Publications

Lemke, Tyll Robin

Satzäquivalente — Syntax oder Pragmatik? Incollection Forthcoming

Külpmann, Robert; Finkbeiner, Rita;  (Ed.): Neues zur Selbstständigkeit von Sätzen, Linguistische Berichte, Sonderheft, Buske, pp. 81-104, Hamburg, 2022.

@incollection{Lemke2021a,
title = {Satz{\"a}quivalente — Syntax oder Pragmatik?},
author = {Tyll Robin Lemke},
editor = {Robert K{\"u}lpmann and Rita Finkbeiner},
doi = {https://doi.org/10.46771/978-3-96769-170-2},
year = {2022},
date = {2022},
booktitle = {Neues zur Selbstst{\"a}ndigkeit von S{\"a}tzen},
pages = {81-104},
publisher = {Buske},
address = {Hamburg},
pubstate = {forthcoming},
type = {incollection}
}

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Project:   B3

Lemke, Tyll Robin

Experimental investigations on the syntax and usage of fragments Online Book Forthcoming

Experimental investigations on the syntax and usage of fragments, Open Germanic Linguistics, Language Science Press, Berlin, 2022.

@onlinebook{Lemke2021,
title = {Experimental investigations on the syntax and usage of fragments},
author = {Tyll Robin Lemke},
doi = {https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5596236},
year = {2022},
date = {2022},
booktitle = {Experimental investigations on the syntax and usage of fragments},
publisher = {Language Science Press},
address = {Berlin},
pubstate = {forthcoming},
type = {onlinebook}
}

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Project:   B3

Lemke, Tyll Robin; Schäfer, Lisa; Reich, Ingo

Can identity conditions on ellipsis be explained by processing principles? Inproceedings Forthcoming

Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2020, 2022.

@inproceedings{lemke.etalidentity,
title = {Can identity conditions on ellipsis be explained by processing principles?},
author = {Tyll Robin Lemke and Lisa Sch{\"a}fer and Ingo Reich},
year = {2022},
date = {2022},
booktitle = {Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2020},
pubstate = {forthcoming},
type = {inproceedings}
}

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Project:   B3

Lemke, Tyll Robin; Reich, Ingo; Schäfer, Lisa

Questions under discussion, salience and the acceptability of fragments Incollection Forthcoming

Konietzko, Andreas; Winkler, Susanne;  (Ed.): Information Structure and Discourse in Generative Grammar: Mechanisms and Processes, De Gruyter Mouton, Berlin; Boston, 2022.

@incollection{lemke.etalquestions,
title = {Questions under discussion, salience and the acceptability of fragments},
author = {Tyll Robin Lemke and Ingo Reich and Lisa Sch{\"a}fer},
editor = {Andreas Konietzko and Susanne Winkler},
year = {2022},
date = {2022},
booktitle = {Information Structure and Discourse in Generative Grammar: Mechanisms and Processes},
publisher = {De Gruyter Mouton},
address = {Berlin; Boston},
pubstate = {forthcoming},
type = {incollection}
}

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Project:   B3

Lemke, Tyll Robin; Reich, Ingo; Schäfer, Lisa; Drenhaus, Heiner

Predictable words are more likely to be omitted in fragments – Evidence from production data Journal Article

Frontiers in Psychology, 12, pp. 662125, 2021.

Instead of a full sentence like Bring me to the university (uttered by the passenger to a taxi driver) speakers often use fragments like To the university to get their message across. So far there is no comprehensive and empirically supported account of why and under which circumstances speakers sometimes prefer a fragment over the corresponding full sentence. We propose an information-theoretic account to model this choice: A speaker chooses the encoding that distributes information most uniformly across the utterance in order to make the most efficient use of the hearer’s processing resources (Uniform Information Density, Levy and Jaeger, 2007). Since processing effort is related to the predictability of words (Hale, 2001) our account predicts two effects of word probability on omissions: First, omitting predictable words (which are more easily processed), avoids underutilizing processing resources. Second, inserting words before very unpredictable words distributes otherwise excessively high processing effort more uniformly. We test these predictions with a production study that supports both of these predictions. Our study makes two main contributions: First we develop an empirically motivated and supported account of fragment usage. Second, we extend previous evidence for information-theoretic processing constraints on language in two ways: We find predictability effects on omissions driven by extralinguistic context, whereas previous research mostly focused on effects of local linguistic context. Furthermore, we show that omissions of content words are also subject to information-theoretic well-formedness considerations. Previously, this has been shown mostly for the omission of function words.

