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Sebastian Löbner

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Prof. Dr. Sebastian Löbner

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Doktorandenbetreuung (nach Absprache)

 

Homepage 

Research

Former Projects

  • DFG-Project LO 454/1  "Verb gradation"
  • Project D3 "Verb meanings" in the CRC / SFB 282 Theory of the Lexicon, 1991-2002

Publications

Books

2020
 

 درآمدی بر معناشناسی (Darămadi bar ma'năšenăsi) Farsi edition of Understanding Semantics, 2nd edition, übertragen von Jalal Rahimian. Tehran, Iran: Neveeseh Parsi Publ.

Persian (Farsi) translation of the second edition of Understanding Semantics.
Translation by Jalal Rahimian.

2015

Semantik. Eine Einführung. 2. Aufl. Dt. Ausgabe von Understanding Semantics, 2nd edition. Berlin: de Gruyter

Begleitende Webseite

Zweite, aktualisierte und stark erweiterte deutsche Ausgabe. Jetzt mit zusätzlichen Teilen zu Nomen- und NP-Semantik, Deixis, Präsuppositionen, Verbsemantik, Frames und Wortbildungssemantik.

2013

Understanding Semantics, 2nd edition. Routledge: New York, London.
Accompanying website

Second, revised and extended introduction to semantics, now comprising in addition noun and NP semantics, deixis, presuppositions, verb semantics and frames.

2010       

의미론의 이해 (Uymilon-uy ihay)  Koreanische Ausgabe von Understanding Semantics. Hankook Publ.: Seoul

Korean edition of 'Understanding Semantics"

2003

Semantik. Eine Einführung Dt. Ausgabe von Understanding Semantics. Berlin: de Gruyter

Einführung in die Wort- und Satzsemantik. Strukturalismus, Dekomposition, Sprachvergleich, Kognitive Semantik, Formale Semantik

2002

Understanding Semantics (Understanding Language series, ed. by B. Comrie und C. Corbett). London: Hodder

Introduction to lexical and sentence semantics. Structuralism, decomposition, language comparison, cognitive semantics, formal semantics

1990

Wahr neben Falsch. Duale Operatoren als die Quantoren natürlicher Spracher

NP-Semantik: Definite, indefinite und quantifizierende NPs. 
Theorie der Phasenquantifikation: 4 Typen, allgemeines Format, Fallstudien zu schon+noch, Gradadjektiven, nur und den logischen Quantoren. Habilitationsschrift

1979

Intensionale Verben und Funktionalbegriffe. Zur Syntax und Semantik von 'wechseln' und den vergleichbaren Verben des Deutschen. Tübingen: Narr.

Verben mit Ergänzungen mit nicht-konstanten Referenten; Funktionalbegriffe als Argumente solcher Verben: wechseln als Prototyp; 1300 weitere Verben; "concealed questions"; formale Analyse im Rahmen der Montague-Grammatik. Dissertation

1976

Einführung in die Montague-Grammatik. Kronberg: Scriptor. Mit einer Einleitung von Volker Beeh.

Stufenweise Einführung in Montagues Universal Grammar und The proper treatment of quantification in Ordinary English

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Journal articles and book chapters

                                                                                                     

2021

 

Frames at the interface of language and cognition. Annual Review of Linguistics 7: 261–284.

open access
preprint

The article reviews the work on frames in the last decade in the CRC 991. The research is based on Barsalou’s notion of frame and the hypothesis that this is the general format of categorization in human cognition. The Düsseldorf frame group developed formal definitions and interpretations of Barsalou frames and applied the theory in linguistics, philosophy, and psychology. Focus here is on applications in semantics. The Düsseldorf approach grounds the analysis of composition on deep decomposition of lexical meanings with frames. The basic mechanism of composition is unification. This has deep repercussions on semantic theory and practice: composition produces structured meanings and is not necessarily deterministic. The interaction of semantic and world knowledge can be modeled in an overall frame model across levels of linguistic analysis. The review concludes with a brief report on developments of hyperframes for dynamic verbs and for cascades, a model for multi-level categorization of action.

