Prof. Dr. Remus Gergel

(c) Foto Furgler


Chair of English Linguistics


Tel.: +49-(0)681-302-3309
Email: remus.gergel(at)
Building A 5.3, room 2.10

Office hours during term time: Tuesday, 13-14. Please sign up with Sylvia Monzon.

Qualifications, recent positions:

  • Dissertation, University of Tübingen, 2005
  • Postdoc, University of Pennsylvania, 2006
  • Habilitation, University of Tübingen, 2010
  • Acting professor, University of Göttingen, 2010/11
  • Professor, University of Graz,  2012-2016
  • Professor, Saarland University, since 2016 


Areas of main interest, research specialization:

  • Syntax, semantics and their interface(s) (varieties, morphology, information structure etc.)
  • Language change - corpus linguistics and theoretical modeling of historical processes
  • Germanic, Romance and comparative linguistics
  • Comparative syntax & semantics



Papers and proceedings contributions

[C] = conference proceedings; [H] = handbook article; [J] = journal article; [R] = other type of reviewed article; [M] = manuscript/work in progress


Forthcoming/ selected recent work:

  • 44. [M] Gergel, R. & M. Kopf-Giammancoe (2018). 'Sich ausgehen': On modalizing go constructions in Austrian German. Submitted to Canadian Journal of Linguistics, Special issue on Semantic Change. 

  • 43. [C] Gergel, R. & S. Nickles (2018). Almost in Early and Late Modern English: Turning on the parametric screw (but not tightly enough to change a parameter). Submitted to Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2018.

  • 42. [C] Gergel, R., M. Kopf-Giammanco, & J. Masloh (2017) "Surprisal and Satisfaction: Towards an Information-theoretic Characterization of Presuppositions with a Diachronic Application". In  Proceedings of IWCS 2017 - 12th International Conference on Computational Semantics.

  • 41. [J] (2017) "Interface interactions in the English iterative cycle". In Linguistica Brunensia 65: 51-65  [Publication link: pdf]

  • 40. [R] (2017) "Dimensions of variation in Old English modals." In M.L. Rivero, A. Arregui, A. Salanova, (eds.), 179-207. Oxford University Press. [Prepublication draft: pdf]

  • 39. [R] Gergel, R. & D. Ferguson (to appear) "An expressive perfect in African American English." Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Syntax, Phonology and Language Analysis - SinFonIJA 6.

  • 38. [H] Axel-Tober, K. & R. Gergel (2016) "Modality and mood in formal syntactic approaches." The Oxford Handbook of Mood and Modality, J. Nuyts & J. van der Auwera (eds.). 473-494. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • 37. [R] (2016) "Modality and gradation: Comparing the sequel of developments in 'rather' and 'eher' ". In The linguistic Cycle Continued, ed. by Elly van Gelderen. 319-350. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. [Prepublication draft: pdf]

  • 36. [C] Gergel, R., A. Blümel & M. Kopf. (2016) "Another heavy road of decompositionality: notes from a dying adverb". Proceedings of PLC 39, 109-118, 2016. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Vol. 22.


Books and edited volumes

  • 35. Gergel, R. & J. Watkins. (forthc.) Quantification and Scales in Change. Volume based on papers presented at Formal Diachronic Semantics 2 to be published with Language Science Press.

  • 34. Gergel, R. & A. Blümel. (2015) Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Syntax, Phonology and Language Analysis - SinFonIJA VII. Grazer Linguistische Studien, Volume 83. Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz. Publisher

  • 33. Beck, S. & R. Gergel. (2014) Contrasting English and German Grammar: An Introduction to Syntax and Semantics. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Publisher

  • 32. (2009) Modality and Ellipsis: Diachronic and Synchronic Evidence. Series Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. [=Published & revised version of dissertation listed below] Publisher



Main qualification work

  • 31. (2010) "From Comparisons to Preferences: Investigations in Modeling Variation, Change, and Continuity at the Syntax-Semantics Interface." Cumulative Habilitationsschrift, University of Tübingen.

  • 30. (2005) "Modality and Ellipsis: Diachronic and Synchronic Evidence." Doctoral dissertation, University of Tübingen.


