Semester: Wintersemester 2014/2015

3.02.160 S Syntax, Semantics, Processing and Acquisition


  • Donnerstag: 10:00 - 12:00, wöchentlich


We will refresh our knowledge on basic concepts and mechanisms in syntax and semantics and discuss some theories about their role in the language system. We will measure such theories against data from processing and acquisition studies.
A basic question in acquisition is how children acquire syntactic categories and regularities and how semantic concepts can help. We will discuss recent studies and investigate corpora in order to establish what the basic steps in language acquisition are and how children start to combine words into syntactic structures. On the semantic side, we will start from the basic components of meaning, morphemes and words, and take a look at the different theories about how children acquire words and word meaning. The course will subsequently concentrate on the contribution of grammatical/structural information to the meaning of phrases, sentences and discourse chunks.
We will also investigate which properties of syntax or semantics cause difficulty in language processing. This course is to be taken together with the Übung ‘Research Methods in Language Acquisition’.

Active participation and preparation of the texts is required throughout the seminar.
Reading: A list of references will be on StudIP shortly before the course begins.

Reading for preliminary knowledge on language acquisition:
M.-T. Guasti (2002): Language Acquisition. The Growth of Grammar. Chapter 1,2, 3, Bradford: Cambridge, Mass.
C. Hamann (2002): From Syntax to Discourse. Chapter 1, Kluwer: Amsterdam.



  • ang616 Language Acquisition and Psycholinguistics
  • PB 195a Erweiterte anglophone Sprach- und Kulturkompetenz
  • PB 195b Erweiterte anglophone Sprach- und Kulturkompetenz
  • pb113 Erweiterte anglophone Sprach- und Kulturkompetenz
  • pb114 Erweiterte anglophone Sprach- und Kulturkompetenz


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