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Kit Belgum, Chair 2505 University Avenue, Burdine Hall 336, Mailcode C3300, Austin TX 78712-1802 • 512-471-4123

Hans C Boas

Professor Ph.D., Linguistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Professor; Raymond Dickson, Alton C. Allen and Dillon Anderson Centennial Professor; Director, Linguistics Research Center; Director, Texas German Dialect Project
Hans C Boas

Contact

Biography

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.

 

Interests

Syntax, Lexical Semantics, Computational Lexicography, Language Contact & Variation, Contrastive Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics, Pragmatics, Morphology, Endangered Languages, Phonology

GER 381 • Intro To Synchron Ling: Ger

37330 • Spring 2015
Meets MW 100pm-230pm BUR 232
show description

Description:

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the formal and functional study of the German language. At the beginning of the course, we will be concerned with the structural properties (‘building blocks’) of German: phonetics & phonology (the study of speech sounds and how to put them together), morphology (the analysis of words), syntax (the analysis of sentences and their construction), and semantics (the meanings of words and sentences). In this part of the course, we will focus on formal descriptions of sounds, words, and sentences and we will learn about rule systems that can be used to describe these ‘building blocks’ of the German language. The primary focus of this course is on Standard German. Throughout the semester we will also compare and contrast the linguistic structures of Standard German with those of Texas German as documented by the Texas German Dialect Project (http://www.tgdp.org), an on-going research project on the structure of Texas German. At the same time, we will pay special attention to contrastive linguistic issues, i.e. the structural differences between English, Standard German, and Texas German.

During the last weeks of the course we will take a look at a number of sociolinguistic issues. We will consider regional, social, and gender factors which influence language use, as well as attitudes toward different language varieties and the speakers who use them. Topics to be discussed will include (but are not limited to) regional dialects (Swabian, Low German, Swiss German, Texas German), language contact, "Gastarbeiterdeutsch" (foreign worker’s German), differences in language use between men and women, and political language in East vs. West Germany. This course is taught in English. Reading knowledge of German is recommended.

 

Required Readings:

 Fox, Anthony. 2005. The Structure of German. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Class Reader.

 

Evaluation:

(1)  Homework (due on the day noted in the schedule): 20%

(2)  Three in-class presentations of book chapters / articles (10% each). Two single class presentations of materials (in italics in course schedule), one joint-presentation of materials (in italics and bold in course schedule): 30%

(3)  Final paper (15-20 pages): 50%.

GER 393K • Socioling:lang Contact/Death

38295 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 232
(also listed as LIN 383 )
show description

Language Contact and Language Death in Texas

GER 393  / LIN 383

Instructor: Hans C. Boas

 

- Course taught in English, All readings in English -

 

This course deals with the dynamics underlying language contact and language death in Texas.  The first part of the course reviews the principles of language contact and the different results of language shift (Thomason 2003, Wolfram 2003, Clyne 2004, Trudgill 2004). The second part of the course is concerned with theoretical constructs used to describe and analyze the different linguistic mechanisms and socio-political causes underlying language contact and death around the world (Gal 1984, Fishman 1985, Dorian 1989, Sasse 1992, Crystal 2001).

The third part of the course applies the models discussed in the first two parts of the course to the description and analysis of Texas German, an endangered dialect that will go extinct within the next 30 years (see http://www.tgdp.org). First, we review older analyses of Texas German in order to understand the structure of Texas German as it was spoken fifty years ago. Then, we learn how to conduct linguistic field interviews. Starting with a controlled environment of informants (room mates, relatives, friends), students learn how to elicit data using lists of English words, phrases, and sentences. Then, students are taken by the instructor on a fieldtrip where they observe and conduct linguistic interviews with some of the remaining speakers of Texas German.

During the fourth part of the course we analyze the field recordings and compare relevant morphological, phonological, and syntactic properties of Texas German with data recorded six decades ago. Finally, students identify a particular linguistic phenomenon in Texas German that they want to analyze and describe its distribution among the data they have collected.

No knowledge of German required. This course is taught in English. All reading materials are in English.

 

Required Readings:

Boas, Hans C. 2009. The life and death of Texas German. Durham: Duke University Press.

Class Reader

 

Evaluation:

(1) Homework: 10%; (2) Data collection and editing: 20%; (3) One in-class presentations of paper or book chapter: 10%; (4) Final paper: 60%.

GER 393K • Frame Semantics

38490 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 232
(also listed as LIN 393S )
show description

Frame Semantics - GER 393K/ LIN 392

 

Course Description

 

This course provides extensive insights into the structure and analysis of word meanings. Introducing Charles Fillmore’s theory of Frame Semantics, the first part of the course discusses the openness and richness of word meanings, reflecting the rich variety of human experiences. Consider words such as Tuesday, barber, and alimony. These words necessitate an understanding of concepts (or semantic frames) such as repeatable calendar events, grooming and hair, and marriage and divorce. By investigating the types of references to diverse practices, processes, and objects in the physical and social world, we learn how a theory of word meaning needs to include more than the small linguistically significant set of primitive concepts proposed by other linguists such as David Dowty, Ray Jackendoff, Beth Levin, James Pustejovsky, and Anna Wierzbicka.

 

The second part of the course presents the concept of a semantic frame as developed by Fillmore and his associates. Frames offer rich conceptual backgrounds against which word meanings are understood. Their primary role in an account of text understanding is to explain how our text interpretation can leap far beyond what the text literally says. They may be evoked by words such as alimony, or they may be introduced by patterns among the facts the text establishes. Consider the sentence We never open our presents until morning, which evokes the Christmas frame by describing a situation that matches salient facts of Christmas practice, even though no word in it is specific to Christmas. In this part of the course we learn (1) how frames are discovered and described, thereby providing an organizing principle for a rich open lexicon, (2) how they are distinguished from and linked to other frames (frame-to-frame relations), and (3) how frame-semantic information is syntactically relevant. More specifically, we apply Frame Semantics to discover (1) the kinds of syntactic constructions and valence patterns lexical meanings are compatible with, (2) the kinds of participants that become subjects and objects, (3) regular semantic patterns of oblique markings and valence alternations, and (4) Regular patterns of inference licensed by category, syntactic construction or closed class lexical item. Finally, we discover how semantic frames can be applied to cross-linguistic analysis.

 

The third part of the course employs the FrameNet database (http://framenet.icsi.berkeley.edu) to analyze the meaning of a given word as a network of interrelated senses. Some of these senses are more central, or basic, and others are less central, or peripheral. In this approach, the processes of metaphor and metonymy are central in describing the full range of meanings which a particular word can evoke. Finally, we look at how Frame Semantics integrates with Construction Grammar and how results from research in Frame Semantics have been applied in a variety of computational applications.

 

This course is taught in English. No knowledge of German is required.

 

Required Texts

 

Class reader on electronic reserve.

 

GER 347L • Lang/Socty Ger-Spkng Countries

38490 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 337
show description

This course provides an introduction to the cultural aspects of German language variation (spatial, social, and chronological).  The course opens with an overview of the history of the German language in order to understand the roots of present-day varieties of German.  We will then discuss traditional German dialectology, as well as more sociolinguistically-oriented approaches to language.  From there, we will investigate the cultural status of various varieties of German within Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, as well as German language varieties overseas, in North America, Australia, and Africa.  In this context, we will also discuss German in contact with other languages, such as French, Danish, Russian, Hungarian, and English; and the cultural and linguistic results thereof; as well as the cultural and political status of German in officially multilingual societies like Switzerland and unofficially multilingual societies like Germany. 

We will see how differences in linguistic behavior attain social and cultural significance, how social and political developments (e.g. the division and reunification of Germany) can motivate linguistic and cultural change, and how people change their linguistic and cultural behavior when confronted with a different political or social environment.  Most importantly, we will come to understand the role of language in shaping culture and society in the German-speaking world. 

This course is taught in German.  It carries a Writing flag, a Global Cultures flag, and a Cultural Diversity in the USA flag.

Prerequisite: Three semester hours of upper-division course-work in German with a grade of C or better.

Required Text

-Barbour, S. and Stevenson, P. 1998. Variation im Deutschen: Soziolinguistische Perspektiven

            Berlin: de Gruyter.

-Other readings will be posted on Blackboard. 

Course requirements and grading

Essays:            30%

Term paper:    40%

Quizzes:          15%

Participation: 15%

Essays:

You will write three brief (3-4 page) essays over the course of the semester.  Topics will be distributed at least one week in advance.  I will return your essay to you, with corrections and comments; you may then rewrite the essay and give me the final version within one week.  Both the original and final versions will be graded (50% for grammar and 50% for content); if you choose to rewrite the paper, the original version will count for 1/3 of the final grade, and the final version for 2/3.  You must include a list of sources (Literaturhinweise) at the end of the paper.

Term paper:

You will write an 8-10 page term paper.  You will also give a brief (5-10 minutes) in-class presentation on your term paper topic. 

Quizzes:

Four quizzes will be given in class over the course of the semester.  They will invite your comments on readings and discussions, and will be given at the beginning of class.  Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped.  The instructor also reserves the right to give short quizzes, both announced and unannounced, about the material we have read and discussed.

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is crucial.  Unexcused absences will result in poor grades for participation!  Absences will be unexcused except in cases of documented emergency (normally medical or family).  You will need to sign in at the beginning of each class.  Please notify me as soon as possible by e-mail or phone if it is necessary for you to be absent from class.  In accordance with University of Texas policy, you may be excused from class to participate in religious observances and official obligations like club or varsity sports.  In such cases, written documentation must be presented to the instructor at least one week before the absence takes place.

Participation grade profiles:          

A:        volunteers frequently and is well-prepared

B:        volunteers several times and is well-prepared

C:        does not usually volunteer but is usually well-prepared

D:        does not volunteer and is generally poorly prepared

F:         consistently unprepared

Language in class

The language of essays, written exercises, and class discussions is German.  If you find yourself in a linguistic bind, swamped by German syntax, or at a loss for a German word, feel free to make a temporary switch to English.  You will not be penalized for resorting to English, although you should do your best to avoid it.  

GER 381 • Intro To Synchron Ling: Ger

38140 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 232
show description

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the formal and functional study of the German language. At the beginning of the course, we will be concerned with the structural properties (‘building blocks’) of German: phonetics & phonology (the study of speech sounds and how to put them together), morphology (the analysis of words), syntax (the analysis of sentences and their construction), and semantics (the meanings of words and sentences). In this part of the course, we will focus on formal descriptions of sounds, words, and sentences and we will learn about rule systems that can be used to describe these ‘building blocks’ of the German language. The primary focus of this course is on Standard German. Throughout the semester we will also compare and contrast the linguistic structures of Standard German with those of Texas German as documented by the Texas German Dialect Project (http://www.tgdp.org), an on-going research project on the structure of Texas German. At the same time, we will pay special attention to contrastive linguistic issues, i.e. the structural differences between English, Standard German, and Texas German.

During the last weeks of the course we will take a look at a number of sociolinguistic issues. We will consider regional, social, and gender factors which influence language use, as well as attitudes toward different language varieties and the speakers who use them. Topics to be discussed will include (but are not limited to) regional dialects (Swabian, Low German, Swiss German, Texas German), language contact, "Gastarbeiterdeutsch" (foreign worker’s German), differences in language use between men and women, and political language in East vs. West Germany.

This course is taught in English. Reading knowledge of German is recommended.

Readings

Fox, Anthony. 2005. The Structure of German. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Class Reader.

Grading

(1)  Homework (due on the day noted in the schedule): 20%

(2)  Three in-class presentations of book chapters / articles (10% each). Two single class presentations of materials (in italics in course schedule), one joint-presentation of materials (in italics and bold in course schedule): 30%

(3)  Final paper (15-20 pages): 50%.

GER 393K • Lang Contact/Lang Death In Tex

38115 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 232
(also listed as LIN 383 )
show description

This course deals with the dynamics underlying language contact and language death in Texas.  The first part of the course reviews the principles of language contact and the different results of language shift (Thomason 2003, Wolfram 2003, Clyne 2004, Trudgill 2004). The second part of the course is concerned with theoretical constructs used to describe and analyze the different linguistic mechanisms and socio-political causes underlying language contact and death around the world (Gal 1984, Fishman 1985, Dorian 1989, Sasse 1992, Crystal 2001).

The third part of the course applies the models discussed in the first two parts of the course to the description and analysis of Texas German, an endangered dialect that will go extinct within the next 30 years (see http://www.tgdp.org). First, we review older analyses of Texas German in order to understand the structure of Texas German as it was spoken fifty years ago. Then, we learn how to conduct linguistic field interviews. Starting with a controlled environment of informants (room mates, relatives, friends), students learn how to elicit data using lists of English words, phrases, and sentences. Then, students are taken by the instructor on a fieldtrip where they observe and conduct linguistic interviews with some of the remaining speakers of Texas German.

During the fourth part of the course we analyze the field recordings and compare relevant morphological, phonological, and syntactic properties of Texas German with data recorded six decades ago. Finally, students identify a particular linguistic phenomenon in Texas German that they want to analyze and describe its distribution among the data they have collected.

No knowledge of German required. This course is taught in English. All reading materials are in English.

Readings

Boas, H.C. 2009. The life and Death of Texas German. Durham: Duke University Press.

Clyne, M. 2003. Dynamics of Language Contact. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Class Reader

Grading

10%     Homework

20%     Data collection and editing

10%     In-class presentation of paper or book chapter

60%     Final paper

GER 347L • Lang/Socty Ger-Spkng Countries

37960 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 0.120
(also listed as EUS 346 )
show description

This course provides an introduction to the cultural aspects of German language variation (spatial, social, and chronological).  The course opens with an overview of the history of the German language in order to understand the roots of present-day varieties of German.  We will then discuss traditional German dialectology, as well as more sociolinguistically-oriented approaches to language.  From there, we will investigate the cultural status of various varieties of German within Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, as well as German language varieties overseas, in North America, Australia, and Africa.  In this context, we will also discuss German in contact with other languages, such as French, Danish, Russian, Hungarian, and English; and the cultural and linguistic results thereof; as well as the cultural and political status of German in officially multilingual societies like Switzerland and unofficially multilingual societies like Germany. 

We will see how differences in linguistic behavior attain social and cultural significance, how social and political developments (e.g. the division and reunification of Germany) can motivate linguistic and cultural change, and how people change their linguistic and cultural behavior when confronted with a different political or social environment.  Most importantly, we will come to understand the role of language in shaping culture and society in the German-speaking world. 

This course is taught in German.  It carries a Writing flag, a Global Cultures flag, and a Cultural Diversity in the USA flag.

Prerequisite: Three semester hours of upper-division course-work in German with a grade of C or better.

Required Text

-Barbour, S. and Stevenson, P. 1998. Variation im Deutschen: Soziolinguistische Perspektiven

            Berlin: de Gruyter.

-Other readings will be posted on Blackboard. 

Course requirements and grading

Essays:            30%

Term paper:    40%

Quizzes:          15%

Participation: 15%

Essays:

You will write three brief (3-4 page) essays over the course of the semester.  Topics will be distributed at least one week in advance.  I will return your essay to you, with corrections and comments; you may then rewrite the essay and give me the final version within one week.  Both the original and final versions will be graded (50% for grammar and 50% for content); if you choose to rewrite the paper, the original version will count for 1/3 of the final grade, and the final version for 2/3.  You must include a list of sources (Literaturhinweise) at the end of the paper.

Term paper:

You will write an 8-10 page term paper.  You will also give a brief (5-10 minutes) in-class presentation on your term paper topic. 

Quizzes:

Four quizzes will be given in class over the course of the semester.  They will invite your comments on readings and discussions, and will be given at the beginning of class.  Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped.  The instructor also reserves the right to give short quizzes, both announced and unannounced, about the material we have read and discussed.

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is crucial.  Unexcused absences will result in poor grades for participation!  Absences will be unexcused except in cases of documented emergency (normally medical or family).  You will need to sign in at the beginning of each class.  Please notify me as soon as possible by e-mail or phone if it is necessary for you to be absent from class.  In accordance with University of Texas policy, you may be excused from class to participate in religious observances and official obligations like club or varsity sports.  In such cases, written documentation must be presented to the instructor at least one week before the absence takes place.

Participation grade profiles:          

A:        volunteers frequently and is well-prepared

B:        volunteers several times and is well-prepared

C:        does not usually volunteer but is usually well-prepared

D:        does not volunteer and is generally poorly prepared

F:         consistently unprepared

Language in class

The language of essays, written exercises, and class discussions is German.  If you find yourself in a linguistic bind, swamped by German syntax, or at a loss for a German word, feel free to make a temporary switch to English.  You will not be penalized for resorting to English, although you should do your best to avoid it.  

GER 393K • Frame Semantics

38040 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 232
(also listed as LIN 393S )
show description

Description

This course provides extensive insights into the structure and analysis of word meanings. Introducing Charles Fillmore’s theory of Frame Semantics, the first part of the course discusses the openness and richness of word meanings, reflecting the rich variety of human experiences. Consider words such as Tuesday, barber, and alimony. These words necessitate an understanding of concepts (or semantic frames) such as repeatable calendar events, grooming and hair, and marriage and divorce. By investigating the types of references to diverse practices, processes, and objects in the physical and social world, we learn how a theory of word meaning needs to include more than the small linguistically significant set of primitive concepts proposed by other linguists such as David Dowty, Ray Jackendoff, Beth Levin, James Pustejovsky, and Anna Wierzbicka.

The second part of the course presents the concept of a semantic frame as developed by Fillmore and his associates. Frames offer rich conceptual backgrounds against which word meanings are understood. Their primary role in an account of text understanding is to explain how our text interpretation can leap far beyond what the text literally says. They may be evoked by words such as alimony, or they may be introduced by patterns among the facts the text establishes. Consider the sentence We never open our presents until morning, which evokes the Christmas frame by describing a situation that matches salient facts of Christmas practice, even though no word in it is specific to Christmas. In this part of the course we learn (1) how frames are discovered and described, thereby providing an organizing principle for a rich open lexicon, (2) how they are distinguished from and linked to other frames (frame-to-frame relations), and (3) how frame-semantic information is syntactically relevant. More specifically, we apply Frame Semantics to discover (1) the kinds of syntactic constructions and valence patterns lexical meanings are compatible with, (2) the kinds of participants that become subjects and objects, (3) regular semantic patterns of oblique markings and valence alternations, and (4) Regular patterns of inference licensed by category, syntactic construction or closed class lexical item. Finally, we discover how semantic frames can be applied to cross-linguistic analysis.

The third part of the course employs the FrameNet database (http://framenet.icsi.berkeley.edu) to analyze the meaning of a given word as a network of interrelated senses. Some of these senses are more central, or basic, and others are less central, or peripheral. In this approach, the processes of metaphor and metonymy are central in describing the full range of meanings which a particular word can evoke. Finally, we look at how Frame Semantics integrates with Construction Grammar and how results from research in Frame Semantics have been applied in a variety of computational applications.

This course is taught in English. No knowledge of German is required.

Texts

Class reader on electronic reserve.

Grading

(1) Homework: 10%

(2) Two in-class presentations of book chapters / articles (15% each): 30%

(3) Final paper: 60% (Consists of (a) 5% bibliography; (b) 5% conference-style abstract; (c) 10% in-class presentation of final paper; (d) 10% first draft of final paper (8–15 pages); (e) 30% final paper (25–30 pages))

GER 369 • Structure Of German Language

38185 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 234
(also listed as LIN 373 )
show description

Purpose of the course
This course will provide upper-division students possessing a basic knowledge of and interest in German with a thorough overview of the structure of the language from a theoretical linguistic point of view. The implicit approach will be contrastive, viewing the German data against the background of English. Previous coursework in linguistics is helpful but not required. The course will be taught in English and is divided into the following general parts:

1.    History and Geography of German
2.    Phonetics & Phonology (the study of speech sounds and how they are combined)
3.    Morphology (analysis of words)
4.    Syntax (analysis of sentences)
5.    Lexical Semantics (meanings of words)
6.    Sociolinguistics (language variation)

Course Goals

By the end of this course, you should be able to do the following:

1.    Explain how (and why) human beings are able to acquire and use their specific linguistic abilities.
2.    Analyze and discover the organizing principles of German sounds, words, sentences, and dialects.
3.    Relate acquired linguistic knowledge to everyday language use.
4.    Understand how German differs from English and why.

Required Text 
   
Johnson, Sally (1998): Exploring the German Language. New York: Arnold.

Course Activities

•    The Stundenplan on page 4 lists the reading assignments. You will be expected to have completed all exercises in the Johnson book for the assigned sections on a separate sheet of paper and checked (with a red pen) in the answer key which is at the end of the Johnson book. Please hand in your (checked) homework on days which start with coverage of a new chapter.
•    All assignments must be handed in on paper. No electronic versions will be accepted.
•    Short quizzes (5 – 10 minutes) covering the homework assignments will be given throughout the semester (roughly 4 –8 quizzes throughout the semester). These quizzes will be unannounced and will be given at the beginning of class, so arrive on time.  Missed quizzes may not be made up.
•    Material presented in class is not necessarily covered in the textbook. Materials from additional readings handed out in class are fair game for tests and quizzes.

 

Testing and Evaluation

A.  Midterm exam 30%

B.  Final exam 40%

C. Short quizzes 10%. 

D. Class participation 10%.

E. Homework 10%.

GER 381 • Intro To Synchron Ling: German

38220 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm BUR 234
(also listed as LIN 383 )
show description

Description:

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the formal and functional study of the German language. At the beginning of the course, we will be concerned with the structural properties (‘building blocks’) of German: phonetics & phonology (the study of speech sounds and how to put them together), morphology (the analysis of words), syntax (the analysis of sentences and their construction), and semantics (the meanings of words and sentences). In this part of the course, we will focus on formal descriptions of sounds, words, and sentences and we will learn about rule systems that can be used to describe these ‘building blocks’ of the German language. The primary focus of this course is on Standard German. Throughout the semester we will also compare and contrast the linguistic structures of Standard German with those of Texas German as documented by the Texas German Dialect Project (http://www.tgdp.org), an on-going research project on the structure of Texas German. At the same time, we will pay special attention to contrastive linguistic issues, i.e. the structural differences between English, Standard German, and Texas German.


During the last weeks of the course we will take a look at a number of sociolinguistic issues. We will consider regional, social, and gender factors which influence language use, as well as attitudes toward different language varieties and the speakers who use them. Topics to be discussed will include (but are not limited to) regional dialects (Swabian, Low German, Swiss German, Texas German), language contact, "Gastarbeiterdeutsch" (foreign worker’s German), differences in language use between men and women, and political language in East vs. West Germany.

This course is taught in English. Reading knowledge of German is recommended.

Required Readings:

Russ, Charles V.J. (1994): The German language today. A linguistic introduction. London/New York: Routledge.
Class Reader.

Evaluation:

(1)  Homework (due on the day noted in the schedule): 20%

(2)  Three in-class presentations of book chapters / articles (10% each). Two single class presentations of materials (in italics in course schedule), one joint-presentation of materials (in italics and bold in course schedule): 30%

(3)  Final paper (15-20 pages): 50%.

GER 393K • Frame Semantics

38150 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm BUR 232
(also listed as LIN 393S )
show description

see attachment

GRC 327E • Lang/Cul/Texas-German Exper-W

38302 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm BUR 337
(also listed as AMS 370, ANT 324L, LIN 350 )
show description

See attachment

Publications

Boas, Hans C. (2013) “Cognitive Construction Grammar.” In: T. Hoffmann and G. Trousdale (eds.),The Oxford Handbook of Construction Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 233-254. 

Boas, Hans C. (2013) “Thomas Hoffmann. 2011. Preposition Placement in English. A Usage-based Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.” English World Wide 34.1, 114-118. [

Boas, Hans C. (2013) “Wie viel Wissen steckt in Woerterbuechern? Eine frame-semantische Perspektive.” Zeitschrift fuer Angewandte Linguistik 57, 75-97. 

Boas, H. and I. Sag (eds.) (2012) Sign-based Construction Grammar. Stanford: CSLI Publications. 

Sag, Ivan A., Boas, Hans C., and Paul Kay (2012) “Introducing Sign-based Construction Grammar.” In: H.C. Boas and I.A. Sag (eds.), Sign-based Construction Grammar. Stanford: CSLI Publications. 1-30.

Boas, Hans C. (2011) “Zum Abstraktionsgrad von Resultativkonstruktionen.” In: S. Engelberg, K. Proost, and A. Holler (eds.), Sprachliches Wissen zwischen Lexikon und Grammatik. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 37-69. 

Boas, Hans C. (2011) “A frame-semantic approach to syntactic alternations with build-verbs”. In: Guerrero Medina, P. (ed.), Morphosyntactic alternations in English. London: Equinox. 207-234. 

Boas, Hans C. and Marc Pierce (2011) “Lexical Developments in Texas German”. In: Putnam, M. (ed.), Studies on German Language Islands. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 129-150.

Boas, Hans C. (2011) “Constructing parallel lexicon fragments based on English FrameNet entries: Semantic and syntactic issues.” In: H. Hedeland, T. Schmidt, and K. Woerner (eds.), Multilingual Resources and Multilingual Applications. Proceedings of the German Society for Computational Linguistics and Language Technology (GSCL) 2011, Hamburg. University of Hamburg: Center for Language Corpora. 9-18. 

