since its submission have developed further, the frame text is still a vital resource as a compilation of state-of-the-art register research and a documentation of the start of the CRC 1412. The theoretical part without administrative components therefore presents an ideal starter publication to kick off the CRC’s publication series REALIS. For an overview of the projects and more information on the CRC, see https://sfb1412.hu-berlin.de/. Machicao y Priemer, Antonio; Schäfer, Roland; Bildhauer, Felix; Müller, Stefan (2022) Towards a treatment of register phenomena in HPSG In: The 29th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Nagoya University & the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics [ViVo]