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English Department

Gunnel Tottie

Gunnel Tottie, Prof. Dr. em.

  • Em. Professorin für Englische Sprachwissenschaft

Portrait & Research Interests

Gunnel Tottie got her Ph. D. at Stockholm University in 1971. She taught at the Universities of Stockholm, Lund, and Uppsala before taking up a position at the University of Zürich in 1991. She retired on Sept. 1, 2002 but continues to do research and consulting. Her major interests are syntax and pragmatics, and she is currently working on pragmatic markers and lexicogrammar. Gunnel Tottie's theoretical framework is variationist, and she is a committed empirical linguist, working mostly with computerized corpora. She is a member of the editorial board of Language Variation and Change.

Selected Publications since 1991



  • An Introduction to American English. Oxford and Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.


  • Ed., with Andreas Fischer and Hans-Martin Lehmann eds. Text Types and Corpora. Studies in Honour of Udo Fries. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.


  • Ed., with Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade and Wim van der Wurff. Negation in the History of English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


  • Ed., with Udo Fries and Peter Schneider. Creating and Using English Language Corpora. Amsterdam: Rodopi.


  • Negation in English Speech and Writing. San Diego, New York, London: Academic Press.




  • “Not-negation revisited: variation between a and any in verb complements in contemporary spoken American English.” English Language and Linguistics 25: 513–535. DOI:


  • “From pause to word: uh, um and er in written American English. English Language and Linguistics 23: 105–130. DOI:10.1017/S1360674317000314.


  • Planning what to say. "Uh and um among the pragmatic markers" In Outside the Clause, eds. Gunther Kaltenböck, Arne Lohmann and  Evelien Keizer, 97–120. Amsterdam: Benjamins.


  • “Turn management and ‘filled pauses,’ uh and um.” In Corpus Pragmatics. A Handbook, eds. Karin Aijmer and Christoph Rühlemann, 448–483. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Uh and um in British and American English: Are they words? Evidence from co-occurrence with pauses.” In Linguistic Variation: Confronting Fact and Theory, eds. Nathalie Dion, André Lapierre and Rena Torres Cacoullos, 38–54. New York: Routledge.
  • With Christine Johansson. “Here is an Old Mastiffe Bitch Ø Stands Barking at Mee: Zero subject relativizers in Early Modern English (t)here-constructions.” In From Clerks to Corpora: Essays in Honour of Nils-Lennart Johannesson, eds. Britt Erman, Gunnel Melchers, Philip Shaw and Peter Sundkvist, 135–153. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press.


  • “On the use of uh and um in American English.” Functions of Language 21:6–29.


  • “On the history of try with verbal complements.” In: Words, Words, Words: Philology and Beyond, edited by Thomas Honegger and Sarah  Chevalier. Tübingen: Francke . 199–214.


  • Uh and um as sociolinguistic markers in British English.” The International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 16:173–196. Reprinted 2013 in Errors and Disfluencies in Spoken Corpora, eds. Gaëtanelle Gilquin and Sylvie De Cock. Amsterdam: Benjamins.


  • With Anja Neukom-Hermann. “Quantifier-negation interaction in English: A corpus linguistic study of all...not constructions.” In The Expression of Negation, ed. Laurence R. Horn, 149–185. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


  • With Sebastian Hoffmann. “Tag questions in English: The first century.” The Journal of English Linguistics 37:130–161.
  • “How different are British and American English? And how are they different?” In One Language, Two Grammars? Differences between British and American English, eds. Günter Rohdenburg and Julia Schlüter, 339–360. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


  • With Charlotte Hommerberg. “Try to or try and?” In ICAME Journal 31:43 - 62.


  • With Sebastian Hoffmann. “Tag questions in British and American English.” In: The Journal of English Linguistics 34:283-311.


  • “On substituting with for for with substitute (and some other prepositions as well).” In Contexts - Historical, Social, Linguistic, eds. Kevin McCafferty, Tove Bull and Kristin Killie, 203–223. Bern etc.: Peter Lang.
  • “Om att (öv)ersätta ersätta med substitute.” In Text i arbete/Text at work. Festskrift till Britt-Louise Gunnarsson den 12 januari 2005/ Essays in honour of Britt-Louise Gunnarsson January 12, 2005., eds. Ingegerd Bäcklund, Ulla Börestam, Ulla Melander Marttala and Harry Näslund, 233–241. Uppsala: Institutionen för nordiska språk and ASLA (Association suédoise de linguistique appliquée).


