Sven Lauer and Kjell Johan Sæbø in Oslo

Kjell Johan Sæbø mentors Sven Lauer at the Zukunftskolleg

Sven Lauer has invited Kjell Johan Sæbø as a mentor to Konstanz. Kjell Johan Sæbø is a Professor of German Linguistics at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages at the University of Oslo (Norway). He is an expert on semantics and pragmatics of natural languages.

Sven Lauer is the director of the Emmy Noether group "What is it to ask a question? A formal pragmatic investigation of interrogative force" at the Zukunftskolleg and the Department of Linguistics at the University of Konstanz. He has identified several connections between Kjell Johan Sæbø’s research and his own: “One of the constant topics in Prof. Sæbø’s work is the linguistic expression of necessary and sufficient conditions more generally. This intersects with a recent strand of my work on the semantics of verbs like cause, make and German lassen. In addition, Prof. Sæbø’s has worked on various topics in the semantics of questions, which connects to my Emmy Noether project ‘What is it to ask a question?’. I greatly welcome the opportunity to exchange ideas with him on this project and to enable my new Ph.D. students to consult with him on their Ph.D. projects. He also has worked on the semantics of definites, indefinites and free-choice items, which connects to an old research interest of mine (‘free choice (in)definites’ like German irgendein and English whatever) that I intend to revive in the coming year.”

Kjell Johan Sæbø will be in Konstanz from 22 February to 10 March 2018. In these two weeks, Sven and Kjell plan to identify a topic for a possible collaborative research project. During Sven’s return visit to Oslo in July 2018 they will further the project, either by beginning work on a joint manuscript, or by drafting funding application related to it.

The Zukunftskolleg funds the mentorship through its Mentorship Programme.