Tobias Ungerer

PhD Linguistics & English Language


I'm a final-year PhD student working on theoretical and experimental approaches to speakers' grammatical network. In my PhD, I investigate how psycholinguistic evidence from structural priming can inform cognitive-linguistic models of the grammatical network (for example, as proposed in Construction Grammar). 

For more details, please visit my personal website (URL at the top of the page)


2018 - present: PhD Linguistics and English Language, The University of Edinburgh

           Working title: Structural priming in the grammatical network – A study of English argument structure constructions 

           (Supervised by Prof Graeme Trousdale, Prof Nikolas Gisborne, Dr Chris Cummins)

           Feb-March 2020: research visit to Prof Adele Goldberg's lab at Princeton University

2018 MSc Linguistics (Dist.), The University of Edinburgh

           MSc dissertation: Priming as evidence of links between constructions: A study of aspects of the English resultative network (Supervised by Prof Graeme Trousdale)

2015 & 2019 Staatsexamen for teaching English and German at secondary schools (Dist.) and BA British Studies, Leipzig University

           BA dissertation: Mediopassives in English – A cognitive empirical approach (Supervised by Prof Doris Schönefeld)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Member of the organising committee for "Linguistic Circle" at Edinburgh


Member of the organising committee for the "Cognitive Linguistics Research Group" (CLRG) at Edinburgh


Undergraduate teaching

2020-21 tutoring:

  • Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • Pragmatics
  • LEL2D (Cross-linguistic Variation: Limits and Theories)

2019-20 tutoring:

  • Introduction to Cognitive Science

2018-19 tutoring:

  • Linguistics and English Language 1A

  • Linguistics and English Language 1B

  • Lexical Semantics (Honours)

Postgraduate teaching

2018-19 tutoring:

  • Lexical Semantics (MSc)

Research summary

Research focus: Using structural priming to study the structure of speakers' grammatical networks (focusing on relations between English argument structure constructions)

Research interests:

  • Grammatical representation and processing: linguistic, psychological and computational approaches
  • Cognitive-linguistic models of the grammatical network (in Construction Grammar, Cognitive Grammar, Word Grammar, etc.)
  • Network relations between constructions (inheritance; 'vertical' and 'horitzontal' links; meronymy; metaphor)
  • Structural priming and other types of priming (lexical, pragmatic) in communicative interaction
  • Linguistic 'extravagance' in synchrony and diachrony (e.g. in partially filled constructions such as 'snowclones')


See my personal website (URL at the top of the page under my email address)

Or my Google scholar (URL at the top right of the page)

Project activity

*For my publications, please see my personal website or my Google Scholar (URLs at the top of the page)*

Current projects:

  • Refining the concept of 'snowclones': A corpus-based approach to the productivity of extravagant formulaic patterns (with Stefan Hartmann, University of Düsseldorf)
  • Reconsidering the role of extravagance in grammaticalisation (with Stefan Hartmann, University of Düsseldorf, and Jakob Neels, University of Leipzig)
  • Communicative alignment in German speakers' use of Anglicisms (with Alex Lorson, University of Edinburgh)

Conference details

*For upcoming and past talks, see my personal website (URL at the top of the page)*