Welcome to the homepage of Prof. Dr. Josef Bayer

Areas of research and interest:

  • Syntactic Theory
    • Syntax-Semantics Interface
    • Syntax-Morphology Interface
  • German(ic) Syntax
    • Word Order
    • Case
    • Complementation
    • Focus Particles
    • Discourse Particles
    • Dialects
    • Bavarian
  • South Asian
    • Bengali (Bangla)
  • Psycholinguistics
    • Language Comprehension
    • Syntactic Parsing
    • Language and Brain


  1. Language Comprehension and Variable Word Order: Syntactic and Extra-Syntactic Factors in the Processing of German Clauses. (DFG; Ba 1178 / 4-3) (finished)
    (with Markus Bader and Jens-Max Hopf)
    Doctoral Student: Jana Häussler

  2. The Syntax-Morphology Interface: Case, Agreement, and the Licensing of Arguments  (Kurt-Lion Foundation, Konstanz / Tel-Aviv) (finished)
    (with Alexander Grosu)

  3. Dialect Grammar, Free Variation and Change: Do we Need a Concept of Microvariaton?  (SFB 471, A17) (finished)
    (with Ellen Brandner)

  4. Lexical Features and Variable Syntactic Processes  (SFB 471, A18) (finished)
    (with Susanne Trissler)

  5. Lexical and Syntactic Processes in Language Comprehension  (SFB 471, D2) (finished)
    (with Markus Bader, Tanja Schmid, Jana Häussler)
  6. Clause Structure and Utterance Meaning: Word Order, Particles, Emphasis , 04/2013 - 09/2017  (DFG; Ba 1178 / 9-1) (finished) (with Andreas Trotske)
    doctoral student: Yvonne Viesel                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  7. AThEME: Advancing the European Multilingual Experience
    (with Janet Grijzenhout and Claudia Diehl)
    Multilingualism and Communicative Impairments
    since August 2015 (finished)
    doctoral student: Constantin Freitag
  8. The Role of German Particles in Questions , since  04/2016  (DFG; FOR 2111  Questions at the Interface
    (with Carsten Eulitz, Maribel Romero and Anna Czypionka)



Edited volumes

  • Bayer, J. (1987) (ed.), Grammatik und Kognition: Psycholinguistische Untersuchungen. Linguistische Berichte Sonderheft 1.                                                                                                                           
  • Abraham, W. & J. Bayer (eds.) (1993),  Dialektsyntax Linguistische Berichte Sonderheft 5.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Bayer, J. (ed.) (1994),  Sentence Processing and the Nature of the Human Syntactic Parser.  Special Issue, Folia Linguistica XXVIII / 1-2.
  • Bayer, J. & C. Römer (eds.) (2000),  Von der Philologie zur Grammatiktheorie. Niemeyer, Tübingen.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Bayer, J., T. Bhattacharya & MT Hany Babu (eds.) (2007),  Linguistic Theory and South Asian Languages: Essays in honor of KA Jayaseelan.  Amsterdam, John Benjamin. 1-11.
  • Trotzke, A. & J. Bayer (eds.) (2015),  Syntactic Complexity across Interfaces . Berlin, de Gruyter.
  • Bayer, J., R. Hinterhölzl & A. Trotzke (eds.) (2015),  Discourse-oriented Syntax . Amsterdam, John Benjamin.                                                                                                                                                             
  • Bayer, J. & Y. Viesel (eds.) Proceedings of the Workshops: Clause Typing and the Syntax-to-Discourse Relation in Head-Final Languages. Working paper # 130 of the Department of Linguistics, Konstanz University. 1-5.

Selected Articles

  • Bayer, J. (2019b) Wir treiben das Wort in den Wahnsinn. Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Mittwoch, 10. April 2019. Feuilleton 39.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Bayer, J. (2020), Why doubling discourse particles? Ludovico Franco & Paolo Lorusso. "Linguistic Variation: Structure and Interpretation". 47-72. Studies in Generative Grammar [SGG] 132.  Mouton de Gruyter, Boston/Berlin. 47-72.                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Bayer, J. (in press). A comparative note on the Bangla particle "to" and the German particle "doch". In: Mina Dan & Aditi Ghosh  "Essays in Honour of Suniti Kumar Chatterji". Orient BlackSwan Private Limited, Hyderabad.                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Bayer, J. & C. Freitag (2020). How much verb moves to second position? In: Horst Lohnstein & Antonios Tsiknakis (eds.), Verb Second – Grammar internal and grammar external interfaces.77-122. Interface Explorations [IE] 32. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 
  •  Bayer, J. (2020) Whatʼs unique in Bavarian syntax? - Thoughts on the occasion of a performance of Bachʼs St Matthew Passion. In: Masatoshi Tanaka, Tomoya Tsutsui & Masashi Hashimoto (eds.) Linguistic Research as an Interdisciplinary Science. Hituzi Kenkyuu Soosho, Gengohen [Hituzi Research Series, Linguistics] 170. Tokyo: Hituzi Publishers. 27-43.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Broekhuis, H. & J. Bayer (2020). Clausal ellipsis: deletion or selective spell-out? Linguistics in the Netherlands, vol 37, ed. by Elena Tribushinina & Mark Dingemanse, 2020. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 23-37.       
  • Grosu, A. & J. Bayer (in press). Pre-nominal adjectival transparent free relatives. Proceedings of IATL. MITWPL.                                                                                                                      

