Werner Abraham

List of John Benjamins publications for which Werner Abraham plays a role.

Book series



Thetics and Categoricals

Edited by Werner Abraham, Elisabeth Leiss and Yasuhiro Fujinawa

[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 262] 2020. vii, 390 pp.
Subjects Semantics | Syntax | Theoretical linguistics

Certainty-uncertainty – and the Attitudinal Space in Between

Edited by Sibilla Cantarini, Werner Abraham and Elisabeth Leiss

[Studies in Language Companion Series, 165] 2014. x, 365 pp.
Subjects Cognition and language | Discourse studies | Philosophy | Pragmatics | Semantics | Theoretical linguistics

Modes of Modality: Modality, typology, and universal grammar

Edited by Elisabeth Leiss and Werner Abraham

[Studies in Language Companion Series, 149] 2014. vi, 511 pp.
Subjects Semantics | Syntax | Theoretical linguistics | Typology

Modality–Aspect Interfaces: Implications and typological solutions

Edited by Werner Abraham and Elisabeth Leiss

[Typological Studies in Language, 79] 2008. xxiv, 422 pp.
Subjects Semantics | Syntax | Theoretical linguistics | Typology

Nominal Determination: Typology, context constraints, and historical emergence

Edited by Elisabeth Stark, Elisabeth Leiss and Werner Abraham

[Studies in Language Companion Series, 89] 2007. viii, 370 pp.
Subjects Historical linguistics | Semantics | Syntax | Typology

Passivization and Typology: Form and function

Edited by Werner Abraham and Larisa Leisiö

[Typological Studies in Language, 68] 2006. x, 553 pp.
Subjects Semantics | Syntax | Theoretical linguistics | Typology

Datives and Other Cases: Between argument structure and event structure

Edited by Daniel Hole, André Meinunger and Werner Abraham

[Studies in Language Companion Series, 75] 2006. viii, 385 pp.
Subjects Semantics | Syntax | Theoretical linguistics

The Composition of Meaning: From lexeme to discourse

Edited by Alice G.B. ter Meulen and Werner Abraham

[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 255] 2004. vi, 232 pp.
Subjects Discourse studies | Generative linguistics | Pragmatics | Semantics | Syntax | Theoretical linguistics | Typology

Issues in Formal German(ic) Typology

Edited by Werner Abraham and C. Jan-Wouter Zwart

[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 45] 2002. xviii, 336 pp.
Subjects Generative linguistics | Germanic linguistics | Theoretical linguistics | Typology
Subjects Comparative linguistics | Generative linguistics | Germanic linguistics | Theoretical linguistics
Subjects Semantics | Theoretical linguistics | Typology

Minimal Ideas: Syntactic studies in the minimalist framework

Edited by Werner Abraham, Samuel David Epstein, Höskuldur Thráinsson and C. Jan-Wouter Zwart

[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 12] 1996. xii, 364 pp.
Subjects Generative linguistics | Syntax

Discourse, Grammar and Typology: Papers in honor of John W.M. Verhaar

Edited by Werner Abraham, T. Givón and Sandra A. Thompson

[Studies in Language Companion Series, 27] 1995. xx, 352 pp.
Subjects Discourse studies | Functional linguistics | Pragmatics | Typology
Subjects Discourse studies | Germanic linguistics | Pragmatics | Syntax | Theoretical linguistics
Subjects Semantics | Syntax | Theoretical linguistics
Subjects Theoretical linguistics


