Cooperations on research
The Collaborative Research Center 1252 "Prominence in Language" boasts a broad national and international research network. On this page, you will find an overview of our current Mercator Fellows, Senior and Junior Fellows, as well as our collaborations with junior researchers and institutional partners at the University of Cologne and beyond. If you, too, are interested in co-operating with our group of interdisciplinary linguists, please contact the Principal Investigators in question or our Deputy Managing Director, Ana-Laura Lemke.
(1) Mercator Fellows
Fellowships give our projects the opportunity of long-term exchange of ideas with both German and international researchers. Fellows spend time at the CRC but also remain in contact with project members beyond their stay in Cologne. Fellows from outside Germany receive the additional distinction of Mercator Fellow, honoring their international engagement. Mercator Fellows also contribute directly to project outcomes and may even take a central role in the project.
Prof. Jennifer Cole - University of Illinois
Jennifer Cole is a professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (USA). She is one of the leading researchers in the field of speech prosody and laboratory phonology, and is recognised worldwide, not only as a founding member of the Association for Laboratory Phonology and, until 2015, General Editor of its journal but also by publishing many influential papers in prestigious journals in the fields of Phonetics and Phonology. Her main interests lie in experimental and theoretical research that investigates the physiological and cognitive bases of phonological systems. As the director of the Linguistic Laboratory for Speech Prosody in Urbana-Champaign she is currently supervising several projects that investigate the production and perception of prosody in English and other languages. A major focus of this work is on prosody in spontaneous, conversational speech and methods for prosody annotation, such as the Rapid Prosody Transcription method for untrained listeners, which is used for quantifying prosodic prominence.
Cooperation with Jennifer Cole will be of great benefit not only to Area A, which is concerned with prosodic prominence and its modelling and quantification, but also to the whole CRC, especially since she has worked intensively on the relation of prosodic prominence to meaning and discourse structure, and on the role of syntactic structure in guiding prosody perception.
Prof. Dr. Theo Marinis - Universität Konstanz
Theodoros Marinis is Professor of Multilingualism & Language Development and Head of the Clinical Language Sciences Department in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading (UK). He is one of the most imminent researchers in the field of language acquisition and processing in interaction with literacy development, with a strong expertise in mixedmodel analyses of complex large data sets.
His main interests lie in bilingual/multilingual children with typical and atypical development (Specific Language Impairment, Autism) with a strong focus on morpho-syntax and up-to-date empirical methodology. He is currently involved in a very active research programme involving English, Greek, and German and supervises a number of excellent junior researchers at the PhD and post-doc level, and has maintained DFG-funded collaborations before (most recently with Bittner/ZAS Berlin). The CRC will benefit from cooperation with Theodoros Marinis in terms of his linguistic as well as in terms of his experimental expertise. He has served as an outside adviser to international interdisciplinary projects with great success in the past (cf. BALED/Tsimpli 2013-2015). CRC projects in Area C with a focus on processing and development, but areas A and B (especially A02 and B06) also stand to gain from his residency at the CRC in terms of feedback on methodology and data analysis.
Dr. Bodo Winter - University of Birmingham
Bodo Winter is an Acting Lecturer in Cognitive Linguistics at the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham. He is a leading researcher in language evolution, quantitative semantics and statistical methods in linguistics, having published over 40 articles, including book chapters and journal papers in interdisciplinary high impact journals (Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Cortex). He has taught a variety of advanced statistics and data modelling courses for linguists at various international institutions and summer schools and held over 60 conference presentations and invited talks. After completing an M.A. in General Linguistics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mā noa and being a Doctoral Fellow in phonetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Bodo Winter obtained his PhD in Cognitive and Information Sciences from the University of California, Merced. His research focuses on large-scale quantitative analyses of corpora and lexica to study word meaning and how it changes over time.
Cooperation with Bodo Winter will be of great benefit because he has a background in phonetics, linguistics and cognitive science, making him ideal for this highly interdisciplinary collaborative research centre. Moreover, Bodo Winter has expert knowledge in statistical methods and modelling of dynamical systems that are useful for the proposed projects. Being able to consult him on advanced modelling topics remains an invaluable asset for the whole CRC, especially for Area A and Area C. Finally, Bodo Winter has already taught a number of advanced courses at the University of Cologne within the University-funded “Sprache im Labor” making him already familiar with the specific methodological demands of the projects involved.
Prof. Andrew Kehler - University of California
Andrew Kehler is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Califonia, San Diego (USA) where he heads the Computational Linguistics Lab. He is one of the leading researchers in the field of computational psycholinguistics of discourse and has had a major impact on the advancement of Bayesian modelling of pronoun resolution.
Andrew Kehler obtained his PhD in computer science from Harvard University. After working as senior computer scientist in the industry for five years, he became professor of linguistics at UC San Diego in 2000, where his main area of interest is discourse interpretation with a focus on coherence relations, inferences and pronoun interpretation. He currently serves as associate editor of the Journal of Logic and Computation and on a number of editorial boards, including the Journal of Semantics and Semantics and Pragmatics. His interdisciplinary research combines theoretical linguistic, psycholinguistic and computational linguistic models of discourse comprehension. Andrew Kehler's research profile makes him an ideal Mercator Fellow within the CRC. The computational model of pronoun resolution that he developed perfectly complements the research in Area C, which is concerned with the modelling of discourse prominence. Cooperation will be a great asset for other areas as well, since a probabilistic approach to prominence is highly relevant for prosodic and morphosyntactic prominence.
(2) International Fellows
Senior and Junior Fellows communicate closely with one or several projects and advance the CRC's research through their own expertise. They typically visit Cologne for up to four weeks, thereby contributing to a vibrant working environment.
Prof. Dr. Jennifer E. Arnold - University of North Carolina
Jennifer E. Arnold works in language psychology, studying the question of how we communicate with apparent and surprising ease. Her main goal is tracing the concrete mental steps that form the basis of speakers' capability to use and understand language. Her principal interest is thus in uncovering how speakers structure larger units of speech at both the production and interpretation ends. Jennifer E. Arnold has conducted various studies on referent management in general and pronoun resolution in particular and is considered one of the most influential researchers in these areas. She is also well-regarded as a cognition scholar due to her research into language usage, including its interplay with attention, motivation and alphabetization.
Jennifer E. Arnold's work interfaces with that of the CRC at multiple points. Her expertise in referent management - in both speech production and speech interpretation - is invaluable for the research conducted in area C, especially projects C04, C06 and C07. Her most recent work on referent management from a language acquisition perspective is also of interest for project C03. As Jennifer E. Arnold has also recently studied the role of prosody in pronoun resolution, she will also be able to contribute her findings to the work of area A, especially A01.
Dr. T. Mark Ellison - Australian National University
T. Mark Ellison is a researcher from Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australian's capital. He is a computational modeller. Synthesising a rich background in mathematics, computer science, linguistics, cognitive science and psychology, his research focuses on building principled accounts of linguistic processing and behaviour. Recent research collaborations have developed models in fields as varied as experimental semiotics, language evolution, language diversity, bilingual cognition, and metaphor expression.
T. Mark Ellison is currently based within the CRC Prominence in Language. As part of this work, he has been developing collaborations: interpreting the relationship between neural signals of surprise and prominence in expressions (in collaboration with project A01), creating a new algorithm for measuring periodic energy as one factor in phonetic prominence (A02), understanding the different roles of language frames (B05), and exploring the interaction of coindexing preferences with discourse prominence in German pronouns (C07).
Prof. Dr. Manuel Leonetti - Universidad Complutense
Manuel Leonetti is a Professor of Spanish Linguistics at the Universidad Complutense (Madrid) and is one of the most renowned linguists in the Spanish-speaking world. His research focuses on syntax, semantics and pragmatics, especially in the interface areas of these three fields. He has published many relevant papers on nominal prominence properties such as definiteness and specificity, on focus and information structure, as well as on different prominence-dependent constructions such as zero subjects and differential object marking.
Manuel Leonetti's research is of key relevance for several projects of the CRC, especially in Area B. He mainly cooperates with B04, where he also supervises (using the Cotutela method) the dissertation of Diego Romero Heredero. Due to his outstanding expertise in the fields of (temporal) anaphors, null subjects and coherence relations, he is also of outstanding interest for projects in Research Area C, including C02, C03 and C06, with whom he has had an intensive exchange of ideas during his participation in the workshop "Ways of Reference in Romance Languages" (Cologne, 27-28.09.2018).