@article{lemke.etal2021.frontiers,
title = {Predictable words are more likely to be omitted in fragments – Evidence from production data},
author = {Tyll Robin Lemke and Ingo Reich and Lisa Sch{\"a}fer and Heiner Drenhaus},
url = {https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34366979/},
doi = {https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.662125},
year = {2021},
date = {2021-07-22},
journal = {Frontiers in Psychology},
pages = {662125},
volume = {12},
abstract = {Instead of a full sentence like Bring me to the university (uttered by the passenger to a taxi driver) speakers often use fragments like To the university to get their message across. So far there is no comprehensive and empirically supported account of why and under which circumstances speakers sometimes prefer a fragment over the corresponding full sentence. We propose an information-theoretic account to model this choice: A speaker chooses the encoding that distributes information most uniformly across the utterance in order to make the most efficient use of the hearer's processing resources (Uniform Information Density, Levy and Jaeger, 2007). Since processing effort is related to the predictability of words (Hale, 2001) our account predicts two effects of word probability on omissions: First, omitting predictable words (which are more easily processed), avoids underutilizing processing resources. Second, inserting words before very unpredictable words distributes otherwise excessively high processing effort more uniformly. We test these predictions with a production study that supports both of these predictions. Our study makes two main contributions: First we develop an empirically motivated and supported account of fragment usage. Second, we extend previous evidence for information-theoretic processing constraints on language in two ways: We find predictability effects on omissions driven by extralinguistic context, whereas previous research mostly focused on effects of local linguistic context. Furthermore, we show that omissions of content words are also subject to information-theoretic well-formedness considerations. Previously, this has been shown mostly for the omission of function words.},
pubstate = {published},
type = {article}
}

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Project:   B3

Schäfer, Lisa; Lemke, Tyll Robin; Drenhaus, Heiner; Reich, Ingo

The Role of UID for the Usage of Verb Phrase Ellipsis: Psycholinguistic Evidence From Length and Context Effects Journal Article

Frontiers in Psychology, 12, pp. 1672, 2021, ISSN 1664-1078.

We investigate the underexplored question of when speakers make use of the omission phenomenon verb phrase ellipsis (VPE) in English given that the full form is also available to them. We base the interpretation of our results on the well-established information-theoretic Uniform Information Density (UID) hypothesis: Speakers tend to distribute processing effort uniformly across utterances and avoid regions of low information by omitting redundant material through, e.g., VPE. We investigate the length of the omittable VP and its predictability in context as sources of redundancy which lead to larger or deeper regions of low information and an increased pressure to use ellipsis. We use both naturalness rating and self-paced reading studies in order to link naturalness patterns to potential processing difficulties. For the length effects our rating and reading results support a UID account. Surprisingly, we do not find an effect of the context on the naturalness and the processing of VPE. We suggest that our manipulation might have been too weak or not effective to evidence such an effect.