Non-veridicality is at the heart of more than just the verbal subjunctive. The main distinction we drew is the free application of the subjunctive and the non-veridical mood in dependent sentences. Greek and the Romance languages are among the representatives of this syntactic-semantic design of… read more
Abraham, Werner 2020 From philosophical logic to linguistics: The architecture of information autonomy: Categoricals vs. Thetics revisitedThetics and Categoricals, Abraham, Werner, Elisabeth Leiss and Yasuhiro Fujinawa (eds.), pp. 225–282 | Chapter
How are the logical terms of thetic and categorical judgments to be distinguished linguistically? The key questions are how judgments can be thought of in terms of linguistics and what the deeper lying reason is for distinguishing the two notions. In our search for an answer, we can be guided by… read more
Abraham, Werner 2020 Introduction : What this volume is aboutThetics and Categoricals, Abraham, Werner, Elisabeth Leiss and Yasuhiro Fujinawa (eds.), pp. 1–10 | Chapter
I survey the discourse effects and conditions of selection of the German modal (discourse) particles on the basis of different questions that have always been in the focus of analytical descriptions (cf. Whitt 2015), which, however, can be formulated more clearly today. Special attention will be… read more
The main designs of modern theories of syntax assume a process of syntagmatic organization. However, research on first language acquisition leaves no doubt that the structured combination of single lexical items cannot begin until a critical mass of lexical items has been acquired such that the… read more
Abraham, Werner 2017 Chapter 6. Modal particles and Verum focus: New corollariesPragmatic Markers, Discourse Markers and Modal Particles: New perspectives, Fedriani, Chiara and Andrea Sansó (eds.), pp. 171–202 | Chapter
The paper pursues two goals: first, comparing the behavior of speech act adverbials with modal particles, and second, the kinship of verum focus and modal particles with respect to their function in discourse. I explore the main difference between German(ic) grammatical modal particles and… read more
Abraham, Werner and Elisabeth Leiss 2017 Multiple case binding – The principled underspecification of case exponencyContrastive Studies in Verbal Valency, Hellan, Lars, Andrej L. Malchukov and Michela Cennamo (eds.), pp. 27–82 | Chapter
This paper attempts to demonstrate that all current definitions of case are based on a case-phenomenology that is not prototypical of thegrammaticalcategory of case. We argue that a good, i.e. a functioning, grammatical category is –per definitionem– organized in paradigms. We… read more
Abraham, Werner 2014 The Upper German differential: main Austrian-Bavarian vs. (High) Alemannic differencesBavarian Syntax: Contributions to the theory of syntax, Grewendorf, Günther and Helmut Weiß (eds.), pp. 305–336 | Article
This essay is essentially a list of phenomena taken from the two large dialect areas of what is called Upper German (for German Oberdeutsch, South German (SG henceforth), comprising Austrian and Bavarian dialects as well as High Alemannic). The author himself speaks natively (base and high school)… read more
Abraham, Werner 2014 Certainty: its conceptual differential in Accessible World SemanticsCertainty-uncertainty – and the Attitudinal Space in Between, Cantarini, Sibilla, Werner Abraham and Elisabeth Leiss (eds.), pp. 29–45 | Article
This paper marks an attempt at coming to grips with the notion of certainty and degrees thereof. Where certainty has to do with propositional truth, we have become aware of hefty criticism by philosophers critical of analytic philosophy, most prominently Richard Rorty (1967 in “The Linguistic… read more
Abraham, Werner and Jadwiga Piskorz 2014 A rare case of covert modality: Spoken Polish and the novel periphrastic past with mieć ‘have’Modes of Modality: Modality, typology, and universal grammar, Leiss, Elisabeth and Werner Abraham (eds.), pp. 409–456 | Article
Our point of departure is a twofold observation. There is, first, a new periphrastic past in spoken Polish using a Slavic newcomer in this temporal construction, namely mieć “have”+P(ast) P(articiple) of a lexical verb. The Polish temporal paradigm is thus enriched by an analytic past form similar… read more
Leiss, Elisabeth and Werner Abraham 2014 IntroductionModes of Modality: Modality, typology, and universal grammar, Leiss, Elisabeth and Werner Abraham (eds.), pp. 1–16 | Article
