Academic advisor:

Prof. Dr. Esther Ruigendijk

+49 (0)441 798-4695

Advising on area of specialisation/

Study coordinator Faculty III:

Nicole Griese

+49 (0)441 798-2300




Current projects

Acoustic indicators of language dominance in bilingual speakers of High and Low German in East Frisia

Prof. Dr. Jörg Peters

Dieses Projekt untersucht Effekte kognitiver Stressreaktionen, die sich bei der Bewältigung verbaler Aufgaben unterschiedlichen Komplexitätsgrades ergeben. Auf diese Weise will das Projekt zeigen, wie unterschiedliche Grade der Sprachbeherrschung und der Sprachdominanz bei bilingualen Sprechern/innen des Hoch- und Niederdeutschen bestimmt werden können, ohne auf das Erreichen einer sprachlichen Zielnorm rekurrieren zu müssen.

This project investigates effects of cognitive stress responses that arise when coping with verbal tasks of different degrees of complexity. In this way, the project aims to show how different degrees of language proficiency and language dominance can be determined in bilingual speakers of High and Low German without having to refer to the achievement of a linguistic target norm.

Movement asymmetries and intervention

Ankelien Schippers

My research is located on the intersection of syntax and processing. I investigate constructions that are difficult to process and/or are considered to be ungrammatical. The type of constructions that I typically focus on are those involving ‘movement’, in other words, non-canonical word orders in which certain constituents are displaced. Movement is constrained in several ways: some constituents are easier to move than others (asymmetries) and movement can be blocked in various ways (intervention). I aim to find out to what extent these phenomena are due to autonomous grammatical constraints or whether they can be attributed to processing factors such as working memory constraints or garden-path effects. I also take into account usage factors like frequency effects and diachronic changes. I take a comparative approach in investigating these issues, focusing on the languages Dutch, German and English.  


The linguistic origin of exhaustivity in single bare wh-questions in German

István Fekete

This habilitation project investigates the linguistic nature of exhaustivity in who-questions, that is, the requirement to give a complete answer to a bare wh- (who) question, such as 'Who is fishing in the garden?' by enumerating all the individuals for whom it is true that they undergo the action expressed by the predicate “fishing” in a specific context. Semantic accounts of exhaustivity assume that the exhaustivity requirement is encoded semantically in the meaning of the wh-question, while pragmatic theories analyze the exhaustivity inference as an implicature. The aim of this project is to resolve this dilemma by comparing the extent of exhaustivity violations, that is, incomplete responses, in different semantic and pragmatic sentence type conditions using felicity judgments and EEG methodology.


BiliSAT – Bilinguale Sprachentwicklung im Schulalter: Arabisch und Türkisch als Erstsprachen – DFG (2016-2019)

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Hamann

In Germany more and more children grow up multilingual: In the Federal Republic of Germany ca. 30% of all children were multilingual by the end of 2014. Their numbers augment daily as children and adolescents arrive as refugees. Differentiating phenomena of second language acquisition (L2) from difficulties due to specific language impairment (SLI) is essential since, in school-age children, academic development is massively influenced by access to language support or therapy. On this background the project investigates L2-acquisition and the time course of SLI in multilingual school-age children in their home language (L1) and their L2. Age of onset (AoO), length of exposure (LoE), and the L1-acquisition context - i.e. has the home language been acquired in a minority (Germany) or in a majority (Turkey, Palestine, Syria etc.) context - as well as the specific situation of refugees will be given special attention. On the basis of available results for younger children (BiLaD) and linguistically controlled assessment methods, the project aims at developing reliable criteria for the identification of SLI in multilingual school-age children. The investigation of Turkish and Arabic as home languages will enable us to obtain comparative, language dependent as well as independent, theoretical results and criteria for successful acquisition of a second language and the nature of SLI.


The effects of hearing impairment on grammatical processing and comprehension and its neurological underpinnings (Hearing4all)

Dr. Margreet Vogelzang

My research focusses on language processing and cognitive (neuro)linguistics. It is well known in cognitive-linguistic research that some sentences are more effortful to process for listeners than others. It is unknown, however, whether and to which extent cognitive capacities and cognitive control play a role in the processing of complex sentences. My research investigates the comprehension and processing of different grammatical structures. To this end, I am running psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic experiments using several different methods (fMRI, eye-tracking, self-paced reading, questionnaires), languages, and skills (reading, listening). My main experimental research at the moment examines language processing and its neurological underpinnings by normal hearing and hearing impaired elderly adults in German. This research is carried out within the cluster of excellence Hearing4all, in close cooperation with the labs of Biological Psychology and Applied Neurocognitive Psychology.

My research interests include, but are not limited to, psycholinguistics, language processing, semantics, pragmatics, cognitive science, (cognitive) neuroscience, cognitive modeling, language acquisition, aging, pronoun processing, cross-linguistic comparisons, and individual differences.


(Changed: 2021-02-11)