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The Lab Team

Prof. Dr. Aria Adli

Aria Adli specializes on grammatical variation. He tries to explain why certain grammatical forms (such as word order or pronouns) are preferred or used more frequently than others by speakers. He does so by taking into account language-internal as well as language-external factors. With regard to language-internal factors, he works on the syntax of a sentence in its speech context and on information structure. With regard to language-external factors, his research focuses on the role of social stratification, lifestyle according to Bourdieu, and register. His approach builds on language comparison (with emphasis on French, Spanish, Catalan, and Persian) and on cross-cultural analysis. His empirical methods include field work, corpus analysis, acceptability judgments, statistics, and computer simulations.

Amalia Canes (M.A.)

I work in the syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface, which addresses (from various vantage points) questions of how communication works in context. My current work focuses on the discourse structuring and information packaging factors that condition the choice of certain discourse markers, and seek to provide clues to our understanding of the syntax-to-discourse relation. I have worked on topics such as report speech, polysemy of functional words and disambiguation through statistical methods.


Alessia Cassarà (M.A.)

My research interests lie at the interface between syntax and discourse from a sociolinguistic perspective. Within a variationist framework, I aim at investigating the sociolinguistic factors that impact language change. I examine the change of specific syntactic phenomena through which information structure is expressed, both from a monolingual and a bilingual point of view, and aim at gaining better insights on the sociolinguistic conditions determining such variation and possible change.


Eric Engel (M.A.)

Based on the assumption that variation in language is not arbitrary, I am interested in information structural and sociolinguistic factors of variation and how they constrain the choice of a variant. My research focuses on phenomena related to the syntax-semantics interface, such as structural and interpretational properties of different types of subordinate clauses, the expression of negation, or zero elements in discourse.




Lena Pfannholzer

My responsibility is running and organizing the technical equipment in the lab. I am also concerned with the website administration and different tasks in the chair.



Foto: Charlotte Chapuis


Tim Pauli

My responsibility is the IT support and running and developing agent-based simulations.