Current Research Projects

World knowledge and lexical meaning

What do we know when we know a word? To answer this question, we investigate properties of nominalizations, e.g. nouns morphologically related to verb, such as destruction. Results from experimental and corpus studies suggest that information about event participants is lexically encoded, thus providing theoretical support for the lexicalist approach.

Subjectivity in language

Do you say Democrats and Republicans or Republicans and Democrats? In a series of papers we show that word order in binomials (above) and in prenominal adjectives depends on subjective preferences of the speaker: the attribute that is psychologically closer to the speaker is mentioned first.

The syntax and semantics of queries

The internet gave rise to a new form of language use – queries. Yet little is known about how we formulate queries. Queries are processed by search engines as ‘word salad’, identifying keywords inside the query with little attention paid to word order. In this project we investigate the hypothesis that queries are more than ‘word salad’ and that they have syntactic and semantic structure.