* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LINGUIST List logo Eastern Michigan University Wayne State University *
* People & Organizations * Jobs * Calls & Conferences * Publications * Language Resources * Text & Computer Tools * Teaching & Learning * Mailing Lists * Search *
* *
LINGUIST List 19.1002

Tue Mar 25 2008

Review: Syntax: Welke (2007)

Editor for this issue: Randall Eggert <randylinguistlist.org>

This LINGUIST List issue is a review of a book published by one of our supporting publishers, commissioned by our book review editorial staff. We welcome discussion of this book review on the list, and particularly invite the author(s) or editor(s) of this book to join in. To start a discussion of this book, you can use the Discussion form on the LINGUIST List website. For the subject of the discussion, specify "Book Review" and the issue number of this review. If you are interested in reviewing a book for LINGUIST, look for the most recent posting with the subject "Reviews: AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW", and follow the instructions at the top of the message. You can also contact the book review staff directly.
        1.    Randall Eggert, Review: Syntax: Welke (2007)

Message 1: Review: Syntax: Welke (2007)
Date: 25-Mar-2008
From: Randall Eggert <randylinguistlist.org>
Subject: Review: Syntax: Welke (2007)
E-mail this message to a friend

Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/18/18-2483.html
AUTHOR: Welke, Klaus
TITLE: Einf├╝hrung in die Satzanalyse (Constituent Analysis in German)
SUBTITLE: Die Bestimmung der Satzglieder im Deutschen
SERIES: de Gruyter Studienbuch
PUBLISHER: Mouton de Gruyter
YEAR: 2007

Tania Avgustinova, Senior Researcher and Senior Lecturer, Computational
Linguistics Department, Saarland University

As constituent analysis is one of the basic skills required of prospective
specialists in German studies it is therefore a mandatory component of
university teaching. This textbook offers a detailed overview of the theoretical
concepts and terminology of constituent analysis, which are explained with
examples and sample analyses, supplemented by exercises and an index. As a
result, the book instructs the reader how to identify individual constituents
(main clause, subordinate clause, object, predicate, attribute, etc) and can be
used for self-study. It also gives basic insights into the syntactic structure
of the German language and facilitates language comparison in foreign language
teaching. This textbook is especially intended for students, but it can also
serve as a fundamental teaching aid for teachers and instructors of linguistics.
Its key features are both detailed an introduction to constituent analysis and a
valuable preparatory work for the study of German linguistics, which make it
relevant for university undergraduate courses, school education and self-study.
Hence, it may be of interest to students, teachers, academics, institutes, and

Chapter 1 starts with explaining the basic notions of dependency and
constituency, and how syntactic ambiguities are handled by (i) traditional
school-grammar-style analyses, (ii) in dependency grammar, and (iii) in phrase
structure grammar. As a result of the comparison, a conclusion is drawn that all
three approaches can represent the ambiguity, with (i) being still a powerful
analytical instrument to consider in revealing sentence structure. The next
important aspect is showing how constituent analysis directly translates into
syntactic relations, which are then systematically distinguished from syntactic
categories. A clear presentation of various types of sentences and clausal
constructions completes the overview. Chapter 2 offers a detailed sample
analysis following the terminology just explained. In what follows, the focus is
on the syntactic functions in German, namely: the attribute (Chapter 3), the
subject (Chapter 4), the object (Chapter 5), the adverbial (Chapter 6), and the
predicative (Chapter 7). The full spectrum of complex predicates is then
considered in Chapter 8. The functional aspect of the constituent analysis is a
main topic of Chapter 9, put in a historical perspective and in the general
linguistic context of modern functional or universal grammar. Finally, Chapter
10 offers sample analyses with detailed comments. All analyzed sentences are
listed in the end of the book, which makes it a valuable learning tool.

All in all, this is a very basic textbook which puts together the comprehensive
minimum of grammatical knowledge on syntax that is typically taken for granted
by the instructors in linguistic courses at German universities. To this effect
the book contains no explicit research contributions, and yet it is particularly
useful in re-collecting foundational linguistic knowledge that is required for
pre-theoretical syntactic analysis. Its main goal is to enable active
participation in linguistics courses by providing the students as well as their
instructors with a reliable ''learning-by-doing'' tutorial.

Tania Avgustinova is Senior Researcher at DFKI Language Technology Lab and
Senior Lecturer in Computational Linguistics at Saarland University. She has
extensive experience in multilingual and monolingual grammar engineering,
computational modeling of Slavic languages and machine translation. She also
teaches introductory and advanced courses in theoretical linguistics
(grammatical analysis and theory, linguistic typology, information structure),
computational linguistics (grammar formalisms and computer grammars) and
Slavistics (theoretical models and their application to synchronic Slavic

This Year the LINGUIST List hopes to raise $60,000. This money will go to help keep 
the List running by supporting all of our Student Editors for the coming year.

See below for donation instructions, and don't forget to check out our Fund Drive 
2008 LINGUIST List Circus and join us on our many shows!


There are many ways to donate to LINGUIST!

You can donate right now using our secure credit card form at  

Alternatively you can also pledge right now and pay later. To do so, go to:

For all information on donating and pledging, including information on how to 
donate by check, money order, or wire transfer, please visit:

The LINGUIST List is under the umbrella of Eastern Michigan University and as such 
can receive donations through the EMU Foundation, which is a registered 501(c) 
Non Profit organization. Our Federal Tax number is 38-6005986. These donations 
can be offset against your federal and sometimes your state tax return (U.S. tax 
payers only). For more information visit the IRS Web-Site, or contact your 
financial advisor.

Many companies also offer a gift matching program, such that they will match any 
gift you make to a non-profit organization. Normally this entails your contacting 
your human resources department and sending us a form that the EMU Foundation fills 
in and returns to your employer. This is generally a simple administrative procedure 
that doubles the value of your gift to LINGUIST, without costing you an extra penny. 
Please take a moment to check if your company operates such a program.

Thank you very much for your support of LINGUIST!


Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Please report any bad links or misclassified data

LINGUIST Homepage | Read LINGUIST | Contact us

NSF Logo

While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed
on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.