Fernabhängigkeiten im Französischen: Vergleichende Analysen (HPSG und Minimalistisches Programm)

Funding Body

DFG (Grant MU 2822/9-1, ME 1252/14-1)

Principal Investigator

Stefan Müller

Funding Period

01.10.2015 bis 30.09.2018

Research Team

Guido Mensching (Göttingen)
Stefan Müller (FU Berlin)
Franziska Werner (Göttingen)
Elodie Winckel (FU Berlin)


The project explores long-distance dependencies, especially in interrogative and relative constructions, using two grammatical frameworks (HPSG and the Minimalist Program). In a first step, the data situation will be improved through corpus analyses and inquiries with native speakers. This will yield, for the first time, a broad empirical and theoretical coverage and a maximally complete description of long-distance dependencies in French, an area that has been only fragmentarily described up to now. The overreaching objective of the project is to answer the question of how complex, numerous and construction-specific the elements of syntactic description must be in order to explain the phenomena contained in a broad sample of data that show long-distance-dependencies in French. The selected frameworks present two extreme poles of possible interpretations. The Minimalist Program requires modeling by means of atomic units (lexical entries with head status), which interact with very general syntactic principles of a very local range. Similarly to what is claimed by construction grammar, HPSG has expanded the term lexicon and can formulate, if necessary, complex description units in which larger constellations and the range of constraints are already defined. In an interpretation within Construction Grammar, this can lead to the formulation of a construction family, as required in Sag (2010).

At the end of the project funding period, a detailed comparison of the two analyses is planned to be available.