@article{schaeferetal_2021b,
title = {The Role of UID for the Usage of Verb Phrase Ellipsis: Psycholinguistic Evidence From Length and Context Effects},
author = {Lisa Sch{\"a}fer and Tyll Robin Lemke and Heiner Drenhaus and Ingo Reich},
url = {https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.661087/full},
doi = {https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.661087},
year = {2021},
date = {2021-05-26},
journal = {Frontiers in Psychology},
pages = {1672},
volume = {12},
abstract = {We investigate the underexplored question of when speakers make use of the omission phenomenon verb phrase ellipsis (VPE) in English given that the full form is also available to them. We base the interpretation of our results on the well-established information-theoretic Uniform Information Density (UID) hypothesis: Speakers tend to distribute processing effort uniformly across utterances and avoid regions of low information by omitting redundant material through, e.g., VPE. We investigate the length of the omittable VP and its predictability in context as sources of redundancy which lead to larger or deeper regions of low information and an increased pressure to use ellipsis. We use both naturalness rating and self-paced reading studies in order to link naturalness patterns to potential processing difficulties. For the length effects our rating and reading results support a UID account. Surprisingly, we do not find an effect of the context on the naturalness and the processing of VPE. We suggest that our manipulation might have been too weak or not effective to evidence such an effect.},
pubstate = {published},
type = {article}
}

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Project:   B3

Schäfer, Lisa

Topic drop in German: Empirical support for an information-theoretic account to a long-known omission phenomenon Journal Article

Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 40, pp. 161-197, 2021, ISSN 1613-3706, 0721-9067.

German allows for topic drop (Fries1988), the omission of a preverbal constituent from a V2 sentence. I address the underexplored question of why speakers use topic drop with a corpus study and two acceptability rating studies. I propose an information-theoretic explanation based on the Uniform Information Density hypothesis (Levy and Jaeger2007) that accounts for the full picture of data. The information-theoretic approach predicts that topic drop is more felicitous when the omitted constituent is predictable in context and easy to recover. This leads to a more optimal use of the hearer’s processing capacities. The corpus study on the FraC corpus (Horch and Reich2017) shows that grammatical person, verb probability and verbal inflection impact the frequency of topic drop. The two rating experiments indicate that these differences in frequency are also reflected in acceptability and additionally evidence an impact of topicality on topic drop. Taken together my studies constitute the first systematic empirical investigation of previously only sparsely researched observations from the literature. My information-theoretic account provides a unifying explanation of these isolated observations and is also able to account for the effect of verb probability that I find in my corpus study.

@article{schaefer_2021a,
title = {Topic drop in German: Empirical support for an information-theoretic account to a long-known omission phenomenon},
author = {Lisa Sch{\"a}fer},
url = {https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/zfs-2021-2024/html},
doi = {https://doi.org/10.1515/zfs-2021-2024},
year = {2021},
date = {2021-05-19},
journal = {Zeitschrift f{\"u}r Sprachwissenschaft},
pages = {161-197},
volume = {40},
number = {2},
abstract = {German allows for topic drop (Fries1988), the omission of a preverbal constituent from a V2 sentence. I address the underexplored question of why speakers use topic drop with a corpus study and two acceptability rating studies. I propose an information-theoretic explanation based on the Uniform Information Density hypothesis (Levy and Jaeger2007) that accounts for the full picture of data. The information-theoretic approach predicts that topic drop is more felicitous when the omitted constituent is predictable in context and easy to recover. This leads to a more optimal use of the hearer’s processing capacities. The corpus study on the FraC corpus (Horch and Reich2017) shows that grammatical person, verb probability and verbal inflection impact the frequency of topic drop. The two rating experiments indicate that these differences in frequency are also reflected in acceptability and additionally evidence an impact of topicality on topic drop. Taken together my studies constitute the first systematic empirical investigation of previously only sparsely researched observations from the literature. My information-theoretic account provides a unifying explanation of these isolated observations and is also able to account for the effect of verb probability that I find in my corpus study.},
pubstate = {published},
type = {article}
}

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Project:   B3

Köhne-Fuetterer, Judith; Drenhaus, Heiner; Delogu, Francesca; Demberg, Vera

The online processing of causal and concessive discourse connectives Journal Article

Linguistics, 59, pp. 417-448, 2021.

