Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


I am a W1-Professor for Empirical English Linguistics (EEL) at the Department of English and American Studies of the HU Berlin.


Academic background:

I studied English (with a focus on English Linguistics and American Studies), General Linguistics and French in Nanjing and Göttingen, and completed my Ph.D. in English Linguistics in Göttingen. During my Ph.D., I worked as a researcher (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at the University of Tübingen and the University of Göttingen. In the summer term of 2012, I functioned as a substitute Professor for Syntax at the English Department of the University of Göttingen. From 2013-2019, I held a lecturer (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) and then a senior lecturer (Akademische Rätin auf Zeit) position in linguistics at the Institute of Cognitive Science of Osnabrück University. In addition, I was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago from 12.2017-04.2018, and at the University of Amsterdam from 02.-04.2023. Göttingen trained me in English and general linguistics, Tübingen introduced me to experimental linguistics, and Osnabrück taught me how to conduct interdisciplinary research on linguistics and the other subfields of cognitive science — this unique career path has a formative effect on my scientific perspectives and skills.


Research areas, topics and methods:

Broadly speaking, my research lies at the interface of lexicon/syntax/semantics/pragmatics, and their bearing on questions in language processing, acquisition and use. More specifically, I have worked on issues including structural dependencies (polarity sensitivity, obligatory relative clauses), logical vs. non-at-issue/social meanings (negation, modality, adverbs, conditionals), as well as doubling phenomena (negative concord, modal concord) and register with a focus on varieties of English, German and Chinese. Whereas I started out as a theoretical linguist, I currently use a mixture of cross-, theoretical-, socio- and psycholinguistic methods, aiming to combine existing insights with new thematic developments and methodological advances.



2024-: Board member, SFB1412 Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of Situational-Functional Variation

2024-: Member of the KLS (Kommission für Lehre und Studium), Department of English and American Studies, HU Berlin

2021-2024: Chair of the Ethics Committee, Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities Faculty of Language, HU Berlin

2022: Chair of the program committee, DGfS2023 (the 45. annual meeting of the German Linguistic Society), University of Cologne

2019-2022: Member of the committee for research data management, Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities, HU Berlin

2017-2020: Member of the Steering Committee for the DFG-priority program SPP1727