Theorie and Implementation of a Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar for Chinese with Special Focus on Argument Structure Constructions and Constituent Order

Funding Body

DFG (Grant MU 2822/5-1)

Principal Investigator

Stefan Müller

Funding Period

1.10.2011 until 30.11.2013

Research Team

Stefan Müller
Janna Lipenkova


The goal of the project is a description of central phenomena in Chinese in the framework of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) and the development of a non-trivial grammar fragment for Chinese. Particular attention will be paid to the following phenomena fields: valence and argument structure; constituent order and variations in information structure; complex predicates: serial verbs, coverbs, dative constructions, ba- and bei-constructions, resultative constructions.

The project aims at a close connection between theory and implementation. The analyses will be based on existing grammar fragments for German, Danish, Maltese and Persian which have been implemented in the framework of HPSG. The development of these grammar fragments has been led by the goal of maximizing a common core and exploiting generalizations which render the structures observed in specific classes of languages.

In the project, we will try to minimize the use of language-specific rules and features; unavoidable language-specific stipulations will thus point towards differences between the considered languages. These differences will be documented in descriptive as well as theoretical publications. Therefore, our project also contributes to a typological understanding of the considered languages in a constraint-based grammar formalism.



  • Lipenkova Janna, October 2011: Workshop on Issues in Construction-based and Related Linguistic Theories, FU Berlin, talk: Lexical licensing in the Chinese ba-construction
  • Lipenkova, Janna, September 2011: Colloque de Syntaxe et Sémantique, Paris, talk: Lexical licensing and obligatory event modifiers in the Chinese ba-construction
  • Lipenkova, Janna, August 2011: 18th International Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar Conference, University of Washington, talk: Reanalysis of obligatory modifiers as complements in the Chinese ba-construction
  • Lipenkova, Janna, July 2010: The 17th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Université Denis Diderot Paris, poster: A HPSG representation of causativity in the Chinese ba-construction