Incrementality in Semantic Processing

The project investigated the incremental composition of meaning. More specifically, we investigated context dependency and crosslinguistic variation as two potential triggers of variability in semantic processing strategies. Our empirical focus was the domain restriction of nominal and temporal quantifiers as well as related parameters of crosslinguistic variation. The dependent variables in our studies were electrophysiological and behavioral measures. The languages under investigation included German, English, Russian, Turkish and Samoan. Our results informed a theory of the adaptivity and dynamics of on-line sentence comprehension.


  • Schlotterbeck, F., Augurzky, P. & Ulrich, R. (2022). Degree of incrementality is modulated by experimental context – ERP evidence from German quantifier restriction. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2022.2125541
  • Augurzky, P., Hohaus, V. & Ulrich, R. (2020). Context and complexity in incremental sentence interpretation: An ERP study on temporal quantification. Cognitive Science 44.
  • Augurzky, P., Schlotterbeck, F. & Ulrich, R. (2020). Most (but not all) quantifiers are interpreted immediately in visual context. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience 35(9), 1203-1222.
  • Schlotterbeck, F., Ramotowska, S., Van Maanen, L. & Szymanik, J. (2020). Representational complexity and pragmatics cause the monotonicity effect. In S. Denison., M. Mack, Y. Xu & B. C. Armstrong (Eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 3397-3403).
  • Augurzky, P., Franke, M. & Ulrich, R. (2019). Gricean expectations in online sentence comprehension: an ERP study on the processing of scalar inferences. Cognitive Science 43(8), e12776.
  • Bochnak, M. R., Hohaus, V. & Mucha, A. (2019). Variation in tense and aspect, and the temporal interpretation of complement clauses. Journal of Semantics 36(3), 407-452.
  • Bott, O., Schlotterbeck, F. & Klein, U. (2019). Empty-set effects in quantifier interpretation. Journal of Semantics 36(1), 99-163.
  • Hohaus, V. (2019). The temporal interpretation of complement and relative clauses: Contrasting English and Samoan. Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society 12(3), 42-60.
  • Janczyk, M. & Ulrich, R. (2019). Action consequences affect the space-time congruency effect on reaction time. Acta Psychologica 198, 102850.
  • Radó, J. & Bott, O. (2018). What do speaker judgments tell us about theories of quantifier scope in German? Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics 3(1), 91.
  • Bott, O., Augurzky, P., Sternefeld, W. & Ulrich R. (2017). Incremental generation of answers during the comprehension of questions with quantifiers. Cognition 166, 328-343.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.05.023
  • Bott, O. & Sternefeld, W. (2017). An event semantics with continuations for incremental interpretation. Journal of Semantics 34(2), 201-234.
  • Hohaus, V. (2017). The inchoative aspect in Samoan. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association (AFLA) 23 (pp. 96-110).
  • Augurzky, P., Bott, O., Sternefeld, W. & Ulrich, R. (2016). Are all the triangles blue? – ERP evidence for the incremental processing of German quantifier restriction. Language and Cognition.
    doi: 10.1017/langcog.2016.30
  • Augurzky, P. & Kotchoubey, B. (2016). Prosodic phrasing in the presence of unambiguous verb information – ERP evidence from German. Neuropsychologia 81, 31-49.
    doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.11.022
  • Bott, O. (2016). Can semantic theories be tested experimentally? The case of aspectual coercion. In J. Blasczcak, D. Klimek-Jankowska & K. Migdalski (Eds.), New Approaches to Tense, Aspect and Mood. University of Chicago Press.
  • Franke, M., Schlotterbeck, F. & Augurzky, P. (2016). Embedded scalars, preferred readings and prosody: An experimental revisit. Journal of Semantics.
    doi: 10.1093/jos/ffw007
  • Klein, U. & Sternefeld, W. (2016). Same same but different. An alphabetically innocent Predicate Logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic.
    doi: 10.1007/s10992-016-9394-x
  • Radó, J., Konietzko, A. & Sternefeld, W. (2016). Telescoping in relative clauses: Experimental evidence. In M. Krifka & M. Schenner (Eds.), Studia Grammatica. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  • Sternefeld, W. (2016). Telescoping by continuations. In M. Krifka & M. Schenner (Eds.), Studia Grammatica. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  • Ulrich, R., Erdfelder, E., Deutsch, R., Strauß, B., Brüggemann, A., Hannover, B., … & Rief, W. (2016). Inflation von falsch-positiven Befunden in der psychologischen Forschung: Mögliche Ursachen und Gegenmaßnahmen. Psychologische Rundschau 67, 163-174.
    doi: 10.1026/0033-3042/a000296
  • Augurzky, P., Riester, A. & Tomaschek, F. (2015). Segmental effects on prosody: Modelling German argument structure. In A. Leemann, M. J. Kolly, S. Schmid & V. Dellwo (Eds.), Trends in Phonetics and Phonology. Studies from German speaking Europe. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang.
  • Bott, O. & Gattnar, A. (2015). The cross-linguistic processing of aspect - An eyetracking study on the time-course of aspectual interpretation in German and Russian. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience 30(7), 877-898.
    doi: 10.1080/23273798.2015.1029499
  • Bott, O. & Schlotterbeck, F. (2015). The processing domain of scope interaction. Journal of Semantics 32(1), 39-92.
    doi: 10.1093/jos/fft015
  • Schauffler, N., Schweitzer, A., Schweitzer, K. & Augurzky, P. (2015). Avoiding melodic clashes in pitch accent production: A corpus study. In A. Leemann, M. J. Kolly, S. Schmid & V. Dellwo (Eds.), Trends in Phonetics and Phonology. Studies from German speaking Europe. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang.