Prof. Dr. Michelina Savino - University of Bari Aldo Moro
Michelina (Elina) Savino is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Education, Psychology, Communication at the University of Bari, Italy. Her research interests are centred around prosody, both in terms of theory and in how prosody is used in discourse, especially how speakers structure their utterances and whether intonation contours, when strategically placed, aid recall. She also works on prosody in conversation, including phenomena such as turn-taking, back-channelling and accommodation/entrainment to the interlocutor. Her survey of question contours across the different varieties of Italian is an important work of reference.
She has spent a total of five months in Cologne during phase I of the CRC and has hosted members of project A01 in Bari, where experiments were run using a portable EEG system. This was the first time that EEG experiments have investigated the intonation of a Southern variety of Italian on site. The results are to appear in Neuroreport “Attention allocation in a language with post-focal prominences”. She has also collaborated on the perception of post-focal prominence in Italian L1 and German L2 listeners, a study that is currently under review.
Elina Savino has also worked together with Mercator Fellow Bodo Winter and Martine Grice on the effect of intonation on working memory, culminating in a publication in Psychonomic Bulletin Review (2020), entitled “Intonation does aid serial recall after all” in which – contrary to previous claims in the literature – intonation has been shown to play a role in recall over and above that achieved by pauses. In June 2019 she co-organised a workshop with members of A01 and A02 in Bari on Prominence between Cognitive Functions and Linguistic Structures (CoFLiS).
Prof. Dr. Aroldo de Andrade - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Aroldo de Andrade is a researcher from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (University of Minas Gerais, Brazil) and does research on information structure, syntax and non-canonical constructions. He is a guest at the CRC from 22 November to 23 December 2019 and collaborates with project C02, C04, C05 and C06.
Betül Erbaşı - University of Southern California
Betül Erbaşı (University of Southern California) is a guest researcher in project B04 - "Interaction of nominal and verbal features for Differential Object Marking". As a PhD student, Betül collaborates with project B04 on topics around Turkish DOM and nominal semantics.
Contact: betul.erbasi(at)gmail.com, semra.kizilkaya(at)uni-koeln.de
Zarina Levy-Forsythe - Ben Gurion University
Zarina Levy-Forsythe (Ben Gurion University) is a guest researcher in project B04 - "Interaction of nominal and verbal features for Differential Object Marking". As a PhD student, Zarina is investigating Uzbek direct objects at the Syntax-Semantics Interface. She is collaborating with project B04 on topics such as DOM in Uzbek, as well as partitivity in Turkic Languages.
Valeria Lucarini - Università degli Studi di Parma
Valeria Lucarini (Scuola di Specializzazione in Psichiatria, Università degli Studi di Parma, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze) is a guest researcher in project A02 - "Individual behaviour in encoding and decoding prosodic prominence".
During her stay, she will be working on the research project A02 together with Juliane Zimmermann, Kai Vogeley and Martine Grice. This study will be conducted not only on healthy persons, but also on persons with autism and persons with schizophrenia, whose social cognition is impaired and who thus exemplify disorders affecting information processing related to communication and interaction with others. This investigation into the perception of the interplay of communicatively conveyed visual nonverbal and auditive paraverbal information in persons with schizophrenia is also the topic of a thesis Valeria Lucarini is writing in the course of her residency in psychiatry in Italy.
Dària Serés - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Dària Serés (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) is a guest researcher at our CRC. During her three month stay, she will be working on her dissertation topic "The expression of genericity and (in)definiteness in languages with and without articles" under the direction of Prof. Dr. Klaus von Heusinger. Her thesis is being supervised by Prof. Dr. Maria Teresa Espinal (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and Dr. Olga Borik (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia).
While in Cologne, she will be developing her dissertation sections on information structure and the interpretation of bare nominals in pre- and postverbal position in Russian. Her study will center on the interplay of genericity and recency. According to her current reasoning and the empirical results of a study recently conducted at the University of Barcelona, this may also extend to the realm of prominence.
Dària Serés will also be studying genericity at the sentence level and investigating how tension, modality and aspect influence the interpretation of generic sentences in Slavic, Romance and Germanic languages. To this end, she will be continuing to work on definition sentences, as these constitute an instance of genericity at the sentence and NP level. She will also be concentrating on the characterization of statements expressing generalizations and regularities.
