In the winter semester 2015/16 I will be teaching two extensive courses at the University of Potsdam. Both of them are concerned with grammatical categories in German and its history. On the undergraduate level I will try to explain to what extent language change and language acquisition are related to each other. The course for graduate students, in turn, will focus on adverbial clauses. My main aim is to illustrate what kinds of adverbial clauses exist in Modern German and, in particular, how they developed.
I am glad to announce that my abstract entitled On the Diachronic Status of Infinitival Markers: German vs. Norwegian has been accepted for presentation at the 30th Comparative Germanic Workshop to be held in May 2015 at the University of Chicago. I am indebted to four anonymous reviewers for their extremely interesting comments and questions!
I learned today that my new paper “On the loss of copy-raising and the development of infinitive complements. The case of German beginnen ‘begin'” has been accepted for publication in Journal of Historical Linguistics. The paper is expected to appear in March/April of 2015. At this point, I would like to thank four anonymous reviewers for their extensive comments and interesting questions.
Lisa Deringer and Olga Rudolf, colleagues from the University of Jena, working in the project Towards a typology of human impersonal pronouns. Theoretical, comparative and empirical studies (abbreviated as ImProType and led by Volker Gast) asked me to fill a questionnaire and translate various impersonal structures into Polish. They build up a database with approx. 60 languages and Polish is intended to be included in the database as one of the languages. I’m glad I can help and use the database as well 😀
Last week I gave a lecture at the University of Vienna where I met my colleague Werner Abraham. Werner delivered a very interesting talk about modal particles in German and their sensitivity to verum focus. I commented extensively on his talk and we decided to write a joint paper on a similar topic from a contrastive point of view. On the picture to the left Werner is chairing the workshop on Covert Patterns of Modality at the University of La Rioja (Spain), that he organized together with Elisabeth Leiss. The main aim of our paper is to examine the modal particle denn in German (e.g. in Wer hat dich denn angerufen?), its distribution at the syntax-semantics interface as well as its realization in languages having no modal particles. Mainly, we show that although some languages have no modal particles, it is still possible to express the modality encoded by German denn. In this connection we talk about covert patterns of modality. Stay tuned for more information!
Two colleagues of mine from the University of Potsdam, Marta Wierzba and Radek Šimík, working on information structure in West-Slavic languages asked me to judge approx. 80 Polish dialogues. My main task is to say if they are well- or ill-formed. Some of the dialogues are very funny!
I started collaborating with Przemysław Staniewski, my colleague from the Uniwersytet Wrocławski (Poland) from the Department of German. Our main aim is to organize two workshops on expressions of perception, in particular on expressions for smelling. The first workshop is meant to bring together scholars working on less-known languages. We would like to learn how olfaction is expressed and encoded in these languages and to what extent expressions for smelling interact with other parts of the grammar. The second workshop (planned for 2017) is intended to link linguistics with neuroscience and to figure out what happens in our brains when we smell and try to describe a smell.
Together with my colleague, Nora Boneh, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem I organize a workshop on Habituality and Genericity in Flux at the next International Conference on Historical Linguistics held in Naples in July of 2015. Our call for papers has been posted on the Linguist List and it can be looked up here. The deadline for abstract submissions is 30 January 2015. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.