Earlier papers:

  • 29. [J] Beck, S. & R. Gergel (2015) "The diachronic semantics of English again." Natural Language Semantics 23: 157-203. [Publisher: html]

  • 28. [J] Gergel, R. & S. Beck (2015) "Early Modern English again - A corpus study and semantic analysis."English Language and Linguistics, 19: 27-47. [Publisher via FirstView 2014: html]

  • 27. Gergel, R. & A. Blümel (2015) "Introduction." Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Syntax, Phonology and Language Analysis - SinFonIJA VII.

  • 26. [R] (2014) "Most historically" Language Change at the Syntax-semantics Interface. C. Gianollo, A. Jäger, D. Penka (eds.) Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 101-123. [Publisher: html, prepublication draft: pdf]

  • 25. [C] Gergel, R. & P. Stateva (2014) "A decompositional analysis of almost: Bringing together diachronic and experimental comparative evidence." [Preproceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2014, 150-156: Univ. Tübingen.]

  • 24. [M] (2012) "On the diachronic trajectory of the adverb again: A corpus study at the interface with meaning." [Results on the basis of the mixed-genre Penn Helsinki York parsed corpora of English, paper submitted to A. Ecay et al. (eds.) for a volume on diachronic syntax with Oxford University Press.]

  • 23. [C] (2011) "Structure-sensitivity in actuality: notes from a class of preference expressions" University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 17.1. [Publisher with direct access to article: pdf]

  • 22. [R] (2010) "Towards notions of comparative continuity in English and French." In Continuity and Change in Grammar, Anne Breitbarth, Chris Lucas, Sheila Watts, David Willis, (eds). AmsterdamPhiladelphia: John Benjamins, 119-143. [Prepublication draft: pdf]

  • 21. [R] (2010) "On the realization of LF-binding in some degree dependencies." RLLT 2. Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory, Selected papers from Going Romance Groningen 2008, ed. by Reineke Bok-Bennema, Brigitte Kampers-Manhe & Bart Hollebrandse, 105-123. [Publisher: html]

  • 20. [J] (2010) "Motivating certain variation patterns in degree constructions: semantics meets grammaticalization." Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics. [Publisher with direct access to article: html]

  • 19. [J] Gergel, R. & C. Cunha. (2010) "Modalidade e Inferências do Mundo Real em Português Europeu." RASAL Linguística - Revista de la Sociedad Argentina de Linguística, 111-127. [Publisher: html]

  • 18. [J] Beck, S., S. Krasikova, D. Fleischer, R. Gergel, S. Hofstetter, C. Savelsberg, J. Vanderelst & E. Villalta. (2009) "Cross-linguistic variation in comparison constructions." The Linguistic Variation Yearbook 9: 1-66. [Prepublication draft: pdf]

  • 17. [R] (2009) "Rather - On a modal cycle". In Cyclical Change, Elly van Gelderen (ed.). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 88. 243-264. [Prepublication draft: pdf; publisher: html]

  • 16. [R] (2009) "The little DE of degree constructions." In Little Words: Their History, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics and Acquisition, Héctor Campos, Ronald Leow & Donna Lardiere (eds.). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. [Publisher: html]

  • 15. [R] (2009) "Comparatives and types of þonne in Old English: Towards an integrated analysis of the data types in comparative derivations" In The Fruits of Empirical Linguistics; Volume 2: Product, Susanne Winkler & Sam Featherston (eds.). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. [Publisher: html]

  • 14. [R] Gergel, R. & J. Hartmann (2009) "Experiencers with (un)willingness: A raising analysis of German wollen." In Advances in Comparative Germanic Syntax, Artemis Alexiadou, Jorge Hankamer, Justin Nugger, Thomas McFadden & Florian Schäfer (eds.). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 327-355. [Prepublication draft: pdf]

  • 13. [J] (2008) "Comparative inversion: A diachronic study." Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 11. [Prepublication draft: pdf]

