As a linguist, I work towards understanding language in its complexity involving form, meaning, and context. I fell in love with this research field, its nerdy discussions, its scholars, and its variety of questions no one else would ask during my graduate studies. I enjoy being a part of this by asking those questions myself, meeting interesting people all over the world, and passing on to students the knowledge already gained.
As a post-doctoral researcher, I am working on discourse phenomena at the semantics-pragmatics-interface. The different stages of my (academic) life played an important part in shaping the main areas of my research interests:
Information structure – How do context, common ground, and speaker attitude influence the way we convey information?
My early focus on information structure was formed while studying in Lund (Sweden). I was fascinated by how different languages, in particular German and French, use different strategies to convey the same information: while German manipulates differences in meaning via variable word order, French resorts to specific structures such as cleft sentences. At the same time, the French cleft construction is much more versatile than its German equivalent.
Contrast in discourse – What is the difference between contrast as expressed with e.g. trotzdem (‘nevertheless’) vis-à-vis allerdings (‘yet’)?
When starting my doctoral degree in Cologne in 2015, I wanted to expand the subject of research to bigger linguistic units – how do individual utterances become a coherent discourse? I got particularly intrigued by the relation of contrast and the role of different contrastive connectives. Studying e.g. dagegen (‘in contrast’) or trotzdem in virtue of their role as discourse markers resulted in a three-dimensional framework of contrast: we handle contrast in discourse in form of (i) information structural parallelism (e.g. dagegen), (ii) ideational conflicts (e.g. trotzdem), and (iii) argumentative divergences (e.g. allerdings).
Discourse markers – How do linguistic expressions such as although or you see help us communicate?
Since starting a post-doc position at the University of Tübingen in 2019, I delved into the cognitive mechanisms involved in discourse marker use. Specifically, I take a closer look at what contrast as expressed with e.g. trotzdem has to do with ‘world knowledge’ and what cognitive processes we accompany by
you see vis-à-vis you know.
ACADEMIC CAREER AND EDUCATION
Most recent positions
October 2019 - ongoing
RESEARCHER AND LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF TÜBINGEN
Research on discourse markers, genericity, and cognitive processes; cooperation with the team around Claudia Maienborn at the Institute of German Language and Literatures, and teaching four semester periods per week.
November 2015 - June 2019
UNIVERSITY OF COLOGNE
PhD in German Philology (Linguistics) at the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne: Contrast in discourse. Empirical evidence from six German contrastive discourse connectives. Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Klaus von Heusinger and Prof. apl. Dr. Carla Umbach. Grade: Magna cum laude (1,0).
April 2017 - September 2019
RESEARCHER AND LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF COLOGNE
Research on contrastive discourse connectives (PhD), cooperation with the team around Klaus von Heusinger at the Department for German language and linguistics, and teaching two semester periods per week.
September 2016 - June 2017
LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Lecturer for German language at Pembroke College with 8 supervisions per week (undergraduate students), visiting student for semantics and pragmatics.
My goal is to teach students a general understanding of the German language and linguistics. It has been my experience that this works best when the students feel valued and supported and when they can contribute by comparing and transferring knowledge.
The more, the merrier!
Come join us (virtually) in Tübingen for this year's Conference of the German Linguistic Society!