Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar: Eine Einführung

Picture: HPSG Einführung Author: Stefan Müller

Key Words: Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG), Syntax, Morphology, German

Appeared 2007 in: Stauffenburg Einführungen No. 17, Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verlag. (second, modified edition 2008; third, modified edition 2013)

ISBN: 978-3-86057-806-3 (35,00 € / 62,00 SFr

This book is a self-contained introduction into the framework of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar. An introductionary chapter motivates the use of complex feature structures in comparison to simple phrase structure rules. The second chapter discusses the formal underpinnings of HPSG in a rather informal way, that should be understandable for everybody. The remaining chapters introduce several grammar components in a phenomenon-oriented way. The analyses are developed for German. Most of the chapters deal with syntactic phenomena (constituent structure, constituent order, case, passive, agreement, verbal complex and particle verbs), but morphology (inflection and derivation) is discussed as well, and it is shown how the meaning of morphological and syntactic constructions can be determined compositionally.

The sections that present the analyses do not discuss alternatives. I hope that this helps the reader who is new to grammar theory not to get lost in detailed and difficult discussions. Instead of discussing alternatives in the main text, this is done in a special section in each chapter. This section is intended for the advanced reader. The suggested analyses are compared to alternative HPSG proposals, but also to proposals in the frameworks of Construction Grammar (CxG), Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) and Variants of the Government & Binding Theory (GB). The discussion focuses both on formal properties of the respective theories and on empirical facts from German and other languages.


  1. Introduction
  2. The Formalism
  3. Valence
  4. Head Features, Head Feature Principle, Head Argumente Structures
  5. Semantics
  6. Adjunction and Specification
  7. The Lexicon
  8. A Topological Fields Modell of the German Clause
  9. Position of Arguments and Adjuncts in the Mittelfeld and Verb Movement
  10. Nonlocal Dependencies: Fronting
  11. Relative Clauses
  12. Locality of Selection (SYNSEM)
  13. Agreement
  14. Case
  15. Verbal Cluster
  16. Coherence, Incoherence, Raising, and Control
  17. Passive
  18. Particle Verbs
  19. Morphology
  20. How to Argue for a Theory or against other Theories


The download of this book and the software related to the book is free. The price of the book is 35€, which is very low. So it may be worthwhile to buy the book, if you want to do serious work with it. The electronic version will be a valuable extension.

If you feel that the online version of the book is of some use to you (for instance because of its searchability and because everything is hyperlinked in the document) or if you share my belief that scientific literature should be freely available, you may support this project by sending the publisher Stauffenburg Verlag an amount of money that you consider appropriate. Please mention HPSG as reason for the bank transfer and use the following account:

Stauffenburg Verlag
Postbank Stuttgart
Konto: 4953-703
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