  • Ulrich, R. & Miller, J. (2015). p-Hacking by post hoc selection with multiple opportunities: Detectability by skweness test? --- Comment on Simonsohn, Nelson, and Simmons (2014). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 144, 1137-1145.
    doi: 10.1037/xge0000086
  • Bott, O. & Hamm, F. (2014). Crosslinguistic variation in the processing of aspect. In B. Hemforth, B. Schmiedtova & C. Fabricius-Hansen (Eds.), Psycholinguistic Approaches to Meaning and Understanding across Languages (pp. 83-109). Springer.
    doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-05675-3_4
  • Bott, O. & Solstad, T. (2014). From verbs to discourse - A novel account of implicit causality. In B. Hemforth, B. Schmiedtova & C. Fabricius-Hansen (Eds.), Psycholinguistic Approaches to Meaning and Understanding across Languages (pp. 213–251). Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics. Springer.
    doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-05675-3_9
  • Hamm, F. & Bott, O. (2014). Tense and aspect. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 ed.). Retrived from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2016/entries/tense-aspect/
  • Andreeva, B., Bott, O., Koreman, J. & Solstad, T. (2013). Prosodic effects of implicit causality in German and Norwegian? In E. L. Asu & P. Lippus (Eds.), Nordic Prosody: Proceedings of the XI. Conference, Tartu, 2012 (pp. 97-96). Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang.
  • Bott, O. (2013). The processing domain of aspectual interpretation. In B. Arsenijevic, B. Gehrke & R. Marín (Eds.), Studies in the Composition and Decomposition of Event Predicates (pp. 195-229). Dordrecht: Springer.
    doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-5983-1_8
  • Bott, O., Klein, U. & Schlotterbeck, F. (2013). Witness sets, polarity reversal and the processing of quantied sentences. Proceedings of the Amsterdam Colloquium 2013 (pp. 59-66).
  • Klein, U. & Sternefeld, W. (2013). Unrestrained beta reduction. Proceedings of SALT 23 (pp. 257-275).
    doi: 10.3765/salt.v23i0.2684
  • Schlotterbeck, F. & Bott, O. (2013). Easy solutions for a hard problem? The computational complexity of reciprocals with quantificational antecedents. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 22(4), 363-390.
    doi: 10.1007/s10849-013-9181-9
  • Solstad, T. & Bott, O. (2013). Towards a formal theory of explanatory biases in discourse. In M. Aloni, M. Franke & F. Roelofsen (Eds.), Proceedings of the Amsterdam Colloquium 2013 (pp. 18-20, pdf)
  • Zimmermann, T. E. & Sternefeld, W. (2013). Introduction to Semantics. An Essential Guide to the Composition of Meaning. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Bott, O. & Schlotterbeck, F. (2012). Incremental truth value judgments. In B. Stolterfoht & S. Featherston (Eds.), Empirical Approaches to Linguistic Theory - Studies in Meaning and Structure. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    doi: 10.1515/9781614510888.3
  • Radó, J. & Bott, O. (2012). Underspecified representations of quantifier scope? Logic, Language & Meaning (pp. 180-189). Lecture Notes in Computer Science (vol. 7218). Berlin: Springer.
    doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-31482-7_19
  • Schlotterbeck, F. & Bott, O. (2012). Easy solutions to a hard problem? The computational complexity of reciprocals with quantificational antecedents. In J. Szymanik & R. Verbruggen (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop "Logic and Cognition", ESSLI 2012, Opole, Poland, 13-17 August, 2012 (pp. 60-72, pdf). CEUR Workshop Proceedings (vol. 883). CEUR-WS.org.
  • Sternefeld, W. & Richter, F. (2012). Wo stehen wir in der Grammatiktheorie? Bemerkungen anlässlich eines Buchs von Stefan Müller. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 31(2), 263-291.
    doi: 10.1515/zfs-2012-0010
  • Bott, O., Featherston, S., Radó, J. & Stolterfoht, B. (2011). Experimental methods in semantics. In C. Maienborn, K. von Heusinger & P. Portner (Eds.), Semantics. An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning, Vol. 1. Foundations of Semantics (pp. 305-321). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
    doi: 10.1515/9783110226614.305
  • Bott, O., Schlotterbeck, F. & Szymanik, J. (2011). Interpreting tractable versus intractable reciprocal sentences. In J. Bos & S. Pullum (Eds.), Proceedings of IWCS 9 (pp. 75-84, pdf from acl anthology)
  • Bott, O. (2010). The Processing of Events. Linguistics Today (vol. 162). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    doi: 10.1075/la.162
  • Sternefeld, W. (2010). Wide scope in situ. In T. Hanneforth & P. Fanselow (Eds.), Language and Logos - Festschrift for Peter Staudacher on his 70th Birthday. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
  • Bott, O. & Radó, J. (2009). How to provide exactly one interpretation for every sentence, or what eye movements reveal about quantifier scope. In S. Featherston & S. Winkler (Eds.), The Fruits of Empirical Linguistics - Volume 1: Process (pp. 25-46). Studies in Generative Grammar (vol. 101). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.