Hans C Boas
Affiliated Professors — Ph.D., Linguistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Professor; Director, Linguistics Research Center; Director, Texas German Dialect Project
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 232-6358
- Office: BUR 328
- Campus Mail Code: C3300
I am a professor for Linguistics in the Department of Germanic Studies and the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to Austin, I was a postdoctoral researcher with the FrameNet project at the International Computer Science Institute and a research fellow in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst ('German Academic Exchange Service'). Prior to that, I studied law and linguistics at the Georg-August- Universität Göttingen, Germany. I received both my M.A. (thesis: The Passive in German) and my Ph.D. (dissertation: Resultative Constructions in English and German) in the Linguistics Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
My main research revolves around the relationship between syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and the structure of the lexicon, which I approach from a contrastive perspective (English/German). The theoretical frameworks I work with are primarily Construction Grammar and Frame Semantics with a strong bias towards corpus-based research methods. This research has resulted in a number of books: A constructional approach to resultatives (2003, CSLI Publications), Construction Grammar - Back to the roots (2005, John Benjamins, co-edited with Mirjam Fried), Contrastive Studies and Valency (2006, Peter Lang, co-edited with Petra Steiner and Stefan Schierholz), and Contrastive Studies in Construction Grammar (2010, John Benjamins, edited). I am currently collaborating with Ivan Sag (Stanford University) on an edited volume on Sign-based Construction Grammar, to be published in 2011.
My secondary research focus is concerned with implementing FrameNet principles in the design of corpus-based lexical databases for languages other than English. This research interest grew out of my postdoctoral fellowship with FrameNet at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley (funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)). My edited book Multinlingual FrameNets: From Theory to Application was published by Mouton de Gruyter in 2009. At UT Austin I am currently working on creating a FrameNet for German. Based on Frame Semantics and supported by corpus evidence, German FrameNet documents the full range of semantic and syntactic valences of each word in each of its senses. The resulting database consists of lexical entries that contain information about the semantic frame to which a lexical unit (a word in one of its senses) belongs, in combination with semantic and syntactic valence descriptions, and a collection of annotated corpus attestations. The data produced by German FrameNet will be useful for research in Natural Language Processing as well as Foreign Language Education.
My third research area consists of language variation, multilingualism, language contact, and language death. In September 2001, I founded the Texas German Dialect Project (TGDP) in order to record, archive, and analyze the remnants of Texas German. This endangered dialect will become extinct within the next 25-30 years. To date, I have interviewed more than 350 speakers of Texas German. The recordings, together with their transcriptions and translations, are stored in the web-based multi-media Texas German Dialect Archive after being processed by a web-based set of tools I developed between 2002-2005. My research on Texas German has been honored with a one-year fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the Hugo-Moser Prize for Germanic Linguistics from the Institut für Deutsche Sprache ("Institute for the German Language") in Mannheim (Germany). My latest book The Life and Death of Texas German was published with Duke University Press in 2009. This book won the 2011 Leonard Bloomfied Book Award from the Linguistic Society of America for the most outstanding contribution to the development of our understanding of language and linguistics.
Boas, H. (ed.) (2010) Contrastive Studies in Construction Grammar. John Benjamins.