Das Oberseminar bietet Vorträge von eingeladenen Referenten oder Kollegen aus der Abteilung an. Die Referenten stellen aktuelle Forschungsergebnisse zu allen für die allgemeine und theoretische Linguistik relevanten Bereichen vor. Jeder ist herzlich eingeladen. Studierende werden besonders ermutigt, teilzunehmen, um forschungsbezogene Vorträge von Spezialisten aus erster Hand zu erleben.

In diesem Semester findet das Oberseminar montags um 16:15 Uhr im Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft in der Wilhelmstraße 19, Raum 1.13 statt.

Aktuelle Veranstaltungen

12. November

George Walkden (Konstanz)

Title: Proto-Indo-European: a language without Merge?

Abstract: here

03. Dezember

Ekaterina Rakhilina, Tatiana Reznikova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

Title: Lexical typology: an introduction to the frame approach

17. December

Jakub Szymanik (University of Amsterdam)

Title: Ease of learning explains semantic universals

Abstract: Despite extraordinary differences between natural languageslinguists have identified

many semantic universals – shared properties of meaning – that are yet to receive a unified

explanation. We analyze universals in a domain of content words (color terms) and a domain of 

function words (quantifiers). Using tools from machine learning, we show that meanings

satisfying attested universals are easier to learn than those that are not. Thus, ease of learning

can explain the presence of semantic universals in many different linguistic domains.

28. Januar

Torgrim Solstad (ZAS Berlin)

Title: tba

Sommer Semester 2018

18. Juni

Katja Jasinskaja (Cologne)

Title: Attachment in syntax and discourse: Towards an explanation of the variable scope of non-restrictive relatives

Abstract: here


2. Juli

Susanne Dietrich (Tübingen)

Title: Processing of presuppositions during speech perception: a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study

Abstract: Discourse structure enables us to generate expectations based upon linguistic materials that has already been introduced. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study addresses auditory perception of test-sentences in which discourse coherence was manipulated by using presuppositions (PSP) that either correspond or fail to correspond to items in preceding context-sentences. Thereby, in- and definite determiners referring to either (non-) uniqueness or (not) existence of an item were used as PSP triggers. Discourse violation within the (non-) uniqueness subset yielded hemodynamic activation within the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) and bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Considering the existence subset, these regions occurred only, if subjects accommodated the discourse. These findings indicate involvement of (i) the working memory (IFG) referring the PSP to contextual information and (ii) a regulator (pre-SMA) managing the process of comprehension by signaling detected errors to the system. This enables the system to continue the process of comprehension, for example, by up-dating the context or tolerating slight errors.

9. Juli

Shirley-Ann Rueschemeyer (York) 


Title: Perspective taking during language comprehension

Abstract: Humans are constantly engaged in social interactions, and many of these interactions are supported by language. In this talk I will be presenting a series of studies investigating how language and social cognitive mechanisms interact in order to facilitate communication. I will start by showing that embodied lexical-semantic representations are activated by words in a flexible manner that reflects both linguistic and pragmatic constraints. Secondly, I will show the results of studies that suggest that when pragmatic constraints affect semantic processing, this is supported by interactions between neural language and mentalizing systems. Lastly, I will suggest that language comprehension is affected by assumptions we hold about other co-listeners as well as speakers. One key mechanism supporting perspective taking between co-listeners may be simulation. Together the studies presented in this talk provide insight into how high level language and social cognitive processes work in concert during successful communicative acts.