While there is a substantial amount of evidence for language processing being a highly incremental and predictive process, we still know relatively little about how top-down discourse based expectations are combined with bottom-up information such as discourse connectives. The present article reports on three experiments investigating this question using different methodologies (visual world paradigm and ERPs) in two languages (German and English). We find support for highly incremental processing of causal and concessive discourse connectives, causing anticipation of upcoming material. Our visual world study shows that anticipatory looks depend on the discourse connective; furthermore, the German ERP study revealed an N400 effect on a gender-marked adjective preceding the target noun, when the target noun was inconsistent with the expectations elicited by the combination of context and discourse connective. Moreover, our experiments reveal that the facilitation of downstream material based on earlier connectives comes at the cost of reversing original expectations, as evidenced by a P600 effect on the concessive relative to the causal connective.

@article{koehne2021online,
title = {The online processing of causal and concessive discourse connectives},
author = {Judith K{\"o}hne-Fuetterer and Heiner Drenhaus and Francesca Delogu and Vera Demberg},
url = {https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2021-0011},
doi = {https://doi.org/doi:10.1515/ling-2021-0011},
year = {2021},
date = {2021-03-04},
journal = {Linguistics},
pages = {417-448},
volume = {59},
number = {2},
abstract = {While there is a substantial amount of evidence for language processing being a highly incremental and predictive process, we still know relatively little about how top-down discourse based expectations are combined with bottom-up information such as discourse connectives. The present article reports on three experiments investigating this question using different methodologies (visual world paradigm and ERPs) in two languages (German and English). We find support for highly incremental processing of causal and concessive discourse connectives, causing anticipation of upcoming material. Our visual world study shows that anticipatory looks depend on the discourse connective; furthermore, the German ERP study revealed an N400 effect on a gender-marked adjective preceding the target noun, when the target noun was inconsistent with the expectations elicited by the combination of context and discourse connective. Moreover, our experiments reveal that the facilitation of downstream material based on earlier connectives comes at the cost of reversing original expectations, as evidenced by a P600 effect on the concessive relative to the causal connective.},
pubstate = {published},
type = {article}
}

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Projects:   A1 B2 B3

Lemke, Tyll Robin; Schäfer, Lisa; Reich, Ingo

Modeling the predictive potential of extralinguistic context with script knowledge: The case of fragments Journal Article

PLOS ONE, 16, pp. e0246255, 2021.

We describe a novel approach to estimating the predictability of utterances given extralinguistic context in psycholinguistic research. Predictability effects on language production and comprehension are widely attested, but so far predictability has mostly been manipulated through local linguistic context, which is captured with n-gram language models. However, this method does not allow to investigate predictability effects driven by extralinguistic context. Modeling effects of extralinguistic context is particularly relevant to discourse-initial expressions, which can be predictable even if they lack linguistic context at all. We propose to use script knowledge as an approximation to extralinguistic context. Since the application of script knowledge involves the generation of prediction about upcoming events, we expect that scrips can be used to manipulate the likelihood of linguistic expressions referring to these events. Previous research has shown that script-based discourse expectations modulate the likelihood of linguistic expressions, but script knowledge has often been operationalized with stimuli which were based on researchers’ intuitions and/or expensive production and norming studies. We propose to quantify the likelihood of an utterance based on the probability of the event to which it refers. This probability is calculated with event language models trained on a script knowledge corpus and modulated with probabilistic event chains extracted from the corpus. We use the DeScript corpus of script knowledge to obtain empirically founded estimates of the likelihood of an event to occur in context without having to resort to expensive pre-tests of the stimuli. We exemplify our method at a case study on the usage of nonsentential expressions (fragments), which shows that utterances that are predictable given script-based extralinguistic context are more likely to be reduced.

