Variation in the Interpretation Component of the Grammar

C1 aimed at contributing to a theory of crosslinguistic variation. In the last project phase, we put our focus on variation at the semantics/pragmatics interface, which has received little attention in the research literature so far. The three major research areas were (i) quantification over alternatives and its crosslinguistic and diachronic relationship to other forms of quantification, (ii) intervention effects, which gave us a better understanding of how alternative-evaluating operators interact with each other and (iii) the interaction of speech act operators with adverbials and particles crosslinguistically. By addressing these topics, the project contributed significantly to the understanding of the interaction between meaning composition and context.


  • Beck, S. (2021). Parameters of crosslinguistic variation in semantics. In L. Matthewson, C. Meier, H. Rullmann & T. E. Zimmermann (Eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Semantics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Howell, A., Hohaus, V., Berezovskaya, P., Sachs, K., Braun, J., Durmaz, Ş. & Beck, S. (2021). (No) variation in the grammar of alternatives. In H. Zeijlstra et al. (Eds.), Linguistic Variation, Online First. 
  • Igel, M. (2021). Part-Whole-Modifiers and the *-operator. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 25.
  • Berezovskaya, P. & Howell, A. (2020). (No) variation in the grammar of alternatives – Intervention effects in Russian. Proceedings of Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics 26.
  • Hohaus, V. & Bochnak, M. R. (2020). The grammar of degree. Gradability across languages. Annual Review of Linguistics 6(1), 235-259.
  • Hohaus, V. & Zimmermann, M. (2020). Comparisons of equality with German so...wie, and the relationship between degrees and properties. Journal of Semantics.
  • Vander Klok, J. & Hohaus, V. (2020). Weak necessity without weak possibility: The composition of modal strength distinctions in Javanese. Semantics and Pragmatics 13(12).
  • Berezovskaya, P. (2019). Comparison constructions in Nenets: About a language that has degrees and also uses them. Ural-Altaic Studies 35(4), 18-35. Electronic ISSN 2500-2902.
  • Berezovskaya, P. & Hörnig, R. (2019). The processing of ambiguous degree constructions in German. In A. Gattnar, R. Hörnig, M. Störzer, & S. Featherston (Eds.), Linguistic Evidence 2018: Experimental Data Drives Linguistic Theory (pp. 229-244). Tübingen, University of Tübingen.
  • Patel-Grosz, P. & Beck, S. (2019). Different again. Semantics and Pragmatics 12(3).
  • Hohaus, V. (2918). How do degrees enter the grammar? Language change in Samoan from [-DSP] to [+DSP]. Proceedings of TripleA 4 (pp. 106-120). Download
  • Beck, S. (2017). More and more different. In N. LaCara, K. Moulton & A.-M. Tessier (Eds.). A Schrift to Fest Kyle Johnson (pp. 43-46). Linguistics Open Access Publications.
  • Chen, S., Hohaus, V., Laturnus, R., Louie, M., Matthewson, L., Rullmann, H., Simchen, O., Turner, C. K. & Vander Klok, J. (2017). Past possibility crosslinguistically: Evidence from 12 languages. In A. Arregui, M. L. Rivero & A. P. Salanova (Eds.), Modality Across Syntactic Categories. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hohaus, V. & Konietzko, A. (2017). (Pseudo-)extraction from VP-proforms: The case of the comparative clause. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Israel Association for Theoretical Linguistics (IATL) 31.
  • Hohaus, V. & Rothe, W. (Eds.) (2017)Proceedings of TripleA 3 .
  • Bade, N., Berezovskaya, P. & Schöller, A. (Eds.) (2016)Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 20 .
  • Beck, S. (2016). Temporal noch/still and further-to readings of German nochProceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 20 (pp. 4-25).
  • Beck, S. (2016). Discourse related readings of scalar particles. In M. Moroney, C. Little, J. Collard & D. Burgdorf (Eds.), Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 26 (pp. 142-165).
  • Beck, S. (2016). Focus sensitive operators. In C. Féry & S. Ishihara (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Information Structure (pp. 227-250). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Beck, S. & Tiemann, S. (2016). Towards a model of incremental composition. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21.
  • Hohaus, V. (2016). The inchoative aspect in Samoan. The Proceedings of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association 23 (pp. 96-111).