Other than Russian, but to all appearances like Czech, Polish is developing a new auxiliary from mieć “have, possess” that it can use for the hitherto unknown analytic past. We aim to observe what the status of this innovation in Polish is: whether or not it is to be tracked back to a contact… read more
This article is on Cimbrian German, an old enclave dialect in Upper Italy surrounded by Italo-Romance dialects. Next to clear traces of German clausal syntax, it shows Romance characteristics, which could be due to borrowing from the surrounding Italo-Romance majority dialects. Pertinent literature… read more
Abraham, Werner 2011 Verbs of motion: Impersonal passivization between unaccusativity and unergativityImpersonal Constructions: A cross-linguistic perspective, Malchukov, Andrej L. and Anna Siewierska (eds.), pp. 91–126 | Article
Motion verbs (VoM) are discussed as examples of exceptions to the definition of unaccusativity. The problem arises under impersonal passivization (IPass): VoM may, on the one hand, be subjected to impersonal passivization, but, on the other hand, they turn out as ergative verbs/unaccusatives in… read more
Abraham, Werner 2011 PrefaceTheory of Language: The representational function of language, Bühler, Karl, pp. xiii–xlvii | Article
This discussion is on diathetic derivative relations between verbs and their distribution between the syntactic component and the lexicon. We investigate whether or not the lexicon of verbs can be based on derivative relations such that there is only one basic type of verb – let us assume,… read more
Abraham, Werner 2010 Unaccusative verbs in Chinese: Derivation in the lexicon or in syntax?Structure Preserved: Studies in syntax for Jan Koster, Zwart, C. Jan-Wouter and Mark de Vries (eds.), pp. 1–12 | Article
In what follows the attempt is made, in all due brevity and succinctness, to gain more solid insight into links between aspect and modality as observed to hold in German and other West and North Germanic languages in Abraham (1990a, b, 2001, 2002, 2005). The basic idea (developed in more detail in… read more
Abraham, Werner and Elisabeth Leiss 2008 Introduction: Aspect-modality interfaces and interchanges across languagesModality–Aspect Interfaces: Implications and typological solutions, Abraham, Werner and Elisabeth Leiss (eds.), pp. xi–xxiv | Miscellaneous
Abraham, Werner 2007 Discourse binding: DP and pronouns in German, Dutch, and EnglishNominal Determination: Typology, context constraints, and historical emergence, Stark, Elisabeth, Elisabeth Leiss and Werner Abraham (eds.), pp. 21–47 | Article
Grammatical determiners of various sorts are differently distributed in individual languages. We will list and investigate briefl y a few related and non-related languages to survey the lexical lexemes relating to Determiner (DemPro) status vs. Article status and pronominal anaphor (PersPro). A… read more
Abraham, Werner 2007 The discourse-functional crystallization of DP from the original demonstrativeNominal Determination: Typology, context constraints, and historical emergence, Stark, Elisabeth, Elisabeth Leiss and Werner Abraham (eds.), pp. 241–256 | Article
In Abraham (this volume), grammatical determiners of various sorts were discussed in regard of the extent to which such determiners co-define anaphors in contexts reaching beyond the single clause. Making use of its findings, the present discussion shows how the defi nite article emerged in the… read more
Abraham, Werner, Elisabeth Stark and Elisabeth Leiss 2007 IntroductionNominal Determination: Typology, context constraints, and historical emergence, Stark, Elisabeth, Elisabeth Leiss and Werner Abraham (eds.), pp. 1–20 | Miscellaneous
It is claimed that in languages without a synthetic passive verbal morphology, the passive diathesis is compositional derived by implication or radical underspecification rather than generated in a direct way. As finitizing auxiliaries, equivalents of BE/ESSERE or HAVE/HAB¯ERE are employed together… read more
Abraham, Werner 2006 Dialect and typology: Where they meet — and where they don’tTypes of Variation: Diachronic, dialectal and typological interfaces, Nevalainen, Terttu, Juhani Klemola and Mikko Laitinen (eds.), pp. 243–267 | Article
Abraham, Werner 2006 Bare and prepositional differential case marking: The exotic case of German (and Icelandic) among all of GermanicCase, Valency and Transitivity, Kulikov, Leonid, Andrej L. Malchukov and Peter de Swart (eds.), pp. 115–145 | Article
