Adverbials as Non-Canonical Adjuncts

The project has been completed in September 2021

Project details

  • Full title: Adverbial clauses as non-canonical adjuncts
  • Subject area: Humanities
  • Funding institution: Daimler and Benz Foundation
  • Funding period: 05/2019 – 09/2021
  • Project lead: Łukasz Jędrzejowski, University of Cologne, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of German Language and Literature I – Linguistics
  • E-mail address:

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© Daimler and Benz Foundation

Project description

Following traditional grammar descriptions, three different types of dependent clauses have been distinguished: i) complement clauses, ii) adverbial clauses, and iii) relative clauses. The main goal of this project is to investigate adverbial clauses both from a synchronic and a diachronic perspective; not only to deepen our understanding of particular adverbial clause types, but also to provide novel insights into how subordination pattern work, come into being and develop. The project intends to pursue a new line of research by examining two patterns of adverbial clauses that have not received much attention in the literature: i) adverbial clauses having a complement clause shape (cf. Legate 2010) and ii) adverbial clauses modifying DPs and behaving like relative clauses (cf. Lasersohn 1996).


  • Lasersohn, Peter (1996): Adnominal conditionals. Proceedings of SALT 6: 154-166.
  • Legate, Julie (2010): On how how is used instead of that. NLLT 28(1): 121-134.

Project members

Name: Simone Hess

Position: student assistant

Languages: Luxembourgish, German


Name: Łukasz Jędrzejowski

Position: project leader

Languages: (older) Germanic and Slavic languages


Name: Paula Kleine

Position: student assistant

Languages: older German (16th-19th cent.)


Name: Lisa Lubomierski

Position: student assistant

Languages: German, Dutch


Name: Jan Miebach

Position: student assistant

Languages: (Swiss-)German, Chinese


Academic theses

  • Sophie Berlet, April 2021, BA thesis: Temporale als-Sätze als Komplementsätze, University of Cologne.
  • Lisa Lubomierski, March 2020, BA thesis: Adnominale Kausalsätze im Deutschen, University of Cologne.
  • Paula Kleine, December 2019, BA thesis: Was weiß man zu wissen? Zur Syntax und Semantik der Verbindung von wissen und zu-Infinitiv, University of Cologne.

Past events

  • Talk, November 2020 [with Wojciech Guz]: On the need for spoken corpora in grammatical description: The case of Polish że ‘that’ as an elaboration marker. Conference: The 8th International Conference Grammar & Corpora, Kraków (Poland).
  • Talk, August 2020 [with Wojciech Guz]: Polish że ‘that’ and its discourse functions. Workshop: Discourse Phenomena in Typological Perspective organized by Alessandra Barotto & Simone Mattiola. Conference: 53rd Annual Meeting of Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE 2020) at the University of Bucharest (Romania).
  • Talk, May 2020: Wojciech Guz & Łukasz Jędrzejowski will present a poster with the title “From subordination to elaboration: The case of the declarative complementizer że ‘that’ in Polish” at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics (FASL 29) at the University of Washington-Seattle.
  • Visiting guest, March 2020: Łukasz Jędrzejowski visited the Faculty of Icelandic and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Iceland. The main purpose of his visit was to work on adverbial clauses in Icelandic and German with Ásgrímur Angantýsson. Additionally, Łukasz Jędrzejowski taught an advanced course on causal clauses in Germanic languages from a comparative perspective.
  • Visiting guest, February 2020: Łukasz Jędrzejowski visited the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto (Canada). The main purpose of his visit was to work on non-canonical adverbial clauses in English and German with Keir Moulton.
  • Visiting guest, February 2020: Andreas Pankau from the Free University of Berlin (Germany) visited the University of Cologne. The main purpose of his visit was to work on the syntax of non-canonical relative clauses in West-Slavic languages.
  • Workshop, February 2020: Łukasz Jędrzejowski & Carla Umbach organized a workshop on non-interrogative subordinate wh-clauses at the University of Cologne [link] [schedule].
  • Talk, December 2019: Łukasz Jędrzejowski, Zum Status von adverbialen ansonsten-Sätzen, Berlin (Germany) [abstract].
  • Talk, November 2019: Łukasz Jędrzejowski & Jan Miebach, On adverbial ansonsten-clauses, Saarbrücken Roundtable of Dialect Syntax (SaRDiS 2019), Saarland University (Germany).
  • Talk, September 2019: Łukasz Jędrzejowski, Unverhofft kommt oft. Zum Status von Adverbialsätzen im Deutschen. Jahrestreffen der Stipendiaten, Fellows und Alumni der Daimler und Benz Stiftung, Ladenburg (Germany) [picture] [report].
  • Adverbial clauses in the media, August 2019: RTL Lëtzebuerg and Luc Marteling, director of  Zenter fir d’Lëtzebuerger Sprooch, promoted the subprojects on the Luxembourgish adverbial syntax [link] [pdf] [tweet].
  • Visiting guest, August 2019: Yoshio Endo from the Kanda University of International Studies (Japan) working on adverbial clauses in Japanese visited the University of Cologne. The main purpose of his visit was to discuss the syntax of non-canonical adverbial clauses across typologically unrelated languages.
  • Talk, July 2019: Łukasz Jędrzejowski, On relative um-zu-clauses in German, workshop ‘Discourse Structure in Contrast’, Ahrweiler (Germany).
  • Workshop, July 2019: Łukasz Jędrzejowski & Constanze Fleczoreck organized a workshop On the Diachrony of Causal Clauses at the 24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL 24) at the Australian National University in Canberra (Australia).
  • Talk, March 2019: Łukasz Jędrzejowski & Jan Miebach, Ansonsten ‘otherwise’ as a complementizer. Its distribution and emergence conditions, 4th workshop “Germanistische Linguistik zwischen Köln und Tokio”, University of Tokyo (Japan).