Unpublished Work

  • Bayer, Josef & William Marslen-Wilson. 1992. Configurationality in the light of language comprehension: The order of arguments in German. Manuscript Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena & Birkbeck College London.

Doctoral Students

Doctoral students

a) Former

  • Iris Bräuning
  • Laura Dörre
  • Constantin Freitag
  • Alexandra Rehn
  • Michael Meng                       
  • Simon Hopp                      
  • Jana Häussler

b) Current


Talks at conferences (since 2000)

  • (with M. Bader & M. Meng) A KP for oblique Cases. DGFS-Workshop. Marburg 1.-3. March 2000.
  • Symmetry and asymmetry in South Asian languages. Workshop on Antisymmetry Theory, Cortona, 15.-17. May 2000.
  • Ways of deriving Case, Case Workshop: Diagnosis in Language processing / Conflicting Rules. Potsdam, 1.-3. December 2000
  • Topicalization, force and pied-piping, Workshop Elements minimaux de la variation linguistique, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sociales, Paris, 15-16. December 2000
  • Non-standard subjects and Case, SFB-Kolloquium Kasusfragen: lexikalisch, semantisch oder strukturell?, SFB 282, Cologne, 18 May 2001
  • Emphatic topics in Bavarian and the organization of the left periphery, Giornata di dialettologia, Universitá di Padova, 8. June 2001
  • Non-standard subjects and Case. International Symposium on Non-Nominative Subjects. Tokyo, 17.-21. December 2001
  • (with Markus Bader) Processing load and syntactic ambiguity resolution. 15th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Proce-ssing, CUNY, New York. 21-23.3.2002
  • Topicalization and force in CP Department of Linguistics, Tel Aviv University. 20.6.2002
  • Decomposing the left periphery: dialectal and cross-linguistic evidence. Israeli Association of Theoretical Linguists (IATL), Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan. 24-25.6.2002
  • Dative pertinacity. Workshop on Pertinacity, Schloss Freudental. 11-14 Juli 2002
  • (with E. Brandner) Klitisiertes "zu" im Bairischen und Alemannischen, 1. Internationaler Dialektologenkongress der IDGG, Marburg, 5.-8.3.2003
  • (with T. Schmid and M. Bader) Coherent Infinitives in German: An Experimental Perspective, International Conference on Linguistic Evidence, Tübingen, 28.-31.1.2004
  • (with M. Bader) P as Case, 30. Incontro di Grammatica Generativa, Universitá Ca' Foscari, Venezia, 26.-28.2.2004
  • Was beschränkt die Extraktion? Subjekt -- Objekt vs. Topic -- Fokus Symposium Deutsche Syntax: Empirie und Theorie. Göteborgs Universitet. 13-15 May 2004
  • (with T. Schmid and M. Bader) Parsing and Grammar: Evidence from Infinitival Complementation. 17th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing. College Park, Maryland. 25-27 März 2004
  • (with M. Bader and J. Häussler) On Structure and Frequency: Case in PP and VP. 17th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing. College Park, Maryland. 25-27 March 2004
  • (with T. Schmid and M. Bader) Clause Position and Clause Union. 19th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop. Graduate Center, CUNY, New York City. 3-5 June 2004
  • (with E. Brandner) Light Noun Raising in Alemannic and Bavarian Infinitives. 19th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop. Graduate Center, CUNY, New York City. 3-5 June 2004
  • (mit M. Bader) On the syntactic nature of preposition phrases. Workshop on Interface and Interface Conditions in Honor of Professor Anita Steube. Leipzig, 26. June, 2004.
  • Adjacency in infinitive constructions. SFB-Workshop Germanic Infinitives: Representation, Variation and Processing. University of Konstanz. 30.9. - 2.10. 2004.
  • Ingredients of the Left Periphery. 1. Meeting of the Scientific Network: The Structure of the Left Periphery in Germanic Languages – CP- and IP-Related Elements in Normal and Impaired Speech. Greifswald, 3 November 2004.
  • Notes on the status of subjects and expletives in connection mit word order. Colloquium Expletive Subjects in Romance and Germanic Languages, University of Konstanz. 11. - 13. November 2004.
  • On the Shape and Position of Infinitives. Universität Potsdam, 27. January 2005.
  • That-trace without reference to the subject. 20th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop. Katholieke Universiteit van Brabant, Tilburg. 9.-11.-05. 2005. [invited speaker]*
  • Checking clausal complements in head-final languages. 5th Asia GLOW Conference, New Delhi. Aug. 5 - 8, 2005. *
  • Deutsch nur  - Italienisch solo. Symposium Das Italienische und das Deutsche: ein typologischer Vergleich. Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt, 3.- 4. Februar 2006. *
  • Subjects and Microcomparative Variation. Trondheim 5-6 August 2006. 
  • (with E. Brandner), Wie oberflächlich ist die syntaktische Variation zwischen Dialekten? – Doubly-filled COMP revisited. 2. Kongress der IGDD, Vienna, 20-23 September 2006.
  • (with E. Brandner), On Clausal Typing by Wh-Head-Movement. Journées d'etudes « Types des Phrases et périphérie gauche », Paris, 1.-2. Dezember 2006 
  • (with E. Brandner), On wh-head-movement and the Doubly Filled Comp Filter. 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, Berkeley, 27-29 April 2007.
  • On the nature of the [/that/ trace] effect. University of Geneva, 30 October 2007.
  • From modal particle to interrogative marker. Journées d'etudes La structure des types de phrases, Paris 16.-17. November 2007.
  • Complementation in SOV-syntax. Head-Final Languages Workshop, Leipzig 6.-9. December 2007.
  • Variation in der linken Satzperipherie des Bairischen (und verwandter Dialekte),
    Workshop Neue Tendenzen in der deutschen Dialektologie: Morphologie und Syntax, Universit&agraphe; degli Studi di Verona, 13-14 December 2007. 
  • Associating the German Discourse Particle "denn" with the Left Periphery, Workshop on Discourse Particles, Venice, 4 February 2008.