  • Howell A. (2016). A Hamblin semantics for alternative questions in Yoruba. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 20 (pp. 359-376).
  • Sachs K. (2016). A movement approach for multi-head correlatives. Proceedings of Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 6 (pp. 111-120).
  • Beck, S. & Gergel, R. (2015). The diachronic semantics of English again. Natural Language Semantics 23(3), 157-203.
  • Beck, S. & Reis, M. (2015). On the form and interpretation of echo wh-questions. Manuscript submitted to Journal of Semantics.
  • Beck, S. & von Stechow, A. (2015). Events, times and worlds – An LF architecture. In C. Fortmann (Ed.), Situationsargumente im Nominalbereich (pp. 13-46). Linguistische Arbeiten Bd. 562. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Berezovskaya, P. & Hohaus, V. (2015). Two types of phrasal comparative operators: Evidence from Russian. Proceedings of Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics 23 (pp. 1-19).
  • Gergel, R. & Beck, S. (2015). Early Modern English 'again': A corpus study and semantic analysis. English Language and Linguistics 19(1), 27-47.
  • Hohaus, V. & Howell, A. (2015). Alternative semantics for focus and questions: Evidence from Samoan. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association 21 (pp. 69-86). Asia-Pacific Linguistics 25. Download
  • Berezovskaya, P. (2014). Acquisition of Russian degree constructions: A corpus-based study. Proceedings of Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics 22 (pp. 1-22). Download
  • Hohaus, V., Tiemann, S. & Beck, S. (2014). Acquisition of comparison constructions. Language Acquisition 21(3), 215-249. Download
  • Patel-Grosz, P. & Beck, S. (2014). Revisiting Again: The view from Kutchi Gujarati. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 18 (pp. 303-321). Download
  • Beck, S. (2013). Lucinda driving too fast again - The scalar properties of ambiguous than-clauses. Journal of Semantics 30(1), 1-63.
  • Howell, A. (2013). Abstracting over degrees in Yoruba comparison constructions. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 17 (pp. 271-288). Download
  • Beck, S. (2012). DegP scope revisited. Natural Language Semantics 20(3), 227-272. Download
  • Beck, S. (2012). Pluractional comparisons. Linguistics and Philosophy 35(1), 57-110. 
  • Beck, S. (2012). Lucinda driving too fast again - The scalar properties of ambiguous than-clauses. Journal of Semantics, online first (Feb. 2, 2012), 1-63. Download
  • Beck, S. (2012). Konso pluractional verbal morphology and plural operators. Proceedings of SULA 6 (pp. 285-302).
  • Beck, S., Hohaus, V. & Tiemann, S. (2012). A note on phrasal comparatives. Proceedings of SALT 22 (pp. 146-165). 
  • Berezovskaya, P. (2012)Acquisition of Russian Comparison Constructions by Bilingual Children: A Corpus Based Study. Zulassungsarbeit, University of Tübingen.
  • Gese, H. & Hohaus, V. (2012). Der Stadtring ist befahrener als die Autobahn. Bemerkungen zur Gradierbarkeit beim Zustandspassiv. In B. Rothstein (Ed.), Nicht-flektierte Wortarten (pp. 275-299). Berlin: De Gruyter. Download
  • Gese, H. & Hohaus, V. (2012). Building gradable adjectival passives. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 16(1), 146-165.
  • Hofstetter, S. (2012). Phrasal comparison in Turkish: Associating individuals with implicit degrees. Proceedings of SULA 6 (pp. 319-334).
  • Hofstetter, S. (2012). Better low pay than no pay: Propositional adjectives obviate negative island effects. Proceedings of CLS (Chicago Linguistic Society) 48. Download of the Pre-final Version
  • Hofstetter, S. (2012). Measure phrase constructions in English, German and French: Six sources of linguistic variation. Interlingüística XXII, Salamanca.
  • Hohaus, V. (2012). Directed motion as comparison: Evidence from Samoan. Proceedings of SULA 6 und SULA-bar (pp. 335-348). Download
  • Tiemann, S., Hohaus, V. & Beck, S. (2012). Crosslinguistic variation in comparison: Evidence from child language acquisition. In B. Stolterfoht & S. Featherston (Ed.), Empirical Approaches to Linguistic Theory: Studies of Meaning and Structure (pp. 115-146). Berlin: De Gruyter. 
  • Beck. S. (2011). Comparison constructions. In C. Maienborn, K. von Heusinger & P. Portner (Eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning, Vol. 2 (pp. 1341-1389). Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Gergel, R. (2011). Structure-sensitivity in actuality: Notes from a class of preference expressions. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 17(1), 115-124. Download