@article{Lemke2021,
title = {Modeling the predictive potential of extralinguistic context with script knowledge: The case of fragments},
author = {Tyll Robin Lemke and Lisa Sch{\"a}fer and Ingo Reich},
url = {https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0246255},
doi = {https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246255},
year = {2021},
date = {2021-02-11},
journal = {PLOS ONE},
pages = {e0246255},
volume = {16},
number = {2},
abstract = {We describe a novel approach to estimating the predictability of utterances given extralinguistic context in psycholinguistic research. Predictability effects on language production and comprehension are widely attested, but so far predictability has mostly been manipulated through local linguistic context, which is captured with n-gram language models. However, this method does not allow to investigate predictability effects driven by extralinguistic context. Modeling effects of extralinguistic context is particularly relevant to discourse-initial expressions, which can be predictable even if they lack linguistic context at all. We propose to use script knowledge as an approximation to extralinguistic context. Since the application of script knowledge involves the generation of prediction about upcoming events, we expect that scrips can be used to manipulate the likelihood of linguistic expressions referring to these events. Previous research has shown that script-based discourse expectations modulate the likelihood of linguistic expressions, but script knowledge has often been operationalized with stimuli which were based on researchers’ intuitions and/or expensive production and norming studies. We propose to quantify the likelihood of an utterance based on the probability of the event to which it refers. This probability is calculated with event language models trained on a script knowledge corpus and modulated with probabilistic event chains extracted from the corpus. We use the DeScript corpus of script knowledge to obtain empirically founded estimates of the likelihood of an event to occur in context without having to resort to expensive pre-tests of the stimuli. We exemplify our method at a case study on the usage of nonsentential expressions (fragments), which shows that utterances that are predictable given script-based extralinguistic context are more likely to be reduced.},
pubstate = {published},
type = {article}
}

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Project:   B3

Lemke, Tyll Robin; Schäfer, Lisa; Drenhaus, Heiner; Reich, Ingo

Script Knowledge Constrains Ellipses in Fragments - Evidence from Production Data and Language Modeling Inproceedings

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics, 3, 2020.

We investigate the effect of script-based (Schank and Abelson 1977) extralinguistic context on the omission of words in fragments. Our data elicited with a production task show that predictable words are more often omitted than unpredictable ones, as predicted by the Uniform Information Density (UID) hypothesis (Levy and Jaeger, 2007).

We take into account effects of linguistic and extralinguistic context on predictability and propose a method for estimating the surprisal of words in presence of ellipsis. Our study extends previous evidence for UID in two ways: First, we show that not only local linguistic context, but also extralinguistic context determines the likelihood of omissions. Second, we find UID effects on the omission of content words.

@inproceedings{Lemke2020,
title = {Script Knowledge Constrains Ellipses in Fragments - Evidence from Production Data and Language Modeling},
author = {Tyll Robin Lemke and Lisa Sch{\"a}fer and Heiner Drenhaus and Ingo Reich},
url = {https://scholarworks.umass.edu/scil/vol3/iss1/45},
doi = {https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.7275/mpby-zr74 },
year = {2020},
date = {2020},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics},
abstract = {We investigate the effect of script-based (Schank and Abelson 1977) extralinguistic context on the omission of words in fragments. Our data elicited with a production task show that predictable words are more often omitted than unpredictable ones, as predicted by the Uniform Information Density (UID) hypothesis (Levy and Jaeger, 2007). We take into account effects of linguistic and extralinguistic context on predictability and propose a method for estimating the surprisal of words in presence of ellipsis. Our study extends previous evidence for UID in two ways: First, we show that not only local linguistic context, but also extralinguistic context determines the likelihood of omissions. Second, we find UID effects on the omission of content words.},
pubstate = {published},
type = {inproceedings}
}

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Project:   B3

Reich, Ingo

Saulecker und supergemütlich! Pilotstudien zur fragmentarischen Verwendung expressiver Adjektive. Incollection

d'Avis, Franz; Finkbeiner, Rita (Ed.): Expressivität im Deutschen, De Gruyter, pp. 109-128, Berlin, Boston, 2019.

