Tobias Ungerer

PhD Linguistics & English Language

  • Linguistics and English Language
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Dugald Stewart Building

3 Charles Street, Edinburgh
Post code


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

           Project 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)

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

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

2015 BA British Studies, Leipzig University

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

(2019 Staatsexamen for teaching English and German at secondary schools, with dist., Leipzig University)

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:

  • Linguistic, psychological and computational approaches to studying grammatical representation and processing
  • Models of the grammatical network: constructional competition, relations between constructions ('vertical' and 'horitzontal'; inheritance/taxonomy; meronymy; metaphor)
  • Cognitive-constructionist theories of grammar: Construction Grammar, Word Grammar, etc.
  • Structural priming - conceptual and methodological questions (e.g. the (a)symmetry of priming effects; facilitatory vs. inhibitory priming)
  • Other types of priming (lexical, pragmatic) in communicative interaction

Publications (see also the Google Scholar link above on the upper right):

Ungerer, Tobias. accepted. Using structural priming to test links between constructions: English caused-motion and resultative sentences inhibit each other. Cognitive Linguistics.

Ungerer, Tobias. forthcoming. Review of "Nodes and networks in Diachronic Construction Grammar", ed. by Lotte Sommerer and Elena Smirnova. Journal of Historical Linguistics.

Ungerer, Tobias, and Stefan Hartmann. 2020. Delineating extravagance: Assessing speakers’ perceptions of imaginative constructional patterns. Belgian Journal of Linguistics 34. 352-364.

Project activity

For my publications, see the section "Research", and the Google Scholar link above on the upper right.

Feb-April 2020: Visiting student research collaborator (VSRC) at Prof Adele Goldberg's lab in the Department of Psychology, Princeton University

Current projects on:

  • Refining the concept of 'snowclones': A corpus-based approach to the productivity of extravagant formulaic patterns (with Stefan Hartmann, Düsseldorf)
  • Communicative alignment in German speakers' use of Anglicisms (with Alex Lorson, Edinburgh)

Conference details

Upcoming talks:

Hartmann, Stefan & Tobias Ungerer (2021, 18-20 Aug): The mother of all constructions: A corpus-based approach to the productivity of ‘snowclones’. 11th International Conference on Construction Grammar (ICCG). Antwerp, Belgium.

Tobias Ungerer (2021, 29 Sept - 2 Oct): Constructional families in the laboratory – A plea for novel experimental approaches to the study of constructional relations. 9th International Conference of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association (GCLA). Erfurt, Germany.

Papers delivered

Ungerer, Tobias (2021, 10 Feb): Structural priming meets Construction Grammar: Using priming to explore networks of constructions. Psycholinguistics Coffee (research seminar). Edinburgh.

Ungerer, Tobias & Stefan Hartmann (2020, 25-27 Nov): Why pink is the new black and data scientists are the new rock stars: Corpus approaches to the productivity of “snowclones”. 8th International Conference Grammar & Corpora (GaC). Kraków, Poland (virtual conference).

Ungerer, Tobias & Alex Lorson (2020, 26 Aug-1 Sept): ‘Du sprichst English? So do I’: How German speakers align in their use of Anglicisms. 53rd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE). Virtual conference.

Ungerer, Tobias & Stefan Hartmann (2020, 27-29 July): Attack of the snowclones. A corpus-based analysis of extravagant formulaic patterns. UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference 2020 (UKCLC). Birmingham, UK (virtual conference).

Ungerer, Tobias (2019, 21-24 Aug): Using structural priming to test links between constructions: Priming between caused-motion and resultatives sentences. 52nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE). Leipzig, Germany.

Ungerer, Tobias (2019, 6-11 Aug): Using structural priming to test links between constructions: Priming between caused-motion and resultatives sentences. 15th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (ICLC). Nishinomiya, Japan.

Ungerer, Tobias (2019): The concept of ‘inheritance’ in grammatical theory – What is it and which questions does it raise? 25th Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference (LELPGC). Edinburgh, UK. 4-7 June.