General research interests

My research interests in theoretical and German linguistics cover lexicology, phonology, graphematics, morphology, syntax, and semantics. The current focus of my research are word-formation theory and word-formation description.

Word-formation theory and word-formation description

Over the last few years, I have developed a general theory of word formation, dubbed Pattern-and-Restriction Theory (PR), and applied it to word-formation phenomena in German.

According to PR, the word-formation component of a linguistic system provides pairings of word-formation patterns and related base restrictions. Those pairings may be one-to-many: one word-formation pattern can be paired with more than one base restriction. Sets of word-formation patterns determine the productive or unproductive word-formation processes in the system. Ultimately, word-formation processes, word-formation patterns, and base restrictions serve to establish the word-formation relations between (lexicalised or non-lexicalised) lexical units in the system. Roughly speaking, a word-formation relation holds if, and only if, a word-formation process in the system can built some or all of the product forms by means of a word-formation pattern from base forms conforming to a matching base restriction.

For the formal modelling of linguistic objects and their semantic interpretation, PR presupposes the theoretical framework of Integrational Linguistics (IL). IL takes a Word-and-Paradigm approach to lexical units, which can not only model morphologically, but also syntactically, complex words.

Currently, the most complete description of PR can be found in my habilitation thesis, which provides a complete axiomatic formalisation. It also applies PR to major conversion patterns in German systems. An enhanced publication is in preparation.

PPR, the Processing System for Word-formation Patterns and Their Restrictions, is a sample implementation of PR, supplying selected word-formation patterns and a very limited lexicon for spoken and written German linguistic systems.

Writing systems, numerals, adpositions

In addition to word formation, I am in particular interested in: