The General Linguistics Work Group (headed by Prof. Dr. Jutta-M. Hartmann and including Dr. András Bárány and Wiebke Petersen) concentrates on comparative research and combines theoretical linguistics with empirical methods. The overall aim of our research is to understand the common properties, points of variation, and the limits of variation in languages in order to better understand the human capacity of language. At the core of this investigation lies the empirically adequate description of different aspects of grammar in combination with a theoretical analysis of the investigated properties. To reach this goal, we work with different experimental methods, mostly questionnaire studies, as well as corpus data.
The group’s expertise includes the syntax and information structure of Germanic languages, copular constructions and clefts, the syntax and information structure of extractions, the analysis of propositional arguments in comparative research, as well as the study of variation in agreement and case, ditransitive constructions, and possessives at the interface of morphosyntax and typology.