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Object positions
- comparative syntax in a cross-theoretical perspective

Research project at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Aarhus,
financed by Statens Humanistiske Forskningsråd (Danish Humanities Research Foundation).

This web page: Linguists in the project - Short project description

The other web pages of the project:
Long project description -
Publications -
Talks and hand-outs

Events arranged by the project:
Nov. 8, 2005: Presentation & reception -
June 14-17, 2006: Ph.D. course at Sandbjerg Estate -
Jan. 18-19, 2007: Workshop on Object Positions


Linguists in the project

Name Position Office Telephone E-mail
Tavs Bjerre Post doc. Building 1465 / Room 219,
Scandinavian Institute, University of Aarhus
8942 2454
Eva Engels Post doc. Dept. of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies
University of Oslo
P.O. Box 1102 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo
2285 7115
Henrik Jørgensen Assoc.
Building 1467 / Room 428,
Scandinavian Institute, University of Aarhus
8942 1919
Sten Vikner Professor Building 1463 / Room 421,
English, Inst. of Language, Literature and Culture
University of Aarhus
8942 6522

    Tavs Bjerre    
Tavs Bjerre
    Eva Engels    
Eva Engels
    Henrik Jørgensen    
Henrik Jørgensen
    Sten Vikner    
Sten Vikner


Short project description

The project Object positions - comparative syntax in a cross-theoretical perspective intends to apply the formal and the functional approach in a parallel fashion to a concrete empirical area (object positions). By comparing the different accounts of the same empirical data offered by the two approaches, it will be possible to investigate what and how much the two different approaches have in common, and also what separates them. It will furthermore be possible to see whether and to which extent one approach can be inspired and influenced by how the other approach goes about solving a particular problem. We are convinced that such synergy effects will be considerable.

The project is divided up into two subprojects, a functional one and a formal one, each of which will investigate a number of different constructions in Danish and other languages, under a series of thematic headlines, such as case theory, information structure, reference, and projection types.

The project is not just cross-theoretical but also comparative. We see comparative linguistics as a kind of linguistics that in addition to comparing languages empirically also seeks to account theoretically for as many surface differences as possible by deriving them from as few underlying abstract differences as possible. In this way, it is established which kinds of variation exist between languages, and which kinds do not exist, and thus important contributions may be made to our knowledge about the scope and the limitations of the human brain.

Long project description



The project is indirectly affiliated with the following projects:



Dialect Syntax and Microvariation, 2003-2009
University of Konstanz
Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
Principal Investigators: Josef Bayer, Ellen Brandner
Universität Konstanz

DanDiaSyn DanDiaSyn - Danish Dialect Syntax, 2007-2008
University of Aarhus & University of Copenhagen
Funded by the Danish Research Council for Culture and Communication.
Principal Investigators: Henrik Jørgensen (AU), Karen Margrethe Pedersen (KU), Sten Vikner (AU)
Research Assistants: Lena Wienecke Andersen (KU), Karen Thaagaard Hagedorn (AU)

Cambridge University Structure and Linearization in Disharmonic Word Orders, 2007-2010
Cambridge University & Newcastle University
Funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Principal Investigators: Anders Holmberg (NU), Ian Roberts (CU)
Senior Research Assistant: Theresa Biberauer (CU)
Research Assistants: Glenda Newton (CU), Michelle Sheehan (NU)
Newcastle University

Similarities and Differences between Clauses and Nominals, 2008-2011
University of Aarhus
Funded by the Danish Research Council for Culture and Communication.
Principal Investigators: Steffen Krogh, Henning Nølke, Sten Vikner, Johanna Wood
Research Assistant: Eva Engels, Ph.D. student: Katrine Tafteberg Jakobsen
Aarhus Universitet

    This document is
First posted: April 2005   -   Last modified:  March 16, 2008
Comments and suggestions to Sten Vikner