  • Hofstetter, S. (2011). 30 Meter lange Seile, des cordes longues de 30 mètres and 90-foot-long ropes - a contrastive study on the (un)availability of direct measure phrases in English, German and French. In S. D. Schmid, U. Detges, P. Gévaudan, W. Mihatsch & R. Waltereit (Eds.), Rahmen des Sprechens. Beiträge zu Valenztheorie, Varietätenlinguistik, Kreolistik, Kognitiver und Historischer Semantik. Peter Koch zum 60. Geburtstag (pp. 369-379). Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto.
  • Savelsberg, C. (2011)Hindi Comparatives. Magisterarbeit, University of Tübingen.
  • Beck, S. (2010). Quantifiers in than-Clauses. Semantics and Pragmatics 3, 1-72. Download of the Prefinal Version
  • Beck, S. (2010). Rullmann ambiguities as plural comparison. Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 20 (pp. 428-450). 
  • Gergel, R. (2010). Towards notions of comparative continuity in English and French. In A. Breitbarth et al. (Eds.), Continuity and Change in Grammar (pp. 119-144). 
  • Gergel, R. (2010). On the realization of LF-binding in some degree dependencies. In R. Bok-Bennema & B. Kampers-Manhe (Eds.), Romance Language and Linguistic Theory 2008: Selected Papers from Going Romance XXII (pp. 105-124).
  • Gergel, R. (2010). Motivating variation patterns in degree constructions: Semantics meets grammaticalization. Poznán Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 42(1), 27-49. Download
  • Hofstetter, S. (2010). Comparison in Thai: Arguments against an exceed-style analysis and a plea for empirical fieldwork in Formal Semantics. Pre-Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2010 (pp. 177-181).
  • Hofstetter, S. (2010). 'Half a cake's better than none' – The absence of negative island effects with adjectives and adverbs expressing value judgments. In E. Bahíllo Sphonix-Rust et al. (Eds.), Interlingüística XXI. Actuales líneas de investigación en el panorama internacional de los jóvenes lingüistas (pp. 869-878).
  • Hofstetter, S. (2010). Rezension for Lucia Grimaldi (2009), 'Italienische Vergleichskonstruktionen'. Tübingen: Niemeyer (Linguistische Arbeiten, 529). Philologie im Netz 53/2010 (pp. 97-103). Download
  • Hohaus, V. & Tiemann, S. (2010). ...this much is how much I'm bigger than Joey... A corpus study in the acquisition of comparison constructions. Proceedings of AcquisiLyon'09 (pp. 90-93). Download
  • Krasikova, S. (2010). Comparing to what is possible or permitted. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 14 (pp. 256-272). Download
  • Krasikova, S. (2010). Scales in the meaning of adjectives. Oslo Studies in Language 2(1), 51-74. Download
  • Krasikova, S. (2010). Sufficiency inference in Anankastic conditionals. Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 20 (pp. 91-108). 
  • Tiemann, S., Hohaus, V. & Beck, S. (2010). German and English comparatives are different: Evidence from child language acquisition. Pre-Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2010 (pp. 254-258).
  • Beck, S., Berezovskaya, P. & Pflugfelder, K. (2009). The use of again in 19th‐century English versus present‐day English. Syntax 12(3), 193-214.
  • Beck, S., Fleischer, D., Gergel, R., Hofstetter, S., Krasikova, S., Savelsberg, C., Vanderelst, J. & Villalta, E. (2009). Crosslinguistic variation in comparison constructions. Linguistic Variation Yearbook 9, 1-66. Download
  • Gergel, R. (2009)Rather - On a modal cycle. In E. van Gelderen (Ed.), Cyclical Change (pp. 243-264).
  • Gergel, R. (2009). The little de of degree constructions. In H. Campos, R. P. Leow & D. Lardiere (Eds.), Little Words: Their History, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, and Acquisition (pp. 75-86).
  • Gergel, R. (2009). Comparatives and types of þonne in Old English: Towards an integrated analysis of the data types in comparative derivations. In S. Winkler & S. Featherston (Eds.), The Fruits of Empirical Linguistics, Vol. 2 (pp. 103-124).
  • Hofstetter, S. (2009). Comparison in Turkish: A rediscovery of the phrasal comparative. In A. Riester & T. Solstad (Eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung XIII, Vol. 1 (pp. 187-203). Download
  • Krasikova, S. (2009). Norm-relatedness in degree constructions. In A. Riester & T. Solstad (Eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung XIII, Vol. 1 (pp. 275-290). Download

Crosslinguistic Data

Grammar of Alternatives

If you have any questions regarding the data, or are interested in the data collected for individual languages, feel free to contact Vera Hohaus. Where links are available, feel free to also contact the researcher responsible for collection of the respective data.

Language Collected by Publications
Arabic Julia Braun

Braun (2016, B.A. Thesis)

Hindi Konstantin Sachs  
Nenets Polina Berezovskaya  
Russian Polina Berezovskaya  

Vera Hohaus

Anna Howell

Hohaus & Howell (2015)

Şehriban Erbektaş

Vera Hohaus

Erbektaş (2016)
Yorùbá Anna Howell Howell (2015)
Comparison Constructions


Beck, S. Crosslinguistic variation in comparison constructions. Linguistic Variation Yearbook 9, 1-66.    Beck et al. (2009)

Beck, S., Hohaus, V. & Tiemann, S. A note on phrasal comparatives. Proceedings of SALT 22 (pp. 146-165).    Sigrid Beck, Vera Hohaus & Sonja Tiemann    +Appendix

Language Collected by Publications
Bulgarian Svetlana Krasikova  
Guaraní Daniel Fleischer Fleischer (2007, Zulassungsarbeit)

Christiane Savelsberg,

Konstantin Sachs

Savelsberg (2011, Magisterarbeit)
Hungarian Remus Gergel  
Mandarin Svetlana Krasikova

Krasikova (2008),

Tiemann, Hohaus, Beck (2012)

Móoré John Vanderelst  
Motu Elisabeth Villalta  
Romanian Remus Gergel Gergel (2010)
Russian Svetlana Krasikova Krasikova (2009)

Elisabeth Villalta,

Vera Hohaus

Hohaus (2010, Magisterarbeit)

Hohaus (2012, Sula6)

Spanish Remus Gergel  
Thai Stefan Hofstetter Hofstetter (2010)
Turkish Stefan Hofstetter

Hofstetter (2009)

Hofstetter (2012)


John Vanderelst,

Anna Howell

Vanderelst (2010)

Howell (2012, Magisterarbeit)