2021

 

Barsalou-Frames in Wort- und Satzsemantik. In Japanische Gesellschaft für Germanistik (Hg.), Linguisten-Seminar Forum japanisch-germanistische Sprachforschung 3. Wiederabdruck des gleichnamigen Aufsatzes von 2018.

free access

s. u.

 

2020
 

Kaskaden – eine fundamentale Struktur kognitiver Repräsentationen. In Yoshiyuki Muroi (Hg.), Einheit in der Vielfalt? Germanistik zwischen Divergenz und Konvergenz. Asiatische Germanistentagung 2019 in Sapporo. München: iudicium, S. 673–692.

full volume free access

preprint
 

Das Phänomen der systematischen Mehrfachkategorisierung von Handlungen in „Kaskaden“ hat als erster der Philosoph Alvin Goldman in seiner „Theory of Human Action“ (1970) beschrieben und theoretisch modelliert. Goldmans Einsicht in die Mehrschichtigkeit menschlichen Handels ist von sehr allgemeiner grundlegender Bedeutung: Wenn Handlungen mehrschichtig sind, dann kategorisiert sie unser Kopf auch immer gleichzeitig auf mehreren Ebenen. Der Beitrag führt zunächst intuitiv in das Phänomen des Denkens in Kaskaden ein und macht plausibel, dass es allgegenwärtig ist. Beispiele aus Semantik und Grammatik von Handlungsverben zeigen, dass sich das Kaskadendenken massiv in der Sprache manifestiert. Die sprachlichen Daten in diesem Artikel stammen aus dem Deutschen, Japanischen, Koreanischen und Mandarin. Aus den Überlegungen ergibt sich, dass der Kaskadenansatz fruchtbar in Semantik und Grammatik, im Sprachvergleich, in der Fremdsprachenvermittlung und der Literaturanalyse eingesetzt werden kann.

 

2021
 

Cascades. Goldman’s level-generation, multilevel categorization of action, and multilevel verb semantics. In Sebastian Löbner, Thomas Gamerschlag, Tobias Kalenscher, Markus Schrenk, Henk Zeevat (eds.), Concepts, Frames and Cascades in Semantics, Cognition and Ontology. Heidelberg, New York: Springer. pp. 263–307.

open access

The paper proposes a novel theory of the categorization of acts and applies it to the semantics of action verbs, with fundamental consequences for semantic theory and beyond. The theory is based on Goldman’s (1970) multilevel theory of action which is taken here as a theory of categorization. Goldman’s central notion is level-generation: acts of a type may under circumstances generate acts of other, more abstract types. The acts form a hierarchical structure which Goldman calls an act-tree. Level-generation results in a conceptual relation called c-constitution here, i. e. constitution under the given circumstances; I also introduce the more general term cascade for act-trees. In the second part, multilevel cascade-structure categorization is combined with a cognitive semantics that models meanings with Barsalou frames. A multilevel analysis of the concept of writing is discussed in depth and detail in order to illustrate the potential and the consequences of a cascade approach to verb semantics. It is shown that the concept of c-constitution can be generalized as to cover the roles of persons and objects across levels in a cascade. The generalization suggests that multilevel categorization may be a very general and fundamental phenomenon in the psychology of categorization.

2020

The Partee paradox: rising temperatures and numbers. In Daniel Gutzmann, Lisa Matthewson, Cécile Meier, Hotze Rullmann, Thomas Ede Zimmermann (eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Semantics (5 vols.). Hoboken NJ: Wiley.
https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118788516.sem077

preprint

The chapter explains the “Partee paradox” – the observation that the temperature is rising and the temperature is ninety does not entail ninety is rising – and the solution it received in formal semantics. It is shown that the predication in the temperature is rising takes an “individual concept” argument and involves an “intensional verb” of a kind; it states a change of the value of a time dependent function. Constructions known as “concealed questions” – for example know the price – are shown to be closely related. Partee’s observation and the phenomenon of concealed questions serve as the point of departure into taking a closer look at the three components of the constructions: intensional verbs, individual concept nouns, and the definite article. The construction provides a bridge to a general theory of types of noun and their interaction with definiteness. In addition, the particular class of functional nouns and concepts figures in the center of Barsalou’s cognitive theory of concept modeling. Thus the understanding of the puzzle is connected to fundamental issues of semantics and cognition.

