Honorifics: Types, Data, and Importance for Linguistic Theory

by Assif Am David, Frankfurt a.M.

Honorifics are a linguistic encoding of social relations in a discourse. Therefore, they are closely related to pragmatic and sociolinguistic phenomena. On the other hand, unlike the latter, they are often highly grammaticalised and require not only pragmatic, but also formal consistency.

Honorifics can be divided into three different axis depending on whose honour (or disrespect) is expressed by the utterance. Comrie first introduced the different axes honorifics can refer to: Continue reading Honorifics: Types, Data, and Importance for Linguistic Theory

Animal communication

by Assif Am David, Frankfurt a.M.

It is commonly assumed in linguistics that language is a phenomenon unique to humans. It is normally associated with the Great Leap Forward, an anthropological revolution which took place about 50,000 years ago and gave rise to the behavioural modernity. Language is considered a core factor in this revolution which resulted in a more complex, abstract thought and in larger intricate social organization, possibly by allowing social constructivism, which is a conventional postulation of abstract social entities.

The study of language in animals, often referred to as biolinguistics, attempts to refute this idea. Continue reading Animal communication

Chuck Fillmore honored by the ACL

Chuck Fillmore has received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association for Computational Linguistics.

Chuck Fillmore (1929-2014) has been one of the most influential linguistists in the last 50 years.  His work centers around syntax and lexical semantics. He is one of the founders of Construction Grammar and has developed the theoretical basis of frame semantics. Continue reading Chuck Fillmore honored by the ACL

Welcome on this site!

This site came into existence in the summer term 2012. It will host and document research and teaching activities in formal, empirical, and computational linguistics, with a special focus on English linguistics.

Please read our mission statement, which we will keep updated as the interests of the participating researchers change.

What can you expect to find on this site?

  • Pointers to research resources, in particular those developped by the participating researchers.
  • Teaching material such as pod casts on linguistic topics and other material, created for courses or within courses taught by the participating researchers.
  • Notes on events relating to linguistics or languages, such as the English Language Day (23 April), the International Mother Language Day (21 February), and similar.