Newsletter of the Department of Linguistics
at the University of Konstanz

Issue CXVIII: April 2018

Universitaet Konstanz

Topics of this issue:

This is the 118th issue of the Newsletter published by the Department of Linguistics at the University of Konstanz. It covers informations about the plans of the members of the department in April 2018 as well as short reports abut events, presentations, etc. in March 2018.

New to Konstanz

In April, Felix Frühauf will start as a new Ph.D. student in Sven Lauer's Emmy Noether group What is it to ask a question?. Welcome to our department!
Felix just finished his Masters degree at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin under the direction of Artemis Alexiadou and Manfred Krifka. He will work mainly on the semantics and pragmatics of infinitival and 'practical' interrogatives.

Todor Koev also joins the department on April 1st, as the Director of the new DFG Emmy Noether group Parenthetical Meaning. Todor joins us from the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, where he was a lecturer after obtaining his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2013. Welcome to Konstanz!

Visiting Konstanz

Güliz Günes, a postdoctoral researcher from Leiden University, is visiting Konstanz from April 20th to 30th. If someone is interested in talking to her about Turkish prosody and sytax-prosody mapping, they can contact her and arrange a meeting. Her email address is: g(dot)gunes(at)hum(dot)leidenuniv(dot)nl

Jan Casalicchio, postdoc researcher at Utrecht University, will be visiting our department from April 1st to September 30th, financed through a Humboldt fellowship. In cooperation with Georg Kaiser and Tanja Kupisch, he will prepare and carry out a study on the use of subject pronouns in trilingual school children (German-Italian-Dolomitic Ladin) in the Val Gherdëina (Val Gardena / Grödnertal). Welcome, Jan!

Successful PhD Thesis defences

Great news from Manchester: Fernanda Barrientos and Henri Kauhanen have passed their PhD vivas at the University of Manchester. Our warmest congratulations to the new Doctors!

Events at/by the Department

in April

On April 26th at 10:00 Güliz Günes will give a talk on "Prosodic constituency and syntax-prosody mapping in Turkish" (F 423).

On April 30th at 18:45 George Walkden will be giving his inaugural lecture (Antrittsvorlesung) with the title “English: the black sheep of the Germanic family?”. Everyone is welcome to attend!

in March

On March 5th Jennifer Arnold gave a special edition of her DGfS talk: "Is prosody an intentional signal of information structure?"

The workshop Modern Linguistics & Language Didactics organized by Andreas Troztke and Tanja Kupisch took place at our department from March 15th to 16th.

From March 20th to 23rd Caroline Féry (Goethe-University Frankfurt) gave a Blockseminar on intonation and prosodic structure for PhD students.

Department and Research Colloquium in April

19.04.Alexander Pfaff (University of Oslo): t.b.a.
26.04.Mark Steedman (University of Edinburgh): Contiguity and Universal Grammar.

Conferences, Workshops and Presentations

in April
  • On April 03rd and 04th George Walkden will give a talk with the title “In defence of the information-structural approach to V3 in Germanic” in Caen, France.
  • Nicole Dehé is Invited Speaker at the the 1st Princeton Symposium on Syntactic Theory "How modular is syntax?", from April 6th to 7th at Princeton University, New Jersey. Her talk is on "Parenthesis and the syntax-prosody interface".
  • The following members of the department will present their work at GLOW 41 from April 10th to 14th in Budapest, Hungary:
    • Josef Bayer will present his work on "Particles ex-situ in emphatic wh-questions" in the same workshop.
    • James Griffiths will co-present a poster with Güliz Güneş (Leiden University) and Anikó Lipták (Leiden University), entitled "Reprise Fragments in Minimalism: an in-situ analysis" (Main colloquium).
  • Andreas Trotzke will give a talk on "Sprache im Kontext: Deutsche Modalpartikeln als Lehrstück des Sprachgebrauchs" at Pädagogische Hochschule Vorarlberg on April 12th.
  • Sven Lauer will give an invited talk entitled "Degrees of belief, (ir)rationality, and commitment" at the Meaning and Commitment workshop, held at the Institut Jean Nicod in Paris on April 13th.
  • Andreas Trotzke will present his paper "Approaching the pragmatics of exclamations experimentally" at WCCFL 36 (University of California, Los Angeles, April 20th to 22nd) and at CLS 54 (The University of Chicago, April 26th to 28th).

in March
  • The following members of the department presented their work at the 40. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft in Stuttgart from March 7th to 9th.
    • Andrea Beltrama was invited to give a talk on "Subjective assertions and inquisitiveness: a hybrid speech act?" in AG 3.
    • Ryan Bochnak (with co-author Martina Martinovic of the University of Florida) gave a talk on "Unifying the many readings of Wolof imperfective di" in AG 4.
    • Josef Bayer and Martin Salzmann gave a talk on "That-trace effects without traces: in favor of a phonological EPP" in AG 6.
    • Sven Lauer and Sunwoo Jeong gave a talk on "The functional heterogeneity of interrogatives: An optimistic approach" in AG 7.
    • Mark-Matthias Zymla presented his work on "Linguistic Variation in the Realization of Rhetorical Questions — Providing Semantics and Pragmatics for German RQs" in AG 7 and he presented a poster with the title "Storing and Visualizing Semantic Annotation for Treebank Applications".
    • Georg Kaiser and Katharina Kaiser gave a talk with the title "What parallel texts can tell us about word order variation and change. A case study on wh-interrogatives in Romance" in AG 7.
    • Farhat Jabeen and Miriam Butt talked about "Word Order and Question Type: A Corpus Analysis of Bollywood Scripts" in AG 7.
    • Doris Penka gave a talk on "The Degree Proform so in German" in AG 8.
    • Alexandra Rehn gave a talk with the title "Loss, Optionality and Free Variation of Categories" in AG 9. She was also the speaker of the DGfS-Doktorandenforum with the topic "Standardsprache vs. Dialekte/ Gesprochene Sprache als Untersuchungsgegenstand für die Linguistik".
    • Eva Csipak gave a talk on "Conditionalizing referential uses of definite descriptions" in AG 15.
  • Andreas Trotzke gave a talk on "Syntactic explorations into the expressive dimension" at UPF Barcelona on March 8th.
  • On March 15th, Bettina Braun gave a talk at the Phonetics Seminar at Lund University on “The production and perception of rhetorical questions”.


Regine Eckardt will spend a month at The Hebrew University at Jerusalem from March 17th to April 16th. She was awarded a Mandel Senior Fellowship, which allows international scholars to lecture at the university on special topics. Her course deals with diachronic semantics in grammaticalization.

Miriam Butt traveled to Colombo, Sri Lanka at the end of March to establish a new cooperation on Tamil computational grammar development with researchers at the University of Moratuwa.

More News

Andreas Walker is awarded the "City of Konstanz Prize to Promote Early Career Researchers at the University of Konstanz" for his outstanding dissertation project on counterfactual donkey sentences. Congratulations Andreas!

The Konstanz semantics & pragmatics community has a new website, intended to connect its members in several departments, and to advertise the sizable community to the world: Lakeside semantics & pragmatics. Contact Sven Lauer if you want to be listed there.

The German newspaper "Augsburger Allgemeine" has published an interview with Andreas Trotzke on why humans speak different languages. The interview can be accessed here.

Publications by Members of the Department

  • Dehé, Nicole. 2018. The prosodic phrasing of parenthetical comment clauses in spontaneous spoken language: Evidence from Icelandic held ég. Studia Linguistica 72(1): 128-164.

Acquisitions of the Library

Pérez Leroux, Ana T.: Direct objects and language acquisition

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