Dr. Heimir van der Feest Viðarsson - Háskóli Íslands (University of Iceland)
Heimir van der Feest Viðarsson is a guest researcher from the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies at the University of Iceland. He will be staying at our CRC from 1 ‒ 28 February 2019 and will be supporting project C06 - “Prominence in subordinating rhetorical relations”.
Heimir van der Feest Viðarsson works on word order variation in subordinate clauses in (the history of) Icelandic. Subordinate clauses are a major linguistic pattern of expression for subordinating rhetorical relations. The project C06 will benefit from Heimir van der Feest Viðarsson’s expertise in subordinate clause syntax and his feedback on their studies on the role of syntax in the expression of discourse-structural subordination and the prominence asymmetries between main and subordinate clauses. The main aim of the collaboration is to compare the findings and develop a unified account.
Yuto Yamazaki - University of Tokyo
Yuto Yamazaki, doctoral student at the University of Tokyo, is a guest researcher at the CRC 1252 from 27 January to 17 February 2020. He will be cooperating with project C04 - "Conceptual and referential activation in discourse".
In his dissertation project, Yuto Yamazaki is investigating the semantic relationship between the discourse structure and word order of cleft sentences in German. His research focuses on the differences between canonical DO-Clefts (Es ist Hans, der kommt) and inverted DO-Clefts (Hans ist es, der kommt), which have different word order variants that are accompanied by two distinct interpretations. These constructions are also of particular interest for the SFB, since a number of projects are working on the discourse prominence of DO-Clefts.
Yuto Yamazaki will have a workplace in the HoP and is looking forward to many discussions about German DO-Clefts, but is also willing to discuss Japanese syntax.
(3) Heisenberg Programme
Prof. Dr. Frank Kügler - Goethe University Frankfurt
Frank Kügler is Professor of Linguistics/Phonology at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Before moving to Frankfurt he was associated with the Department of Linguistics, Phonetics, with a Heisenberg stipend (02/2017 bis 05/2018). His main research areas in the area of prosody are the interaction between tone and intonation, prosodic typology, prosodic phrasing and recursivity, and annotation and modelling of intonation. There is close collaboration on prosody in project A01 with Stefan Baumann and in A02 with Martine Grice. Together with Martine Grice he is editing a special issue of the journal Language and Speech on the topic "Prosodic Prominence - A Cross-linguistic Perspective" (Grice and Kügler (eds.)).
(4) Humboldt scholarships
Prof. Jaklin Kornfilt - Syracuse University New York
Jaklin Kornfilt is a Humboldt Prize winner and a regular guest at the Institute for German Language and Literature I at the University of Cologne, where she works with Prof. Klaus von Heusinger and his team on questions of the syntax-semantics interface.
Jaklin Kornfilt studied in Heidelberg. She received her doctorate in Harvard under the supervision of Noam Chomksy and Susumo Kuno. Jaklin Kornfilt has been Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at Syracuse University in New York since 1984 and was awarded the Humboldt Research Prize in 2010 for her outstanding achievements in research and teaching. During this award ceremony, she was a guest of Klaus von Heusinger at the Institute of Linguistics and the Research Association for Language and Cognition at the University of Stuttgart from 2010 to 2011.
She is one of the most renowned linguists in the field of Turkish linguistics. Her research areas in syntax and typology are not limited to the Turkic languages, but extend to Altaic and Germanic languages.
She is currently working with Klaus von Heusinger on a joint project on "Partitivität in altaischen Sprachen". She supports project B04 (2017, 2018).
Dr. Alina Tigău - Universitatea din București
Alina Tigău (University of Bucharest, Romania) has been a researcher of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from November 2016. In Cologne, she will carry out her research project on Quantification and Reference in Romance and Germanic until November 2018. Meanwhile, she is also teaching at the University of Bucharest, where she has had a position of Associate Professor at Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures since 2016.
Alina Tigău received her PhD degree in 2010 in Bucharest, with a thesis devoted to the syntax and semantics of the direct object in Romance and Germanic languages. In her former research, she focused on Differential Object Marking, a form of case alternation which occurs in Romanian, Spanish and Turkish a.o. Her research has already provided new fundamental insights into the function of case in Romanian and other languages.