2018

Curt Anderson & Sebastian Löbner. 'Roles and the compositional semantics of role-denoting relational adjectives.' In Uli Sauerland, Stephanie Solt (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 22, pp. 91–108.
https://semanticsarchive.net/sub2018/

The semantics of adjectives related to nominals denoting societal roles, such as presidential (from president), have remained understudied. We examine the semantics of what we call role-denoting relational adjectives, providing a formal analysis using the notion of a frame, a unified representation for lexical knowledge, world knowledge, and context. The frames we propose are based on a constructivist philosophical understanding of social roles, leading us to posit a multi-tiered ontology of events and individuals. Using frames and our ontology, we provide a general semantics for role-denoting relational adjectives and roles. The first publication about the application of cascades in semantics.

2018

'Barsalou-Frames in Wort- und Satzsemantik'. In Jahrbuch 2017 des Instituts für Deutsche Sprache,  S. 189–212. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter.
https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110579963-011

preprint

Plädoyer für einen neuen formalen Ansatz in der Semantik: die Verwendung von Frames, in einer Fortentwicklung des Frame-Begriffs von Barsalou. Anwendungen: Framerepräsentation der lexikalischen Bedeutung von Nomen, Verben und Adjektiven; Modifikation von Nomen durch Adjektive; Modellierung der Ableitung deverbaler Nomen und der Bedeutung von N-N-Komposita; Zusammenspiel von syntaktischer und semantischer Komposition in Frames, die beide Strukturebenen integrieren;  Einbettung eines Satzes in einen Äußerungskontext in der Bezugswelt. Das besondere Potenzial des Frameansatzes ist darin begründet, dass er modellieren kann, wie Information zusammengeführt wird – sowohl innerhalb einer Beschreibungsebene als auch ebenenübergreifend.

2017

'Frame theory with first-order comparators: Modeling the lexical meaning of punctual verbs of change with frames.' In H. H. Hansen et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the Eleventh International Tbilisi Symposium on Language, Logic, and Information. Springer: Heidelberg & New York. LNCS series. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-54332-0_7

preprint

The first part proposes a formal foundation of a theory of frames. Frames are related to a general ontology. The paper defines a formal model-theoretic semantics for frames and thereby an interface to formal semantics. The second part presents a case study of decomposition: frames for subtypes of intransitive punctual verbs of change, such as punctual ‘grow’ and ‘go from A to B’. Times, events, and time-dependent attributes are introduced in the ontology.  “Comparators” are introduced as a novel type of attribute:partial two-place attributes that compare two individuals of the same sort and return comparison values such as '=' vs. ‘≠’ or ‘<’ vs. ‘=’ vs. ‘>’. Comparators allow us to model within frames and AVMs conditions in terms of basic abstract relations.

2016

'Wovon wir reden, wenn wir von Gefühlen reden'. In A. Ogawa (Hrsg.), Wie gleich ist, was man ver-gleich-t? Ein internationales Symposium zu Humanwissenschaften Ost und West. Tübingen: Stauffenburg. S. 169-190.

preprint

Überlegungen zu der semantischen und pragmatischen Problematik des Redens über innere Zustände anhand einer Analyse der einschlägigen grammatischen Phänomene des Japanischen im Vergleich zum Deutschen.

2015

'Functional Concepts and Frames'.