  • “Tall as he was or As tall as he was? Concessive Constructions in American English.” In: Text Types and Corpora. Studies in Honour of Udo Fries. ed. by Andreas Fischer, Gunnel Tottie, and Hans Martin Lehmann. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.
  • With Hans Martin Lehmann. “As and Other Relativizers after same in Present-day Standard English.” In: From the COLT's Mouth, and Other Places. Studies in Honour of Anna-Brita Stenström, ed. by Leiv Egil Breivik and Angela Hasselgren. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 231-245.


  • “Tall As He Was: On the Meaning of Complement-As-Constructions.” In: Words: Structure, Meaning, Function, ed. by Christiane Dalton-Puffer, Arthur Mettinger, and Nikolaus Ritt. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 307–321.
  • With Sebastian Hoffmann. “Based on: From Dangling Participle to Complex Preposition.” In: A Wealth of English, ed. by Karin Aijmer. Gothenburg Studies in English 81, 1–12.
  • With Sebastian Hoffmann and Hans-Martin Lehmann. “The Student as Corpus Linguist.” In Corpora in the Description and Teaching of English. Papers from the 5th Esse Conference, ed. Guy Aston, 118–132. Bologna: Cooperativa Libraria Universitarie Editrice - CLUEB.


  • "Affixal and Non-affixal Negation-a Case of Stable Variation over Time?" In: Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Gunnel Tottie, and Wim van der Wurff (ed.). Negation in the History of English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 233-265.
  • With Hans Martin Lehmann. "The Realization of Relative Adverbials in Present-Day British English." In: Hilde Hasselgård and Signe Oksefjell (ed.). Out of Corpora: Studies in Honour of Stig Johansson. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 137-157.
  • With Dawn Harvie. "It's All Relative: Relativization Strategies in Early African American English." In: Shana Poplack (ed.). The English History of African American English. Oxford: Blackwell, 198-230.


  • "Relatively Speaking. Relative Marker Usage in the British National Corpus." In: Terttu Nevalainen and Leena Kahlas-Tarkka (ed.). To Explain the Present: Studies in the Changing English Language in Honour of Matti Rissanen. Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki. 52. Helsinki: Société Néophilologique, 465-481.
  • "Overseas Relatives." In: Jan Aarts and Herman Wekker (ed.). Studies in English Language Research and Teaching. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 153-165.
  • With Michel Rey. "Relativization Strategies in Earlier African American Vernacular English." Language Variation and Change 9: 219-247.


  • "Any as an Indefinite Determiner in Non-assertive Clauses: Evidence from Present-day and Early Modern English." In: Dieter Kastovsky (ed.). Studies in Early Modern English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 413-427.


  • "Lexical Diffusion in Syntactic Change: Frequency as a Determinant in the Development of Negation in English." In: Dieter Kastovsky (ed.). Historical English Syntax. Berlin: Mouton/de Gruyter, 439-467.
  • "Conversational Style in British and American English: The Case of Backchannels." In: Karin Aijmer and Bengt Altenberg (ed.). English Corpus Linguistics. London: Longman, 254-271.



  • Review of Paul Baker,  American and British English: Divided by a common language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. English Language and Linguistics  24: 1–6. doi:10.1017/S1360674318000278


  • Review of Hasselgård, Hilde. 2010. Adjunct Adverbials in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ICAME Journal 2011 Vol. 35 Pages 237–241.


  • Review of Schneider, Klaus P., and Barron, Anne (eds.) 2008. Variational Pragmatics. A focus on regional varieties in pluricentric languages. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Language in Society.Vol. 38 Issue 4 Pages 520–525


  • Review of Gabriella Mazzon, A History of English Negation. London: Pearson Longman, 2004. English Language and Linguistics 10:195–200.


  • Review of John Algeo (ed.) The Cambridge History of the English Language. Vol. 6. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 103:383–390.


  • Review of Raumolin-Brunberg, Helena, Minna Nevala, Arja Nurmi, and Matti Rissanen, ed. 2002. Variation Past and Present. 61. Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki. Helsinki: Société Néophilologique de Helsinki. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 102:367-371.