@incollection{Reich2019,
title = {Saulecker und supergem{\"u}tlich! Pilotstudien zur fragmentarischen Verwendung expressiver Adjektive.},
author = {Ingo Reich},
editor = {Franz d'Avis and Rita Finkbeiner},
doi = {https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110630190-005},
year = {2019},
date = {2019},
booktitle = {Expressivit{\"a}t im Deutschen},
pages = {109-128},
publisher = {De Gruyter},
address = {Berlin, Boston},
pubstate = {published},
type = {incollection}
}

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Project:   B3

Reich, Ingo

Ellipsen Incollection

Liedtke, Frank; Tuchen, Astrid (Ed.): Handbuch Pragmatik, Springer, pp. 240-251, 2018.

@incollection{Reich2018,
title = {Ellipsen},
author = {Ingo Reich},
editor = {Frank Liedtke and Astrid Tuchen},
year = {2018},
date = {2018},
booktitle = {Handbuch Pragmatik},
pages = {240-251},
publisher = {Springer},
pubstate = {published},
type = {incollection}
}

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Project:   B3

Lemke, Tyll Robin; Horch, Eva; Reich, Ingo

Optimal encoding! - Information Theory constrains article omission in newspaper headlines Inproceedings

Proceedings of EACL 2017, pp. 131-135, Valencia, 2017.

@inproceedings{LemkeHorchReich:17,
title = {Optimal encoding! - Information Theory constrains article omission in newspaper headlines},
author = {Tyll Robin Lemke and Eva Horch and Ingo Reich},
url = {https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/E17-2021},
year = {2017},
date = {2017},
booktitle = {Proceedings of EACL 2017},
pages = {131-135},
address = {Valencia},
pubstate = {published},
type = {inproceedings}
}

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Project:   B3

Lemke, Tyll Robin

Sentential or not? - An experimental investigation on the syntax of fragments Inproceedings

Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2016Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2016, Tübingen, 2017.

@inproceedings{Lemke-toappear,
title = {Sentential or not? - An experimental investigation on the syntax of fragments},
author = {Tyll Robin Lemke},
doi = {https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.15496/publikation-19058},
year = {2017},
date = {2017},
booktitle = {Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2016},
address = {T{\"u}bingen},
pubstate = {published},
type = {inproceedings}
}

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Project:   B3

Reich, Ingo

On the omission of articles and copulae in German newspaper headlines Journal Article

Linguistic Variation, 17, pp. 186-204, 2017.

@article{Reich-inpress,
title = {On the omission of articles and copulae in German newspaper headlines},
author = {Ingo Reich},
doi = {https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1075/lv.14017.rei},
year = {2017},
date = {2017},
journal = {Linguistic Variation},
pages = {186-204},
volume = {17},
number = {2},
pubstate = {published},
type = {article}
}

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Project:   B3

Horch, Eva; Reich, Ingo

The Fragment Corpus Inproceedings

Proceedings of the 9th International Corpus Linguistics Conference, pp. 392-393, Birmingham, UK, 2017.

@inproceedings{HorchReich:17,
title = {The Fragment Corpus},
author = {Eva Horch and Ingo Reich},
year = {2017},
date = {2017},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 9th International Corpus Linguistics Conference},
pages = {392-393},
address = {Birmingham, UK},
pubstate = {published},
type = {inproceedings}
}

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Project:   B3

Reich, Ingo; Horch, Eva

On 'Article Omission' in German and the 'Uniform Information Density Hypothesis' Inproceedings

Dipper, Stefanie; Neubarth, Friedrich; Zinsmeister, Heike (Ed.): Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Natural Language Processing (KONVENS 2016), 16, pp. 125-127, Bochum, 2016.

@inproceedings{HorchReich2016,
title = {On 'Article Omission' in German and the 'Uniform Information Density Hypothesis'},
author = {Ingo Reich and Eva Horch},
editor = {Stefanie Dipper and Friedrich Neubarth and Heike Zinsmeister},
url = {https://www.linguistics.rub.de/konvens16/pub/16_konvensproc.pdf},
year = {2016},
date = {2016},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Natural Language Processing (KONVENS 2016)},
pages = {125-127},
address = {Bochum},
pubstate = {published},
type = {inproceedings}
}

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Project:   B3

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