In Thomas Gamerschlag, Doris Gerland, Rainer Osswald, Wiebke Petersen (eds.), Meaning, Frames, and Conceptual Representation. Studies in Language and Cognition 2. Düsseldorf University Press, pp. 13-42. Online published at http://dup.oa.hhu.de/517/2/buch.pdf

preprint

The paper connects Barsalou's definition of frames to the notion of functional concepts: attributes in frames are functional concepts. If frames are the general format of concepts in human cognition, this means that all categorization is in terms of functional concepts, i.e. attributes and the values they take.

2015

'The semantics of nominals'. In N. Riemer (ed), The Routledge Handbook of Semantics. New York, London: Routledge, pp. 293-302.
https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315685533

preprint

The article develops a model of the internal semantic structure of the NP. Starting from the nucleus N, it describes seven layers of modification and determination: Relation (possessive arguments), Quality (restrictive modification),Unit (number, classifiers), Quantity (cardinals, ‘many’), Ordering (ordinals, superlatives), Definiteness, and Quantification. The model accounts for three features of N’s and NPs: countability, relationality and uniqueness. The model describes all the major NP-internal operations and their respective effect on these features. Flow diagrams depict the relative order of operations, whether they are optional or necessary, and whether they can be covert in a language or not.

2014

'Evidence for frames from natural language'. T. Gamerschlag, D. Gerland, W. Petersen, R. Osswald (eds.), Frames and Concept Types: Applications in Language and Philosophy. Heidelberg, New York: Springer. pp. 23-68.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-01541-5_2

preprint

Discussion of the question if natural language provides evidence for the claim that Barsalou frames constitute the universal format of conceptual repersentation in the human cognitive system. The paper suggests that the answer is positive.

2012

'Sub-compositionality'. In Wolfram Hinzen, Edouard Machery, Markus Werning (eds.); The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 220-241. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199541072.013.0010

preprint

A syntactic construction is subcompositional if there is no uniform semantic composition rule for all its instantiations. Arguments against the strategy of 'Generalizing to the worst case', and in favour of admitting subcompositionality. German verb grading with sehr ('very', 'a lot') as a case of subcompositionality.

2011

'Dual oppositions in lexical meaning'. In Claudia Maienborn, Klaus von Heusinger, Paul Portner (eds.). Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning (HSK). Berlin, New York: De Gruyter. pp. 479-506.

preprint

Handbook survey on duality relations. Logical definition of duality, negation, and subnegation (internal negation). The duality square and its relationship to Aristotle's square of oppositions. Self-duality (including NEG-raising verbs). Relative markedness within duality groups. Phase quantification.

2011

'Concept Types and Determination' Journal of Semantics 28: 279-333 
https://doi.org/10.1093/jos/ffq022

abstract

preprint

 

Generalization of the theory of definiteness proposed in Löbner (1985) 'Definites': definite, indefinite, relative, and absolute determination as operations on sortal, individual, relational, and functional concepts/CNPs. Congruent and incongruent determination; concept type shifts. General outline plus statistical, typological, and historical evidence.

2008

'Lexical Semantics'. In Piet van Sterkenburg (ed.), Unity and Diversity of Language. Benjamins. pp. 189-200

State-of-the-art article for the section Lexical Semantics  at the 18th International Congress of Linguists CIL18, July 2008 in Seoul.

2005

'Funktionalbegriffe und Frames – Interdisziplinäre Grundlagenforschung zu Sprache, Kognition und Wissenschaft'. In Alfons Labisch (Hrsg.), Jahrbuch der Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf 2004.  Düsseldorf: Heinrich-Heine-Universität. S. 463-477.
full text

Allgemeinverständliche Beschreibung der DFG Forschergruppe FOR 600 "Funktionalbegriffe und Frames" (2005-2011).