Abraham, Werner and Elisabeth Leiss 2006 The impersonal passive: voice suspended under aspectual conditionsPassivization and Typology: Form and function, Abraham, Werner and Larisa Leisiö (eds.), pp. 502–517 | Article
Meulen, Alice G.B. ter and Werner Abraham 2004 The composition of meaningThe Composition of Meaning: From lexeme to discourse, Meulen, Alice G.B. ter and Werner Abraham (eds.), pp. 1 ff. | Article
Abraham, Werner 2003 The myth of doubly governing prepositions in GermanMotion, Direction and Location in Languages: In honor of Zygmunt Frajzyngier, Shay, Erin and Uwe Seibert (eds.), pp. 19–38 | Article
Abraham, Werner 2002 Modal verbs: Epistemics in German and EnglishModality and its Interaction with the Verbal System, Barbiers, Sjef, Frits Beukema and Wim van der Wurff (eds.), pp. 19–50 | Article
Abraham, Werner 2002 IntroductionIssues in Formal German(ic) Typology, Abraham, Werner and C. Jan-Wouter Zwart (eds.), pp. ix ff. | Miscellaneous
Abraham, Werner and László Molnárfi 2002 German clause structure under discourse functional weight: Focus and antifocusIssues in Formal German(ic) Typology, Abraham, Werner and C. Jan-Wouter Zwart (eds.), pp. 1–43 | Article
According to influential work on grammaticalization, the route grammaticalizing changes take is from lexical to functional categories (Lehmann 1985, van Gelderen 1993). It will be demonstrated on two grammatical relations that this is a too specific assumption. First, modal particles in German and… read more
Abraham, Werner 1999 Discussant Paper Referring to the Syntax Position Papers by Howard Lasnik and Mickey NoonanFunctionalism and Formalism in Linguistics: Volume I: General papers, Darnell, Michael, Edith A. Moravcsik, Michael Noonan, Frederick J. Newmeyer and Kathleen Wheatley (eds.), pp. 55 ff. | Article
Abraham, Werner 1998 R.L. Trask. Historical LinguisticsStudies in Language 22:2, pp. 522–523 | Miscellaneous
Abraham, Werner 1997 Dixon, R.M.W. ErgativityStudies in Language 21:1, pp. 237–240 | Squib
Abraham, Werner 1996 German standard pronouns and non-standard pronominal clitics Typological corollariesGermanic Linguistics: Syntactic and diachronic, Lippi-Green, Rosina L. and Joseph C. Salmons (eds.), pp. 1 ff. | Article
Abraham, Werner 1996 "Ersatzinfinitiv" und Verbanhebung in der WestgermaniaNOWELE Volume 28/29 (August 1996): A Frisian and Germanic Miscellany, Petersen, Adeline and Hans Frede Nielsen † (eds.), pp. 273–295 | Article
Abraham, Werner 1995 Diathesis: The Middle, Particularly in West-GermanicDiscourse, Grammar and Typology: Papers in honor of John W.M. Verhaar, Abraham, Werner, T. Givón and Sandra A. Thompson (eds.), pp. 3 ff. | Article
Abraham, Werner 1995 Structural Properties of Information Packaging in German and in Universal GrammarPrague Linguistic Circle Papers: Travaux du cercle linguistique de Prague nouvelle série, Hajičová, Eva, Miroslav Červenka, Oldřich Leška † and Petr Sgall (eds.), pp. 125 ff. | Article
Abraham, Werner 1993 Hermann Paul. Deutsches WörterbuchStudies in Language 17:2, p.  | Squib
Abraham, Werner 1992 Event structure accounting for the emerging periphrastic tenses and the passive voice in GermanExplanation in Historical Linguistics, Davis, Garry W. and Gregory Iverson (eds.), pp. 1 ff. | Article
Abraham, Werner 1991 How Much of the German Tense System is "Aspect" and "Aktionsart"?Perspectives on Aspect and Aktionsart, Vetters, Carl and Willy Vandeweghe (eds.), pp. 133–150 | Article
Abraham, Werner 1991 The grammaticization of the German modal particlesApproaches to Grammaticalization: Volume II. Types of grammatical markers, Traugott, Elizabeth Closs and Bernd Heine (eds.), pp. 331 ff. | Article
Abraham, Werner 1990 Review of Weydt (1989): Sprechen mit PartikelnStudies in Language 14:1, pp. 225–234 | Review
Abraham, Werner 1989 Verbal Substantives in GermanSyntactic Phrase Structure Phenomena in Noun Phrases and Sentences, Bhatt, Christa, Elisabeth Löbel and Claudia Maria Schmidt (eds.), pp. 79–98 | Article
Abraham, Werner 1989 Language Universals: The Chomskyan Approach vs. Greenberg's Typological ApproachUniversals of Language, Kefer, Michel and Johan van der Auwera (eds.), pp. 9–25 | Article
Abraham, Werner, Laci Marácz, Sjaak de Mey and Wim Scherpenisse 1986 IntroductionTopic, Focus and Configurationality: Papers from the 6th Groningen Grammar Talks, Groningen, 1984, Abraham, Werner and Sjaak de Meij (eds.), pp. 1 ff. | Miscellaneous
Abraham, Werner 1979 Methodische Übungen zu Kafka-InterpretationenIntegrale Linguistik: Festschrift für Helmut Gipper, Bülow, Edeltraud und Peter Schmitter (Hrsg.), pp. 379–404 | Article