Nadine Dietrich


2020 - present   PhD Linguistics and English Language (University of Edinburgh)

  • Project: Dynamics of semantic change in English future-time expressions

2018-2020           MA Linguistics (University of Cologne)

  • Thesis: Verb-semantic factors in the development of the English futurate progressive

2013 - 2016         BA English Studies and Media Studies (Ruhr-University Bochum)

  • Thesis: The development of do-support in Early and Late Modern English


Undergraduate teaching

Pre-honours tutoring

LEL2A: Linguistic Theory and the Structure of English (2021-2022)

LEL2C: English in Time and Space (2022)

Introduction to Cognitive Science (2022)

Current research interests

I'm interested in language change from a cognitive-linguistic perspective. I'm particularly interested in grammaticalization theory, semantic change and diachronic construction grammar. I'm currently working on the historical development of English future time expressions, specifically focusing on the emergence of innovations and (grammatical) onomasiological change. I'm also interested in the semantics of the future in general, how to model and empirically investigate diachronic competition and the mental representation of linguistic knowledge (especially questions such as "how far up to we abstract" and the monosemy/polysemy debate).

Past research interests

In my masters, I have focused particularly on the conceptualisation of modality and futurity. My master thesis investigated (verb) semantic factors in the development of the English futurate progressive, which involved the development of a semantic framework for futural meaning dimensions and argued that most futural expressions have modal flavours.


2021 Chair of Linguistics and English language postgraduate conference (LELPGC21), University of Edinburgh


Papers delivered


August 2022. "Back to be going to again:  Arguments for the seamlessness of semantic innovations." 25th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL), University of Oxford.

July 2022. "Explaining specialisation and cross-meaning competition: the case of ‘command’ and ‘epistemic’ WILL and MUST." Workshop on Variation, Contact and Modal constructions, University of Paris.


August 2021. "Tackling problems with polysemy and variation: Towards high-definition constructions." 11th International conference on Construction Grammar (ICCG), University of Antwerp.

July 2021. "The importance of constructional semantics in historical corpus analysis: Origins and semantic changes of the English futurate progressive." 11th International Corpus Linguistics Conference (CL), University of Limerick.

June 2021. "The seamlessness of grammaticalization." 6th Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), University of Eastern Finnland.