  • How does the German particle denn reach the left periphery? Berlin, 2-4 Mai 2008.
  • German denn versus Bavarian -n in questions, Salzburg, 15 Mai 2008.
  • (with Hans-Georg Obenauer) Discourse Particles, Clause Structure, and Question Types. Particle Workshop, Cambridge 30-31 October 2008.
  • (with Martin Salzmann) That-trace effects and resumption as the result of Improper Movement DGfS Osnabrück 05.03.2009.
  • W-Frage, Fragepartikel und W-drop im Bairischen 
    11. Bayerisch-Österreichische Dialektologentagung, Passau 22.-25. September 2010.
  • (with Hans-Georg Obenauer) On the (In-) Dependence of Interpretation from Syntax-Evidence from Special Questions.
    Sentence Types, Sentence Mood, and Illocutionary Forces. International Conference to Honor Manfred Bierwisch Berlin 04.-06.11.2010.
  • (with Jana Häussler, Markus Bader & Simon Hopp) Connecting to Illocutionary Force: A Theoretical and Experimental Study of the German Discourse Particle denn. GLOW, Vienna 28.-30.04.2011.
  • Doubly-Filled Comp, wh head-movement, and chain uniformity. Inaugural Workshop The Representation of Structure in Grammar.Annesso Cartesiano di Villa Salmi, Arezzo. Juli 1-3 2011.
  • Discourse Particles in Questions. Syntactic Constituency, Scope and Decomposition. Paper presented at the workshop Structures of Meaning - in Honor of Arnim von Stechow, University of Konstanz, 10-11 November 2011.
  • Syntaktische und phonologische Eigenschaften von W-Operatoren und W-Bewegung im Bairischen Workshop Syntax des Bairischen. Frankfurt, 29.06.2012.
  • Demystifying Bavarian complementizer agreement GIST 6, Ghent, October 17, 2012.
  • Klitisierung, Reanalyse, und die Lizensierung von Nullformen: zwei Beispiele aus dem Bairischen. 18.LIPP Symposium. München, 15. November 2012.
  • (with Andreas Trotzke), Discourse particles, successive-cyclic movement, and the nature of derivations, University of Venice (Ca'Foscari di Venezia), 3 October 2013.
  • (with Laura Dörre) German adverbs and discourse particles: Corpus-linguistic investigations, Schloss Freudental, 25 January 2014.
  • (with Andreas Trotzke) Clause structure & utterance meaning: Word order, particles, emphasis, Schloss Freudental, 24 January 2014.
  • (with Probal Dasgupta & Sibansu Mukhopadhyay) Functional structure and the Bangla discourse particle to, 30th South Asian Languages Analysis Roundtable(SALA 30), University of Hyderabad, 6-8 February 2014.
  • (with Andreas Trotzke, Giuseppina Turco) Left peripheral particles, syntactic constituency, and emphasis, Exploring the Interfaces 3: Prosodic and Constituent Structure, McGill University, 8-10 May 2014.
  • Messages from the Bavarian clitic -n. International Conference on Generative Linguistics and Philosophy in Honor of Günther Grewendorf. University of Frankfurt, 27-29 June 2014.
  • Functional Structure and the Bangla Discourse Particle to. GGS Konstanz 30-31 Mai 2014
  • (with Probal Dasgupta) The architectural unity of emphasis, topic and interrogative marking in Bangla. The grammar's reflexes of emphasis: From information structure to the expressive dimension. Konstanz, 29-30 September 2014.
  • Movement and scope in wh-questions with discourse particles. 30th Comparative Syntax Workshop, 22-23 May 2015, University of Chicago.
  • Criterial Freezing in the Syntax of Particles. Workshop on Freezing: Theoretical Approaches and Empirical Domains 3-4 July 2015, University of Tübingen. [invited lecture].
  • Minimalist Explorations of the Clausal Periphery. [three invited lectures]. Keio University, Tokyo. 18 July 2015. (Lecture ILecture IILecture III
  • Reparatur in der Grammatik. Anmerkungen zum Sprachdesign / Repair in Grammar. Notes on the Design of Language. Die Zukunft von Grammatik - Die Grammatik der Zukunft. Symposium anlässlich des 80. Geburtstags von Werner Abraham. 12.-13.02.2016. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. [invited lecture].
  • (with Constantin Freitag) How much verb moves to second position? Theoretical and experimental evidence. Verb-Second Workshop, 29.–31.July 2016, Bergische Universität Wuppertal.[invited lecture].                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • From the Adjunction Theory to the Head Theory of Particles. Workshop DP and CP-Adjunction – and beyond: Interrelation between Syntactic Operations and Semantic / Pragmatic Features, 6-8 October 2016, University of Hamburg. [invited lecture].                                                                                                                                                      
  • (with Uwe Braun) German Discourse Particles in Sentential Infinitives. 31st Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop, 1-3 November 2016. University of Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa.
  • (with Anna Czypionka, Maribel Romero & Carsten Eulitz). The licensing of discourse particles in complex questions: Evidence from graded judgments and event-related potentials. 30th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, MIT, 30 March - 1 April 2017. Poster                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Case deficiency in the verbal and in the adpositional domain. Workshop on Case-impoverished Germanic. Lund, 5-6 October 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • (with Martin Salzmann and Jana Häussler). That-trace effects without traces: in favor of a phonological EPP. DGfS 2018: 40. Jahrestagung. AG 6 Referential and relational approaches to syntactic asymmetries. Friday 9 March 2018.                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Particles ex-situ in Emphatic Wh-Questions. GLOW 41. Budapest. Workshop The grammar and pragmatics of interrogatives and their (special) uses. Saturday, 14 April 2018.
  • What are discourse particles ? A syntactic account. English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. 27.11.2020 [invited speaker]