Boas, Hans C. (2011) “Coercion and leaking argument structures in Construction Grammar”. Linguistics 49.6, 1271-1303.

Boas, H. (ed.) (2010) Contrastive Studies in Construction Grammar. John Benjamins.

Boas, Hans C. (2010) “Comparing constructions across languages.” In: Boas, H.C. (ed.) Contrastive Studies in Construction Grammar. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 1-20. 

Boas, Hans, C., Marc Pierce, Karen Roesch, Guido Halder, and Hunter Weilbacher. (2010) “The Texas German Dialect Archive: A Multimedia Resource for Research, Teaching, and Outreach”. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 22.3, 277–296

Boas, Hans C. (2010) “Linguistically relevant meaning elements of English communication verbs.”Belgian Journal of Linguistics 24, 54-82

Bertoldi, Anderson, Chishman, Rove, and Hans C. Boas. (2010) “Verbs of judgment in English and Portuguese: What contrastive analysis can say about Frame Semantics.” Calidoscopio 8 (3), 210-225.

Pierce, Marc and Hans C. Boas. (2010) “First Diminutive Formation and [d]-epenthesis in Yiddish.” International Journal for Germanic Linguistics and Semiotic Analysis 15(2), 213-230.

Boas, Hans C. (2010) “On the equivalence and multifunctionality of discourse markers in language contact situations”. In: T. Harden and E. Hentschel (ed.), 40 Jahre Partikelforschung. Tuebingen: Stauffenburg Verlag. 301-315. 

Boas, H.C. (2009) Case Loss in Texas German: The Influence of Semantic and Pragmatic Factors. In Bar & S. Chelliah (Eds.), The Role of Semantics and Pragmatics in the Development of Case (pp.347-373). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.

