Sebastian Sulger

Postdoctoral researcher, Linguistics

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Research interests:

- Morphology, syntax (Irish, Hindi/Urdu)
- Complex predicates (Hindi/Urdu)
- Predication
- Argument structure
- Grammar development (French, Irish, Hindi/Urdu) via LFG
- Collocations/multiword expressions (Hindi/Urdu)
- Treebanking (Hindi/Urdu)
- Lexical resources

Research Statement:

My research is concerned with both theoretical as well as computational approaches to language. I see computational grammar development as an ideal means to test theoretical models of language towards their effectiveness and plausibility. I put a special focus on the analysis and implementation of the syntactic properties of complex predicates and nominal predication.

Grammar Development as a subfield of CL is concerned with the manual or automatic construction of computational grammars to parse natural language. My Ph.D. research deals with Hindi/Urdu noun-verb complex predicates, taking into account their combinatorial possibilities from an empirical perspective. It also looks at the predicational properties of Hindi/Urdu nominals. The research is couched within the ParGram project, which is concerned with developing parallel computational grammars using Lexical Functional Grammar.

Since the process of manually building a rule-based computational grammar rests upon insights from linguistic theory, especially morphology and syntax, I have a general research interest in these fields. Conversely, since grammar development is a subfield in computational linguistics, I am also naturally interested in other areas of CL.


From 2009 until 2012, I worked in the Urdu ParGram Project on developing a broad-coverage LFG grammar for the under-resourced language Urdu, which is spoken in Pakistan. The project was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft until 2012.

From November 2012 through January 2014, I was a member of the inter-disciplinary VisArgue project. The project deals with modeling political discourse using a variety of instruments and measures from political science, computer science and linguistics. The project was funded by the BMBF as part of the "Schwerpunktprogramm" eHumanities.

Starting from June 2014, I am again working on grammar development, being employed in a project on 'Tense and Aspect in Multilingual Semantic Construction', funded by the Nuance Foundation. Here, the aim is to develop a cross-linguistically sound annotation scheme to model both the syntactic as well as the semantic properties of tense/aspect phenomena.

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