On Thursday, 19 November 2015, I was surprised by the webschrift Charting the Landscape of Linguistics, ed. by Ellen Brandner, Anna Czypionka, Constantin Freitag & Andreas Trotzke. The fotos which accompany the document inform about the invited speaker and the celebration that followed the event.


  • born November 15, 1950 in  Dietfurt / Altmühl  (Bavaria).                                                                       
  • 1970-82: university education (German philology, linguistics, philosophy, musicology) at Regensburg, Hamburg (MA), Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and Konstanz.

  • 1982: doctoral dissertation, Konstanz.                                                                                                                   
  • 1978-82: scientific staff of research group of Collaborative Research Center 99, University of Konstanz.

  • 1982-85: scientific staff of research group Aphasia and Cognitive Disorders, Technical University of Aachen. 
  • 1985-90: scientific staff, Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

  • 1991: habilitation in theoretical linguistics, University of Konstanz.

  • 1991-92: visiting professor, University of Duesseldorf.

  • 1992-93: visiting professor, University of Vienna.

  • 1993-1994: scientific staff, Collaborative Research Center 340, University of Stuttgart.

  • 1994-2000: professor of General and Germanic Linguistics, University of Jena.

  • 2000-2016: professor of General and Germanic Linguistics, University of Konstanz.

  • 2001-2003: head of the department of linguistics.

  • 2016: retired.