Sailer & Lamoure on Superlative ‘ever’

Manfred Sailer and Nicolas Lamoure (Frankfurt a.M.) presented a paper on “Superlative ‘ever’ in Dutch, French, German, and Spanish” at the 30th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar 2023, 7.-9.7.2023.  Manfred and Nicolas look at the use of English ever in emphatic superlatives as in (1) in two Germanic and two Romance languages:

(1) a. nl: de beste opmerking ever ‘the best comment ever’
       b. de: bestes Bild ever ‘best picture ever’
       c. fr: la meilleure idée ever  ‘the best idea ever’
       d. es: la mejor foto ever ‘the best picture ever’

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DGfS Workshop material

The 45th Annual Conference of the German Society of Linguistics (DGfS 2023) hosted a workshop on “Coexistence, competition and change: Structural borrowing and the dynamics of asymmetric language contact.” The workshop was organized by Hiwa Asadpour, Carolina Plaza Pust, and Manfred Sailer and is part of the activities of the initiative DALC (the Dynamics of Asymmetric Language Contact).

The workshop covered a number of very different language contact situtations, including the contact between sign-languages and spoken languages. Please contact us at if you are interested in getting access to the slides and posters of the presentations.

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Asadpour et al published in HPSG 2022 proceedings

The proceedings of this year’s HPSG conference are now available! The volume includes a contribution by Hiwa Asadpour, Shene Hassan & Manfred Sailer on “Non-wh relatives in English and Kurdish: Constraint on grammar and use.” The paper is based on Shene’s work on relative clauses in English and Kurdish, Hiwa’s fieldwork on varieties of Kurdish, and Manfred’s work on non-at-issue meaning.

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Hiwa on Minority Languages and Inter-ethnic Peace

Hiwa Asadpour will give an online  talk on “Minority languages and inter-ethnic peace through a linguistic perspective” at Hiroshima University. The event is  organized by the Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability.

The talk will take place December 7, 2022, 10:30-11:30 am, Japan Standard Time, i.e. 2.30-3.30 am Berlin time).


Kurdish is an Indo-European language from Iranian family. Kurdish is spoken in various regions, such as the west and northeast of Iran,

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Asadpour, Hassan & Sailer at HPSG 2022

Hiwa Asadpour, Shene Hassan & Manfred Sailer presented a talk on “Non-wh relatives in English and Kurdish: Constraints on grammar and use” at the HPSG 2022 conference. They sketch an analysis of English and Sōrānī Kurdish non-wh relatives. In both languages, there is variation between bare relatives and relatives introduced by a function word, that and ka respectively. The authors discuss some aspects of social meaning that is attached to the choice between the bare and the non-bare variant. Building on previous work on social meaning in HPSG, Hiwa, Shene & Manfred model the socially conditioned variation as a combination of conventional implicatures and particularized conversational implicatures. The paper combines results of Shene’s dissertation on English and Kurdish relative clauses, Hiwa’s fieldwork on Kurdish varieties, and Manfred’s work on non-at-issue meaning in HPSG.

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Asadpour co-edits volume on language contact

A new volume on Word Order Variation has been published in the series Studia Typologica [STTYP] (De Gruyter Mouton) by Hiwa Asadpour in collaboration with Thomas Jügel. The focus region is the Iranic-Semitic-Turkic contact area, where many languages are described as verb-final, ‘Targets’ (Goals, Recipients, etc.) tend to appear in the immediate postverbal position, a pattern violating the alleged ‘basic word order’. The volume will be available from August 1 on.

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