  • 12. [C] (2008) "How comparatives invert: Toward a new syntax with some history." In Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, Charles Chang & Hannah Haynie (eds.), Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. [Paper at WCCFL 2007: Paper freely available via: Cascadilla Proceedings Project; superseded by the JCGL paper on comparative inversion above]

  • 11. [C] (2008) "Comparatives and inversion: A (necessarily) diachronic account." In Proceedings of the 31st Penn Linguistic Colloquium, U. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics, Joshua Tauberer, Aviad Eilam & Laurel MacKenzie (eds.), PWPL 14.1. [Paper at PLC 2007; Paper freely available via Scholarly Commons Repository; related to the WCCFL material and superseded by the JCGL paper above]

  • 10. [C] (2008) "Comparative conservatism, syntactic radicalism? What’s history got to do with it." Pre-Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 3, University of Tübingen.

  • 9. [R] (2007) Gergel, R., K. Gengel & S. Winkler. "Ellipsis and inversion: A feature-based focus account." In On Information Structure, Meaning and Form: Generalizations across Languages, Kerstin Schwabe & Susanne Winkler (eds.). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. [Publisher: html]

  • 8. [R] (2007) "Interpretable features in vP-ellipsis: On the licensing head." In ConSole 14, Sylvia Blaho, Luis Vicente, & Erik Schoorlemmer (eds.). ISSN: 1574-499X. Leiden University. [Publisher: html]

  • 7. [C] (2006) "Systematic silence on the rise: Diachronic developments in the licensing of vP ellipsis." Pre-Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2, Universität Tübingen.

  • 6. [J] (2004) "Short-distance reanalysis of English Modals: Evidence from ellipsis". Studia Linguistica 58.

  • 5. [C] Dvorak, B. & Gergel, R. (2004) "Slovenian clitics: VP ellipsis in yes/no questions and beyond." In Ileana Comorovski & Manfred Krifka (eds.) Proceedings of the Workshop on the Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics of Questions, ESSLLI 16.

  • 4. [C] Dvorak, B. & Gergel, R. (2004) "Ga-ga ellipsis: Why Slovenian clitics sometimes get stressed." Pre-Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 1, University of Tübingen.

  • 3. [J] (2003) "Modal syntax: Detecting its parameters with VP-ellipsis." SKY Journal of Linguistics 16.

  • 2. (2002) "From simple predicators to clausal functors. The English modals through time and the primitives of modality." In Klaus von Heusinger and Kerstin Schwabe (eds.), Sentence Type and Specificity, ZASPIL 24.


  • 1. (2003) Review of Bas Aarts: English Syntax and Argumentation. 2nd ed. Basingstoke/Hampshire/New York: Palgrave, 2001. Linguistics 41.


Selected unpublished work

  • (2008) "Meaning change and structure-sensitivity." [02/2008, 22p.].

  • (2008) "Topicalization, Doubling, and a Little More on Adjectives." Paper presented at the 30th Annual Convention of the German Society of Linguistics (DGfS), Panel on Topicality. Universität Bamberg. [HO, 02/2008, 8p.]

  • Dvorak, B. & R. Gergel (2006) "Clitic-licensed ellipsis in Slovenian: Diagnostics of a construction" Ms., ZAS Berlin & Universität Tübingen [07/2006, 35p.]

  • (2005)"Ellipsis and Parallelism Strategies in English: A Diachronic Perspective." [10/2005, 7p.]



(Co-)supervised theses since 2017

In progress

Kopf-Giammanco, Martin: Degree Constructions and Language Change (first supervisor) (PhD thesis)

Lomnicki, Maik: Phonological and morphological aspects of borrowing English words with a focus on Polish speakers (first supervisor) (MA thesis)

Manno, Selina: Phonology-based Humor in the Sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Watkins, Jonathan: Presupposition and Information Density (first supervisor) (PhD thesis)

Wilhelm, Stefanie: Corporate online identity - a multimodal discourse analysis of corporate websites & corporate social media profiles on Linkedin (second supervisor) (MA thesis)