2005

'Quantoren im GWDS'
In H. E. Wiegand (Hrsg.), Untersuchungen zur kommerziellen Lexikographie der deutschen Gegenwartssprache II. "Duden. Das große Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache in zehn Bänden." Print- und CD-ROM-Version. Tübingen: Niemeyer, S. 171-192 . https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110925876.171
preprint       full text

Differenzierung zwischen echten Quantoren (jeder, alle, beide ...) und Kardinalitätsattributen (Zahlwörter, einige, viele, etc.)
Kritik der Behandlung von "Indefinitpronomen", Numeralia und "Quantoren" im GWDS

2002

Sebastian Löbner
'Is the German Perfekt a Perfect Perfect?'
In I. Kaufmann, B. Stiebels (eds.) More than Words: A Festschrift for Dieter Wunderlich. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, pp. 369-391
https://doi.org/10.1515/9783050081274-015

full text    abstract

Plead for an ambiguity analysis of the German 'Perfekt' form (present tense haben/sein with past participle): the form is ambiguous between a non-perfect past meaning and a non-past perfect meaning.

2000

'Polarity in natural language: predication, quantification and negation in particular and characterizing sentences',
Linguistics and Philosophy 23: 213-308.
https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005571202592

abstract         full text

Negation, truth conditions, and presuppositions of definite vs quantifying predications, particular and characterizing. Presupposition of Indivisibility; varieties and levels of plural; adverbial and nominal quantification. Genericity. Pragmatic aspects of polarization.

1999

'Why German schon and noch are still duals: A reply to van der Auwera'
Linguistics and Philosophy 22: 45-107.

https://doi.org/10.1023/A:100543280611

full text

Reply to van der Auwera's 1993 criticsm of Löbner's (1989) duality analysis of German schon, noch, and erst. Relationship between schon and endlich ('finally'). Further duality groups around endlich/noch immer and noch/nur noch.

1998

'Definite Associative Anaphora'. In Simon Botley (ed.), Approaches to discourse anaphora. Proceedings of DAARC96 - Discourse Anaphora and Resolution Colloquium. Lancaster University, July 17th-18th. Lancaster.
full text

Analysis of definite associative abnaphora (DAA) on the basis of the 1985 paper on definites. Thesis: DAA CNPs are functional concepts; they denote an attribute in the (Barsalou) frame of their antecedent's referent. Discourse referents form a frame-format network where the links are provided by frame attributes.

1992

Yoshiki Mori, Sebastian Löbner, Katharina Micha
'Aspektuelle Verbklassen im Japanischen'
Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 11: 189-215.
https://doi.org/10.1515/zfsw.1992.11.2.216
full text

Aspektuelle Verbklassifikation japanischer Verben anhand der klassischen Vendlerkriterien. Erweiterung des Spektrums der klassischen vier Vendlerklassen (9 Klassen fürs Japanische); zusätzliche Resultativitätsklassifikation.

1989

'German schon - erst - noch: an integrated analysis'
Linguistics and Philosophy 12: 167-212.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00627659
abstract
    full text

Analysis of temporal and nontemporal uses of the German aspectual focus particles schon, erst, noch: The particles form a duality group of phase quantifiers. The general format of phase quantification and the semantic interaction of the particles with aspect and focus; transfer of the temporal meanings to nontemporal uses.

1988

'Ansätze zu einer integralen semantischen Theorie von Tempus, Aspekt und Aktionsarten'
In V. Ehrich, H. Vater (Hrsg.), Temporalsemantik: Beiträge zur Linguistik der Zeitreferenz, Tübingen: Niemeyer, S. 163-191. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783111357751.163
full text

Grundzüge einer Theorie zur Interaktion von Tempus, Aspekt und Verbtyp auf der Basis des Ansatzes von A. Galton 1984 The Logic of Aspect. Kritik des S-R-E Ansatzes von Reichenbach.

1987

'Natural language and Generalized Quantifier Theory'
In P. Gärdenfors (ed.), Generalized Quantifiers: linguistic and logical approaches. Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 181-201.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-3381-1_7
full text

Arguments against a quantificational (GQT) analysis of definite and indefinite NPs.

1987

'Quantification as a major module of natural language semantics'
In J. Groenendijk, M. Stokhof, D. de Jongh (Hrsg.), Studies in Discourse Representation Theory and the Theory of Generalized Quantifiers. Dordrecht: Foris, pp. 53-85.
full text

Phase quantification as the underlying general format of aspectual focus particles such as schn/already, scalar adjectives and quantifiers. Duality relations and monotonicity properties; logical quantifiers as semantic automata.

