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Cluster C: Limits of variability in grammar systems

Cluster C focuses on the limits of variability in language use concerning their implications for the organisational properties and representations of abstract grammatical systems.

The projects in Cluster C will investigate variability and consistency in the structure-building components of morphology, syntax, phonology and at the interfaces with phonetic and semantic interpretation, respectively. Drawing on novel experimental data, the joint goal of the projects is to characterise and develop models of the ways in which abstract grammatical systems and their symbolic mental representations emerge in the face of linguistic variability, and how they allow for and constrain variability in linguistic utterances. The projects will approach these goals 1) by developing novel experimental methods for identifying variability patterns in the respective domains within and across languages, 2) by identifying the essential properties of the grammatical system that account for the observed patterns, and 3) by ultimately developing models and testing them on available corpus data and novel experimental data. The common goal of the projects in Cluster C is a better understanding of the question how variability and consistency relate to symbolic mental representations, and, as a result, a better understanding of the organisation of the underlying linguistic system in human language users.

The projects in Cluster C are: