Syntactic and pragmatic prominence of experiencers in cross-linguistic perspective

In this project we examine to what extent features of semantic and pragmatic prominence influence the structure of experiencer constructions. A central aim of the project is to disentangle two conflicting hypotheses for the explanation of the peculiar syntactic behaviour of experiencer arguments, which is either attributed to the natural topicality of the experiencer or to its syntactic status. We are investigating well-studied languages such as German, Greek, Korean and Chinese, as well as less-documented and endangered languages, i.e. Yucatec (Maya) and Cabécar (Chibcha). The hypotheses of the project are explored by means of experimental and corpus-linguistic methods. We aim at clarifying the relation of the factors topicality and semantic role in an experiencer typology. On the basis of experimental data we test hypotheses on the interaction of syntax and pragmatics. The corpus studies support the experiment-based generalizations by naturalistic data.
This investigation is one of the few studies that examines corpus and experimental data from non-European and understudied languages. It will supply the current theoretical discussion with a broad empirical basis.

Principal Investigators
Verhoeven, Elisabeth Prof. Dr. (Details) (General and Germanistic Linguistics: Syntax)

Duration of Project
Start date: 08/2011
End date: 07/2014

Research Areas
General and Comparative Linguistics, Typology, Non-European Languages

Research Areas
Diskurs, Semantik, Syntax, Typologie

Temme, Anne & Elisabeth Verhoeven. 2016. Verb class, case, and order: A cross-linguistic experiment on non-nominative experiencers. Linguistics. 54.4. 769-813.
Temme, Anne & Elisabeth Verhoeven. 2017. Backward binding as a psych effect: A binding illusion? Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 36.2. 279-308.
Verhoeven, Elisabeth & Anne Temme. 2017. Word order acceptability and word order choice. In Featherston, S., Hörnig, R., Steinberg, R., Umbreit, B., Wallis, J. (eds.) Linguistic Evidence 2016 Online Proceedings. Tübingen: Universität Tübingen.
Verhoeven, Elisabeth. 2017. Features or scales in verb meaning? Verb classes as predictors of syntactic behaviour. L. de Cuypere, C. Vanderschueren, G. De Sutter (eds.) Current trends in analyzing syntactic variation. Belgian Journal of Linguistics, 31:164-193.
Verhoeven, Elisabeth. 2015. Thematic asymmetries do matter! Verb class effects on word order in German corpora. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 27.1. 45-104. DOI: 10.1017/S147054271400021X.
Temme, Anne & Elisabeth Verhoeven. 2014. Clitic-left dislocation vs. scrambling: Comparing the linearization properties of German and Greek experiencer verbs. In Kotzoglou, G. et al eds. Selected papers of the 11th International Conference on Greek Linguistics. Rhodes: University of the Aegean, 1668-1678.
Verhoeven, Elisabeth. 2014. Thematic prominence and animacy asymmetries. Evidence from a cross-linguistic production study. Lingua 143. 129-161. DOI 10.1016/j.lingua.2014.02.002.
Temme, Anne. 2014. German psych-adjectives. In Machicao y Priemer, A., et. al. (eds.), Zwischen Kern und Peripherie, 131-156. Berlin: de Gruyter.
Rott, Julian A. 2013. Syntactic prominence in Icelandic experiencer arguments: Quirky subjects vs. dative objects. Language Typology and Universals 66(2). 91-111.

Last updated on 2020-11-03 at 23:16