Contact Details

English Department
University of Hamburg
Von-Melle-Park 6
20146 Hamburg

phone: +49-40 / 42838-4537
E-mail: lukas.pietsch



Research Interests

Grammatical variation, English dialects, historical syntax of English, language contact, linguistic typology.


1991–93University of Münster, Germany
1993–94Royal Holloway College, University of London
1994–2003University of Freiburg, Germany
1996M.A. degree in music history, English and German
1998Teacher's degree (Erstes Staatsexamen) in English and German
2003Ph.D. in English linguistics, University of Freiburg. Dissertation topic: Subject-Verb Agreement in Northern Dialects of English.

Research Projects

2000–2003Research assistant in the project “Dialect Syntax in a Typological Perspective”, project funded by the German Science Foundation at University of Freiburg, directed by Prof. Bernd Kortmann.
2003–2009Researcher in the project H5 “Hiberno-English: Variation and Universals in Contact-Induced Language Change”, project funded by the German Science Foundation as part of the Collaborative Research Center 538 “Multilingualism”, University of Hamburg, directed by Prof. Peter Siemund.
2009–2011Substitute professor, University of Hamburg.



2005 Variable grammars: Verbal agreement in northern dialects of English. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
2009 English in Ireland: Grammar in language contact. Post-doctoral thesis, Uni­versity of Hamburg

Peer-Reviewed Papers

2007 Nominative subjects of non-finite constructions in Hiberno-English. In: Jochen Rehbein, Christiane Hohenstein, Lukas Pietsch (eds.), Connectivity in grammar and discourse. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 165–184.
2008 Prepositional aspect constructions in Hiberno-English. In: Peter Siemund, Noemi Kintana (eds.), Language contact and contact languages. Amsterdam: Ben­jamins. 213–236.
2009 Hiberno-English medial-object perfects reconsidered: A case of contact-in­duced grammaticalisation. Studies in Language 33: 528-568.

Other papers

2005 “Some do and some doesn’t”: Verbal concord variation in the north of the Brit­ish Isles. In: Bernd Kortmann, Tanja Herrmann, Lukas Pietsch, Susanne Wagn­er (eds.), A comparative grammar of English dialects: Agreement, gender, relat­ive clauses. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 125–210.
2006 The conditioning of verbal concord variation in English dialects. In: Maurice Vliegen (ed.), Variation in Sprachtheorie und Spracherwerb: Akten des 39. Linguistischen Kolloquiums, Amsterdam, 25.–27. August 2004. Frankfurt: Lang. 245–254.
2008 (with Peter Siemund:) Contact-induced change and linguistic universals: The case of Irish English. In: Klaus Stierstorfer et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the Anglistentag 2007, Münster. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag. 369–381.
2010 What has changed in Hiberno-English: Constructions and their role in contact-induced change. Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 63: 118–145.
2011 (with Peter Siemund, Julia Davydova, Michaela Hilbert:) Comparing varieties of English: Problems and perspectives. In: Peter Siemund (ed.), Linguistic universals and language variation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 291–326
to appear
Verbal concord. In: Raymond Hickey (ed.), Areal features of the anglophone world. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


2008 Review of Alexander Onysko: Anglicisms in German: Borrowing, Lexical Productivity and Written Codeswitching, Berlin: de Gruyter. Journal of Language Contact, Varia 1.

Edited Works

2005 (with Bernd Kortmann, Tanja Herrmann, Susanne Wagner:) A comparative grammar of English dialects: Agreement, gender, relative clauses. (Topics in Eng­lish Linguistics, 50.1.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
2007 (with Jochen Rehbein, Christiane Hohenstein:) Connectivity in grammar and discourse. (Hamburg Studies on Multilingualism, 5.) Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Conference Presentations

2001 “Subject-verb agreement in Northern Irish English”. 3rd UK Language Vari­ation Conference. York, July 2001.
2004 “A linguistic melting pot: preliminary observations on dialect mixture and contact features in a corpus of Irish emigrant letters”. International Col­loquium on Multilingualism and Diachronic Change. Hamburg, April 2004.
2004 “The conditioning of verbal concord variation in English dialects”. 39. Lin­guistisches Kolloquium. Amsterdam, August 2004.
2004 “Case-marking in Irish English nonfinite clause constructions”. International Colloquium on Connectivity in Multilingual Settings. Hamburg, November 2004.
2006 What has changed in Hiberno-English: Constructions, “usage patterns” and/or discourse preferences. 39. Jahrestagung der Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), Bremen, August 2006.
2007 Contact-induced grammatical change in Hiberno-English: Constructions, para­meters, or what else? 6th International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB), Hamburg, May 2007
2007 Backwaters of standardisation: Letter writing as a channel of language contact and change in Ireland. 18th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL), Montreal, August 2007.
2007 Borrowing verbal periphrases in Irish English: The role of construction-based grammatical representation. Vortrag, 18th International Conference on Histor­ical Linguistics (ICHL), Montreal, August 2007.
2007 (with Peter Siemund:) Contact-induced change and linguistic universals: The case of Irish English. Anglistentag. Münster, September 2007.
2008 What’s the Northern Subject Rule Doing in Southern Ireland? 15th Interna­tional Conference of English Historical Linguistics (ICEHL), Munich, August 2008.
2008 What’s the Northern Subject Rule Doing in Southern Ireland? First Triennial Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), Freiburg, October 2008
2010 The Hamburg Corpus of Irish English: Archaism and dialect in Irish emigrant letters. Workshop “New Perspectives on Irish English”, Dublin, March 2010


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