She is currently working with Klaus von Heusinger on a project on ditransitive constructions. She supports project B04 (2017, 2018).
Dr. Diana Kolev (born Dimitrova)
Diana Kolev (neé Dimitrova) is a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and a guest of Martine Grice (projects A01 and A02) from 2016 to 2018, while also being active in the project C03 (Bongartz/Torregrossa). Diana Kolev finished her PhD at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands in 2012 in Psycholinguistics. In her studies she researched what roles intonation and structure of information have in the processing of language in the brain. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Donders institute of cognitive neuroscience in Nijmegen, Netherlands she explored the connection between intonation and gestures as well as the importance of concentration and memory in the processing of language. During her time as Humboldt research fellow, Diana Kolev wants to further develop this interest.
Over the span of the next two years, she will research how individuals differ in terms of how they produce and perceive relevant information. Here, Diana Kolev wants to focus on the question if these individual differences can be explained by cognitive capacities like concentration and remembrance potential.
Prof. Dr. Marco Antonio Rocha Martins - Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Marco Antonio Rocha Martins is a linguistics professor at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Florianopolis, Brasil and worked with Martin Becker (C02) in Cologne for research purposes from September 2018 until October 2019. During this time, Marco Rocha Martins took part in a Capes-Humboldt-Researchscholarship program by the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung.
Together with Izete Coelho, he coordinates the project "History of Brazilian Portuguese - from Europe to America" ("História do português brasileiro - desde a Europa até a America") of the Latin American Association for Linguistics and Philology (ALFAL).
In the years 2016 to 2018, he coordinated the linguistic department’s graduate program at UFSC, from 2014 to 2017 he was editor-in-chief of the journal of the linguistic association GELNE, Grupo de Estudos Linguísticos do Nordeste, of which he was also chairman (2010-2014). He coordinated sociolinguistic research group ANPOLL (Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Letras e Linguística) from 2010-2014, and additionally functioned as vice president of the Brasilian linguistics association (ABRALIN: Associação Brasileira de Linguística) from 2011-2013.
He received his doctorate in 2009 with a thesis on syntactic language change ("Competição de gramáticas do português na escrita catarinense dos séculos XIX e XX" ("Competing grammars of written Portuguese in 19th and 20th century Santa Catarina").
Marco Rocha Martins researches morphosyntactic and syntactic phenomena of Brazilian Portuguese in the past and present, combining modern socio- or variety linguistics with current syntax and language transformation theory. Furthermore, he deals with different aspects of grammar teaching and its relevance to the Brazilian school and education system.
During his stay in Cologne, Marco Rocha Martins researched the development of the system of clitics in Brazilian Portuguese and its change from the late 18th to the beginning of the 20th century. Besides this, he also taught a master course with Martin Becker on the topic: Language change - theory and empirical studies using the example of Brazilian Portuguese.
Prof. Alexander Coupe- Nanyang Technological University
Alexander Coupe spent a total of 9 months between 2016 and 2018 as an Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow visiting Birgit Hellwig (Subproject B02) and also worked with B05 (Himmelmann) and B03 (Dimmendaal/Reinöhl).
He received his doctorate from La Trobe University in Melbourne (Australia) in 2004 and has been at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore since 2009. He is an expert on the languages of Northeast India and researches Tibeto-Burman languages and the linguistic contact between Tibeto-Burman and Indo-Aryan languages intensely. Among other things, Alexander Coupe works on differential argument marking concerning these languages and is therefore an important cooperation partner for B02, B03 and B05.
AI start-up and C05
For the automatic creation of fictional texts using artificial intelligence (AI), the Cologne media technology company "ella" and the subproject C05 are cooperating. For this, C05 contributes to the quality control of the AI texts. Firstly, scientific quality criteria will be established, on the basis of which the texts will be then empirically analyzed and evaluated. Secondly, the results are re-integrated back into the ella-AI. Click here for the press release (in German, October 2019).
Contact: Stefan Hinterwimmer, hinterwimmer(at)uni-wuppertal.de.
University Hospital Cologne and C02
The interdisciplinary research cooperation "Visual and auditory perception processes in people with autism spectrum disorders" between the Institute of Linguistics and Phonetics and the University Hospital of Cologne investigates the communicative behaviour of people with autism in order to gain a better understanding of the strengths and challenges of this group and thus support communication.