Rahel Oppliger

Rahel Oppliger, Dr.

Teaching and Research Assistant

Phone: +41 44 634 39 37


Rahel Oppliger is a research and teaching assistant in English linguistics at the chair of Prof. Dr. Marianne Hundt.

She holds a BA in English Literature and Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and General Linguistics from the University of Zurich, during which she spent a year at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ studying English Literature and Linguistics. She holds an MA in Language and Linguistics from Lancaster University, UK.

In October 2021, she completed her PhD project, Interaction and Language Change: Noun Phrase Referring Expressions in Spoken Task-Based Dialogue, supervised by Prof. Dr. Marianne Hundt (English department, UZH) and co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Martin Pickering (Psychology department, University of Edinburgh). Her research focused on noun phrases in interactive, spoken English, which she investigates using psycholinguistic experimental methods.

Currently, she is working on expanding her research on interactive perspectives on language processing and use to further registers of spoken language.

Her research interests include grammar and interaction, interactional sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, construction grammar, psycholinguistics and critical discourse analysis.


HS16 – FS22

Introduction to English Linguistics, Parts I and II (2-semester seminar)

FS17 – HS21

Individual sessions in the lecture “Introduction to Linguistics”

  • Syntax I: From words to phrases (HS17, HS18, HS19, HS20, HS21)
  • Syntax II: Clauses (HS17, HS20, HS21)
  • Syntax III: Theories (HS17, HS18)
  • Syntax IV: Applications (FS20)
  • Semantics II: Meaning relations (HS18, FS20)
  • Language and the Brain (FS17, FS19)
  • Linguistic Research: Data Analysis (HS19)
  • Cognitive Linguistics (FS20)
FS22 Lecture: English for Teachers (Université de Neuchâtel)
FS22 Bachelor Thesis (Linguistics) Colloquium
HS21 Dialogue: Let's talk about it (BA seminar)
FS21 The Psychology of Language (BA seminar)
HS19 The Noun Phrase: Structure, Reference, Discourse (BA seminar)
FS18 Cognitive Linguistics (BA seminar / BA thesis seminar)


Forthcoming. “Fan Fiction in the Digital Age: Literary and Social Practices”. With Johanna Vogelsanger and Olivia Tjon-A-Meeuw. Variations 27.

2022. “Post-head complexity in English noun phrase referring expressions: Structural change in interactive communication”. In Evelien Keizer and Lotte Sommerer, eds. English Noun Phrases from a Functional-Cognitive Perspective: Current Issues. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 108–133. https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.221.03opp

2022. "(The) fact is … /(Die) Tatsache ist …: Focaliser constructions in English and German are similar but subject to different constraints". With Marianne Hundt. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics. Online first: https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.17073.hun

2021. “Review of Simplicity and Typological Effects in the Emergence of New Englishes: The Noun Phrase in Singaporean and Kenyan English (2017) by Thomas Brunner”. English World-Wide 41.2: 227-231. https://doi.org/10.1075/eww.00067.bru

2020. "Review of Mind Style and Cognitive Grammar: Language and Worldview in Speculative Fiction (2018) by Louise Nuttall". Fantastika Journal 4: 181-184.

2018. “Whatever the specific circumstances, …: A Construction Grammar perspective of wh-ever clauses in English”. In Elena Seoane, Carlos Acuña-Fariña, and Ignacio Palacios Martínez, eds. Subordination in English: Diachronic and Synchronic Perspectives. Berlin: De Gruyter, 263–284. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110583571-012

2016. “Automatic authorship attribution based on character n-grams in Swiss German”. In Stefanie Dipper, Friedrich Neubarth, and Heike Zinsmeister, eds. Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Natural Language Processing (KONVENS). Bochum: Bochumer Linguistische Arbeitsberichte, 177–185.

2016. “Part-Of-Speech in Historical Corpora: Tagger Evaluation and Ensemble Systems on ARCHER”. With Gerold Schneider and Marianne Hundt. In Stefanie Dipper, Friedrich Neubarth, and Heike Zinsmeister, eds. Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Natural Language Processing (KONVENS). Bochum: Bochumer Linguistische Arbeitsberichte, 256–264.

2016. “Variationist versus text-linguistic approaches to grammatical change in English: nominal modifiers of head nouns”. With Douglas Biber, Jesse Egbert, Bethany Gray, and Benedikt Szmrecsanyi. In Merja Kytö and Päivi Pahta, eds. Cambridge Handbook of English Historical Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 351–375. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139600231.022

Conferences and talks

2021. "Morphological markers of vagueness in spoken referential communication." ISLE 6, 2-5 June.

2021. "The effects of contact on grammar: Simplification in micro-level interaction and koinéization." SAUTE Conference 2021: Migrations and Contacts, 14-15 May.

2021. "What are the potential and limits of establishing complex dialogue routines in interactive communication?." Münster Conference Linguistic Representations and Language Processing, 25-27 March.

2020. "The Older One, the Taller One, the Blonde One: The Psycholinguistics of Descriptive Phrases in Fan Fiction Writing." Interdisciplinary Workshop on Fan Fiction, University of Zurich, 14-15 February.

2019. "Structural changes in noun phrase referring expressions in interactive communication." Workshop on the English Noun Phrase, University of Vienna, 11-13 July.

2019. "Diversity of head nouns in referential communication: Same-type vs. mixed-type sets of stimuli." TABU Dag, University of Groningen, 20-21 June.

2019. "Change in the structure of referring expressions over the course of an interaction." ICAME 40, University of Neuchâtel, 1-5 June.

2019. “Structural changes in NP referring expressions in interactive communication.” Cognitive Linguistics Research Group, The University of Edinburgh, 7 Feb.

2018. “The contribution of noun phrase modifiers to reference alignment.” AMPRA-4, SUNY at Albany, 1-3 Nov.

2018. “Englisch in Schweizerdeutschen Kurznachrichten.” Outreach program for Kantonsschule Im Lee, Winterthur.

2018. “Happy is up, sad is down: Metaphors and language experiments.” ES Alumni Colloquia 2018, English Seminar, University of Zurich.

2017. “Reference in audio descriptions of TV programmes.” Language and Perception, University of Bern, 7-9 Sept.

2017. “When words are/go missing: Accommodating communicative breakdowns in semiotics.” Paper presented at Communication & Cognition (ComCog): Miscommunication: Getting Lost in Language(s), University of Fribourg, 8-10 Feb.

2016. “Part-Of-Speech in Historical Corpora: Tagger Evaluation and Ensemble Systems on ARCHER.” With Gerold Schneider and Marianne Hundt. KONVENS, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 19-21 Sept.

2016. “Automatic authorship attribution based on character n-grams in Swiss German.” KONVENS, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 19-21 Sept.

2016. “(The) fact is ... /(Die) Tatsache ist ... – A comparative corpus-based study of variable article use in English and German focalisers.”  With Marianne Hundt. SLE, University of Naples Federico II, 31 Aug – 3 Sept.