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Dr. Lotte Sommerer

Dr. Lotte Sommerer

☎ +49 761 203-3321

R 4222 | KG IV



Lotte Sommerer is a postdoctoral researcher in the field of English linguistics. After studying English and German at the University of Vienna and Toronto, she defended her PhD thesis on nominal determination and article emergence in Old English in 2011 at the University of Vienna. After holding a ph2 Professorship at the Kirchlich-Pädagogische Hochschule Wien/Krems from 2013 to 2016, she returned to the University of Vienna and was a member of the English Department from 2016 to 2021. Since March 2021 she has been working at the English Department of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität of Freiburg.

Lotte Sommerer is a historical, functional-cognitive linguist who works on morphosyntactic variation and change in contemporary English, Middle English and Old English. She subscribes to a usage-based, constructional theory of morphosyntax that does full justice to functional and cognitive constraints, takes account of variation and gives equal weight to form and function in order to explain the shape of and changes in a linguistic system.


  • Usage-based, Cognitive Construction Grammar (UCCxG)
  • Cognitive Linguistics
  • Grammaticalization, Constructionalization & Subjectification
  • Lexicon-Grammar Interface
  • Linguistic Gradience & Categorization
  • Noun Phrase Structure
  • Old English, Early Modern English




Dr.phil (PhD)
English Language and Linguistics | University of Vienna
PhD thesis: Old English se: from demonstrative to article.
A usage-based study of nominal determination and category emergence


Mag.phil (MA)
English Language and Linguistics | University of Vienna
MA thesis: Learnability of Syntax ‒ An Evolutionary Approach

2003 – 2004       

Joint Study
University of Toronto

1999 – 2005 English and German Studies
University of Vienna



Since 03.2021

Post-doc (Akademische Rätin a.Z.)
English Department | University of Freiburg

2016 – 2021       

Post-doc (Universitätsassistentin)
Department of English | University of Vienna

2008 – 2016 

Lecturer & ph2 Professor (from 04.2013, full time)
University College of Teacher Education Vienna/Krems

2009 – 2013
2007 – 2008
Pre-doc (Universitätsassistentin in Ausbildung)
Department of English | University of Vienna



  • Sommerer, Lotte & Baumann, Andreas. (2021, aop). 'Of absent mothers, strong sisters and peculiar daughters: the constructional network of English NPN constructions'. Cognitive Linguistics.
  • Sommerer, Lotte. (2021, to appear). 'Day to day and night after night: temporal NPN constructions in English'. In Sommerer, L. & Keizer, E. (eds.). English Noun Phrases from a Functional-Cognitive Perspective: Current Issues. [Studies in Language Companion Series]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Sommerer, Lotte & Hofmann, Klaus. (2021). 'Constructional competition and network reconfiguration: investigating sum(e) in Old, Middle and Early Modern English'. English Language and Linguistics, 25(1), 1-33.
  • Smirnova, Elena & Sommerer, Lotte. (2020). 'The nature of the node and the network: open questions in Diachronic Construction Grammar'. In Sommerer, L. & Smirnova, E. (eds.). Nodes and Networks in Diachronic Construction Grammar. [CAL, Vol. 27]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1-42.
  • Sommerer, Lotte. (2020). 'Constructionalization, constructional competition and constructional death: investigating the demise of Old English POSS DEM constructions'. In Sommerer, L. & Smirnova, E. (eds.). Nodes and Networks in Diachronic Construction Grammar. [CAL, Vol. 27]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 69-103.
  • Sommerer, Lotte. (2018). Article Emergence in Old English. A Constructionalist Perspective. [TIEL series, Vol. 99]. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Sommerer, Lotte. (2015). 'The influence of constructions in grammaticalization: revisiting category emergence and the development of the definite article in English'. In Barðdal, J.; Smirnova, E.; Sommerer, L. & Gildea, S. (eds.). Diachronic Construction Grammar. [CAL, Vol. 18]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 107-138.