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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities

Research Unit


Artemis Alexiadou

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Preis 2014


This research group studies the human language faculty within the generative approach. This approach aims to identify the basic elements from which complex structures can be generated. The aim is to develop a general theory that reveals the rules and laws that govern the structure of particular languages, and the general laws and principles governing all natural languages. Generative grammar assumes that there is a dedicated human language ability, Universal Grammar, which is best studied through formalized models and theories. From this perspective, discovering the rules of language tells us something about human cognition.

The primary focus and contribution of my team has been on theoretical modeling, i.e. providing the computational mechanisms that constitute human language. The Leibniz Prize will enable me to combine expertise in theoretical modeling with cutting-edge experimental methodology and work with multilingual speakers. This will be instrumental in testing the efficiency of linguistic models and promoting our understanding of language and cognition.



  • Workshop: Theoretical and Experimental Approaches to Gender

Rueshel and Leibniz-ZAS are organizing the ThEGen workshop. It aims to bring together scholars working on gender from the fields of morphosyntax, semantics, psycholinguistics, and language acquisition. June 14-15, 2018. Berlin, Leibniz-ZAS.

  • Workshop: Non-canonical Imperatives

RUESHeL is organizing a workshop on non-canonical imperatives (NCI) that will take place at Humboldt-University on May 25-26, 2018. See here for more details. We invite researchers to submit abstracts.

  • New Research group on Emerging Grammars

We are delighted that the Research Project on Emerging Grammars in Language Contact Situations has been approved by the DFG. Further Information on the topics of the Research Project can be found here.