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Research Center for Language and Cognition Research Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics

Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics

The research group Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics studies the syntax, semantics, morphology, phonology, and phonetics of a variety of languages with a view to enrich our empirical knowledge as well as our theoretical understanding of the nature of the human language faculty. A core characteristic of this research is in-depth cross-linguistic comparison, both synchronically and diachronically. The group aims to contribute to the abstract formalization of the properties of language. In addition, the group is interested in sociolinguistic aspects of language variation. Working from hypothetic-deductive methods next to bottom-up strategies, the boundaries between fundamental principles, generalizations, and parametric variation and change are investigated. Specific fields of investigation include: the syntax and semantics of complex construction types (parentheses, dislocation, coordination, relative clauses), the foundations of syntactic structure and the role of the interfaces with the sound and meaning components of the grammar, ellipsis phenomena, information structure, polarity items, morphosyntactic dependencies and typological variation, Dutch corpus linguistics, phonology as human behaviour, musical aspects of phonology, tonal accents and prosody.

A strength of the research group is the combination of a theoretical orientation with the empirical study of language data from a variety of families, including West and North Germanic, Romance, Slavic, and outside of the Indo-Germanic group, Turkish, Avar, and Je in particular.

Theoretical and Empirical Linguistics organizes various seminars, such as the CLCG Syntax Seminar, and meetings on Phonetics & Phonology, Language Variation & Change, Grammaticalization, and other subjects.

Last modified:07 November 2018 11.32 a.m.