An Introduction to Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar

Type: Introductory Course

Section: Language

Lecturer: Stefan Müller


The course will introduce the key concepts of Pollard and Sag (1994) and will focus on basic parts of the HPSG theory, recent developments and special parts that are important for grammars of other languages than English.

There will be lectures about the general setup of the theory (feature structure descriptions, types, multiple inheritance, valence representation), nonlocal dependencies with a discussion of the formal devices to introduce them (traces, immedeate dominance rules, lexical rules, slash amalgamation), relative clauses, linearization, and complex predicates.

The theory of constituent order is not developed very much in the work of Pollard and Sag. I therefore refer to work by Reape (1990, 1992, 1994), Kathol (1995, 2000), and Müller (1999). The background for the other topics is work about the verbal complex that was done by Hinrichs and Nakazawa (1994) and Kiss (1995).


Some knowledge of phrase structure grammar.

Course material

Note: More recent slides can be found on the Linguistic Theories in Contrast page or if you read German on the general HPSG teaching page.

Version of September 28, 2003:

Further Reading

St. Mü. (
Created September 25, 2000, last modified April 12, 2010