Bard, Julia: Motivational and instructional factors in L2 English phonetics (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Fisch, Helen: ELF in the classroom - An applied study of English as a lingua franca communication strategies and their use in English language teaching (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Hippert, Tobias: A corpus-based investigation of clefts in English (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Künzer, Alica: Spokenness on Twitter (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Müller, Lisa: A corpus-based investigation of clefts in American English (first supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)

Vollmar, Laura: "J'bakerai un cake": A structural analysis of English-based lexems in Chiac (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)


Fohmann, Lisa: Performing identity through humor on 9GAG (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Giebel, Drees: A Discourse Analysis of Video Games (second supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)

Heilmann, Selina: The Creation of Humour and the Role of Conversational Maxims in the TV-series 'Modern Family' (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Kage, Lisa: A corpus-based study of lexical innovations in 'How I Met Your Mother' (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Kefala, Katerina: The pragmatics of fashion advertising (first supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)

Künzer, Alica: Spokenness on Twitter (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Müller, Theresa: The discourse of emotion in American television: A case study (second supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)

Neumann, Dana: Conceptual Metaphors: Theoretical and Empirical Considerations (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Parlagaschwili, Nini: Aspects of meaning in autistic language. An investigation of the Netflix sho 'Atypical' (first supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)

Puhl, Maike: A comparison of inversion structures in English (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Quint, Marius: Issues in Second Language Acquisition with Regard to Intonation (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Rausch, Tamara: Sociolinguistics and issues of intergenerational language transmission in the area of sound change (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Rück, Rebecca: Controversial Topics in English Morphology (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Weiland, Isabelle:Expert identity in YouTube Tutorials - a corpus-based discourse study (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)



Amann, Natalia: Theoretical and contrastive studies on tense and aspect (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Caputo, Elisa: Cultural attitudes and adaptation of advertising on You Tube - A corpus-based linguistic analysis of American and French advertisments (second supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)

Cetinbas, Anna: Tense and Aspect in Standard American English Compared to African American English (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Fischer, Caroline: 'Do you even blog?' Glogs in the EFL classroom (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Grabowski, Sissy: How fitness bloggers present their lifestyle - a corpus-based study of web discourse (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Groß, Kerstin: Individual variation on Twitter: A corpus-based study of naturalistic data (second supervisor) (Master thesis)

Günther, Caroline: Discourse Strategies on Facebook (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Heel, Heike: Politeness and Indirectness: A contrastive Approach (first supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)

Jung, Anika: She'd hammer me and I'd thank her' - (Im)Politeness in the TV series Gilmore Girls (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Kage, Lisa: A corpus-based study of lexical innovations in 'How I Met your Mother' (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Kovaleva, Inna: An Evaluation of Transcription Variations: Accuracy and Degree of Interpretation in CASE (second supervisor) (Master thesis)

Kummer, Nico: Overlaps in ELF conversations (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Neu, Melanie: Slogans: Explicit and implicit meaning (first supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)

Nickles, Sarah: Decomposition and approximation: a diachronic approach (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Nusair, Reem: How English pronunciation is taught in EFL textbooks in Arabid countries. A comparison between public and private schools in Jordan. (first supervisor) (Master thesis)

Nußbaumer, Lisa: The Representation of Negation: Theoretical, Contrastive and Variationist Considerations (first supervisor) (Master thesis, Graz University)

Renner, Julia: Characteristsic Features of Facebook Communication (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Schäfer, Sascha: An Empirical Approach to the Relevance of Intonation to Negotiating Givenness (first supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Seifener, Andreas: The implementation of video games in the EFL classroom (second supervisor) (Staatsexamen thesis)

Stöhr, Nicole: Compounding in English: A Diachronic and Synchronic Comparison (first supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)

Wilhelm, Stefanie: A pragmatic and multimodal analysis of safety instruction videos: a comparison between New Zealand & American English (first supervisor) (Bachelor thesis)



Quick links


Prof. Dr. Remus Gergel

Professor of English Linguistics


Sylvia Monzon

Secreterial assistant


Martin Kopf-Giammanco

Lecturer, Research assistant


Jonathan Watkins

Lecturer, Research assistant


Student assistants


Also in the field of linguistics


Former faculty