Boas, H.C. (2009) The life and death of Texas German. Durham: Duke University Press.
Boas, H.C. (2009) Multilingual FrameNets in Computational Lexicography: Methods and Applications. Mouton de Gruyter.
Boas, H.C. (2008, September) Determining the Structure of Lexical Entries and Grammatical Constructions in Construction Grammar. Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics, 6, 113-144.
Boas, H.C. (2008, September) Towards a Frame-constructional Approach to Verb Classification. Revista Canaria Estudios Ingleses, 57, 17-47.
Boas, H.C. (2008) Resolving Form-meaning Discrepancies in Construction Grammar. In J. Leino (Ed.), Constructional Reorganization (pp.11-36). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Boas, H.C. (2007, September) Construction Grammar in the 21st Century. English Language and Linguistics, 11(3), 569-585.
Boas, H.C. & Weilbacher, H. (2007) How Universal Is the Pragmatic Detachability Scale? Evidence from Texas German Discourse Markers. The Proceedings of the Texas Linguistic Society IX Conference The Proceedings of the Texas Linguistic Society IX Conference.
Boas, H.C. (2006) Contrastive Studies and Valency. Frankfurt/New York: Peter Lang.
Boas, H.C. (2006) A frame-semantic approach to identifying syntactically relevant elements of meaning. In P. Steiner, H.C. Boas & S. Schierholz (Eds.), Contrastive Studies and Valency. Studies in Honor of Hans Ulrich Boas (pp.119-149). Frankfurt/New York: Peter Lang.
Boas, H.C. (2006, September) From the Field to the Web: Implementing Best-Practice Recommendations in Documentary Linguistics. Language Resources and Evaluation, 40(2), 153-174.
Boas, H.C. (2005) From Theory to Practice: Frame Semantics and the Design of FrameNet. In S. Langer & D. Schnorbusch (Eds.), Semantik im Lexikon (pp.129-160). T: Narr.
Boas, H.C. (2005, September) Determining the Productivity of Resultative Constructions: A Reply to Goldberg & Jackendoff. Language, 81(2), 448-464.
Boas, H.C. (2005, September) Semantic Frames as Interlingual Representations for Multilingual Lexical Databases. International Journal of Lexicography, 18(4), 445-478.
Boas, H.C. & Fried, M. (2005) Introduction. In M. Fried & H.C. Boas (Eds.), Grammatical Constructions: Back to the Roots (pp.1-9). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Boas, H.C. (2005) A Dialect in Search of its Place: The Use of Texas German in the Public Domain. In C. Cravens & D. Zersen (Eds.), Transcontinental Encounters: Central Europe Meets the American Heartland (pp.78-102). Austin: Concordia University Press.
Boas, H.C. & Mirjam Fried. (2005) Grammatical Constructions: Back to the Roots. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Boas, H.C. (2005, September) Texas German Dialect. ABC-CLIO, 1029-1035.
Boas, H.C. (2005, September) Review of Handbook of Contemporary Syntactic Theory. Studies in Language 29(1), 189-199.
Boas, H.C. (2004) You wanna consider a Constructional Approach to Wanna-Contraction?. In M. Achard & S. Kemmer (Eds.), Language, Culture, and Mind (pp.479-491). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
Boas, H.C., Bailey, M., Eubank, E., Kelton, K., Kishi, C., Lippmann, J., Raizen, E., Rhodes, S., TenBarge, J. & Wilbur, J. (2004) Technology-based Language and Culture Projects at the University of Texas at Austin. In Y. Saito-Abbott, R. Donovan & T. Abbott (Eds.), Emerging Technologies in Teaching Language and Cultures (pp.363-381). San Diego: LARC Press.
Boas, H.C., Ewing, K., Moran, C. & Thompson, J. (2004, September) Towards Determining the Influence of Internal and External Factors on Recent Developments in Texas German Phonology. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 10(1), 47-59.
Boas, H.C. (2003) A Constructional Approach to Resultatives. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
Boas, H.C. (2003) A Lexical-constructional Account of the Locative Alternation. Proceedings of the 2001 Western Conference on Linguistics, Vol. 13 Proceedings of the 2001 Western Conference on Linguistics, Vol. 13.
Boas, H.C. (2003) Tracing Dialect Death: The Texas German Dialect Project. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society Proceedings of the 28th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society.
Boas, H.C., Rauch, I., Barker, G., Cleek, J., Coffey, M., Dewey, T., Goldman, J., Janko, J., Kooiker, J., Shin, S. & Toth, G. (2003, September) On the German Language of Civility/Vulgarity: Evidence from Bonn. Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics and Semiotic Analysis, 8(2), 261-289.
Boas, H.C. & Petruck, M. (2003) All in a Day. Matfyzpress Prague: Matfyzpress.
Boas, H.C. (2002) Lexical or Syntactic Selection of Non-subcategorized Nominal Arguments? The case of German. In I. Rauch & G. Carr (Eds.), New Insights in Germanic Linguistics III (pp.9-26). New York: Peter Lang.
Boas, H.C. (2002) On Constructional Polysemy and Verbal Polysemy in Construction Grammar. Proceedings of the 2000 Western Conference on Linguistics, Vol. 12 Proceedings of the 2000 Western Conference on Linguistics, Vol. 12.
Boas, H.C. (2002) The Texas German Dialect Archive as a Tool for Analyzing Sound Change. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Resources and Tools in Field Linguistics held in conjunction with the Third International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation Las Palmas, Spain: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Resources and Tools in Field Linguistics held in conjunction with the Third International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation.
Boas, H.C. (2002) Bilingual FrameNet Dictionaries for Machine Translation. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Vol. IV Las Palmas, Spain: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Vol. IV.
Boas, H.C. (2002) On the Role of Semantic Constraints in Resultative Constructions. In R. Rapp (Ed.), Linguistics on the way into the new millennium. Vol. 1 (pp.35-44). Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang.
Boas, H.C. (2001) Frame Semantics as a Framework for describing Polysemy and Syntactic Structures of English and German Motion Verbs in Contrastive Computational Lexicography. Proceedings of Corpus Linguistics 2001 Proceedings of Corpus Linguistics 2001.
Boas, H.C. (2000) Optimal Syllabification of Yiddish First Grade Diminutives. Carolina Working Papers in Linguistics 2000, Vol. I Carolina Working Papers in Linguistics 2000, Vol. I.
Boas, H.C. (2000) Resultatives at the Crossroads between the Lexicon and Syntax: Where are they formed?. Proceedings of the 1999 Western Conference on Linguistics, Vol. 11 Proceedings of the 1999 Western Conference on Linguistics, Vol. 11.
Boas, H.C. (1998, September) Review of Historical English Syntax. Indogermanische Forschungen, 320-324.
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