1987 The conceptual nature of natural language quantification. In I. Ruzsa, Anna Szabolcsi (ed.), Proceedings of the 1987 Debrecen colloquium on logic and language. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, S. 81–94.
full text
A survey on the notion of phase quantification and its application. Precursor of 1990 Wahr neben Falsch.

1986

Sebastian Löbner
'In Sachen Nullartikel'
Linguistische Berichte 101: 64-65.
https://doi.org/10.1093/jos/4.4.279
full text

Wider die Annahme einer Artikelposition in artikellosen NPs.

1985

'Drei ist drei'
In W. Kürschner, R. Vogt (Hrsg.), Grammatik, Semantik, Textlinguistik. Akten des 19. Linguistischen Kolloquiums Vechta 1984, Tübingen: Niemeyer, S. 311-318.
full text

Argumente gegen die existentielle Deutung von Indefinita und gegen die "mindestens n"-Analyse von Zahlwörtern.

1985

'Definites'
Journal of Semantics 4: 279-326.

full text and references to the article

Development of the hypothesis that all definites (personal pronouns, demonstratives, definite NPs, and proper names) are used as functional (= individual) concepts. The definite article indicates that the noun is to be taken as afunctional concept in the given context. Subclassification of conceptual noun types. Semantic vs. pragmatic definites; discussion of all uses of definites according to Hawkins (1978).

1985

'Natürlichsprachliche Quantoren. Zur Verallgemeinerung des Begriffs der Quantifikation'
Studium Linguistik 17/18: 79-113.
full text

Quantoren und Phasenquantoren, Dualität, Monotonieeigenschaften, Beispiele für Phasenquantifikation.

1981

'Intensional verbs and functional concepts: more on the "rising temperature'' problem'. Squib.
Linguistic Inquiry 12: 471-477.
www.jstor.org/stable/4178235.
full text

The essential arguments and results of the 1990 dissertation. Reply to an article by Jackendoff who claims that the subject of the "rising temperature" construction is not intensional.

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Dictionary entries

1996

ca. 40 Wörterbuchartikel zu Semantik und Pragmatik, in G. Strube et al. (Hrsg.), Wörterbuch der Kognitionswissenschaft, Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.

 

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Editions

2020 Löbner, Sebastian, Thomas Gamerschlag, Tobias Kalenscher, Markus Schrenk, Henk Zeevat, eds. Concepts, Frames and Cascades in Semantics, Cognition and Ontology. Heidelberg, New York: Springer.
2013 Bezhanishvili, Guram, Löbner, Sebastian, Marra, Vincenzo, Richter, Frank, eds. Logic, language, and computation. 9th International Tbilisi Symposium on Logic, Language, and Computation, TbiLLC 2011, Kutaisi, Georgia, September 26-30, 2011, . Revised selected papers. Heidelberg, New York: Springer.
doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-36976-6
2012 Horn, Christian, Löbner, Sebastian, Werning, Markus, eds. Special issue: Semantic contributions to a theory of concepts. Journal of Semantics 29, Issue 4.
2011 Bezhanishvili, G., Löbner, Sebastian, Schwabe, Kerstin, Spada, Luca, eds.  Logic, language, and computation. 8th International Tbilisi Symposium on Logic, Language, and Computation, TbiLLC 2009, Bakuriani, Georgia, September 21-25, 2009. Revised selected papers. Heidelberg, New York: Springer.
doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-22303-7

Reviews

1990

Review article
E. L. Keenan, L. M. Faltz: "Boolean Semantics for Natural Language''
Linguistics 28: 517-530.
full text

 

1987

Review
Harry C. Bunt: "Mass terms and model-theoretic semantics''.
Studies in Language 11.2: 491-500.
full text

 

1987

Rezension von
Wolfgang Hadamitzky: "Kanji und Kana''
Studies in Language 11.1: 247-252.
full text
 

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