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Grammar and Meaning

This group provides a basis and a focus for research and tuition in syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

Three reindeer on snowy plain.

Syntax, semantics and pragmatics. How do words and even smaller components of words become utterances? Photo: Andreas Ropeid Sæbø.

About the group

The participants share a common interest in describing and defining the words and parts of words that make up the elementary building blocks of Germanic, Romance, and Slavic languages, in uncovering the various ways in which these blocks are put together, and in accounting for the meanings that come out of these processes, modulated by properties of the situation of utterance. 

In these efforts, cutting-edge theories in the fields of syntax, semantics, pragmatics and their interfaces are placed on solid empirical foundations. Language production and comprehension by first-language speakers, second-language speakers, and foreign-language speakers are all of interest and relevance.


The participants seek to lay bare the combinatorial possibilities of formatives, words and phrases in all the languages we are concerned with. We also seek to reveal what these units mean and what it means when those combinatorial possibilities are exploited, in terms of narrow content, as well as regarding non-at-issue information and the implications of utterances as complex actions.

One further goal is to model our findings in explanatory ways and to embed the results at the forefront of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic research.

Published Nov. 22, 2021 11:40 AM - Last modified Dec. 10, 2021 10:41 AM