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Evelien Keizer is professor of English Theoretical Linguistics (“Variation and Cognition”) at the University of Vienna. She obtained her PhD in English Linguistics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with a dissertation entitled Refe­rence, predication and (in)definiteness in Functional Grammar (1992), written within the framework of Simon Dik’s Functional Grammar (FG). Since then she has written extensively on the noun phrase, resulting in the publication of a monograph on the structural, cognitive and communicative aspects of the English noun phrase (The English noun phrase: the nature of linguistic categorization, 2007, Cambridge University Press). Other areas of interest include topicality and focality, word order phenomena, apposition, possessive constructions, pronouns, prepositions and verb-preposition constructions and, more generally, linguistic categorization and the role of gradience in linguistic theory. Most of her research is carried out within the framework of Functional Discourse Grammar (Hengeveld & Mackenzie 2008), the recently developed successor to FG, a model which, due to its top-down and comprehensive nature, is well-suited to studying the interaction between the different subcomponents of grammar – pragmatics, semantics, morphosyntax and phonology – as well as the role of cognition and context in the formulation of linguistic utterances. However, despite a career-long commitment to functionalism, she is also interested in other theoretical models and approaches (functional, cognitive and generative) and in particular in how insights from these various approaches may supplement each other. Her current research centres on syntactic variation, trying to account for the choice between two syntactic alternants (e.g. prenominal vs. postnominal possessive, active vs. passive) by means of a principled and reliable multi-factor approach. Here, as in all her work, research is based on an in-depth qualitative analysis of a large variety of authentic examples in their original context.

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Gunther Kaltenböck is Senior Lecturer (‘Senior Scientist’) at the English Department of the University of Vienna. He studied English and French philology in Vienna and London and holds an MA in Modern English Language from the University of London and a PhD in English linguistics from the University of Vienna. His main research interests are cognitive-functional grammar, syntactic variation, corpus linguistics, phonetics and pragmatics. He is particularly interested in the question of choice between syntactic alternants and how it can be accounted for, information structure and information packaging constructions, recent grammatical developments and, more generally, the relationship between linguistic structure and usage, and the interaction between syntactic structures and co(n)text in the construction of meaning. His publications have focussed, for instance, on the alternation between it-extraposition and non-extraposition, that-complementizer and zero complementizer, the meaning of anticipatory/prop it, and the classification and evolution of (paren)theticals, with a particular emphasis on comment clauses, their functions, prosodic and structural realisation, and recent development. Other interests include language teaching, especially the teaching of grammar and pronunciation. He is currently finishing his post-doctoral thesis (habilitation) on grammar and co(n)text.

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Lotte Sommerer is a postdoctoral researcher in the field of English linguistics. She studied English and German at the University of Vienna and completed her MA in 2005. From February 2006 to April 2013, Lotte Sommerer was working as a pre-doc at the English department in the field of English historical linguistics. In 2011, she defended her PhD thesis (supervisors Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Ritt/Prof. Dr. Olga Fischer) on nominal determination and category emergence in Old English. Since September 2016, Lotte Sommerer has returned to the University of Vienna as a post-doc researcher. She is currently a member of the FunCog research team and works on morphosyntactic variation and change in contemporary English syntax. She subscribes to a  functional, non-nativist, usage-based theory of morphosyntax that does full justice to cognitive processing constraints, takes account of variation and gives equal weight to form and function. In her work she attempts to factor in general cognitive and processing constraints, the frequency of linguistic surface forms and constructional similarity/relatedness (in form or function) in order to explain the shape of and changes in a linguistic system. She is especially interested in theoretical models of grammar, the Lexicon-Grammar Interface, Nominal Determination, Phrasal Structures, Form - Function Mapping, Gradience, Grammaticalization & Constructionalization. Moreover, she is also interested in Typology, Cognitive Linguistics, Language Acquisition and the Evolution of Language. 

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Former Team Members

Arne Lohmann
Barbara Soukup

Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik /
Department of English
Universität Wien
Campus d. Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4/Hof 8.3
1090 Wien

T: +43-1-4277-424 01
F: +43-1-4277-9424
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