Short CV/Education and training

  • 2018 – 2021
    Chair of the German Linguistic Society

  • Since 2011
    W3 professor of the history and varieties of the German language at the University of Potsdam, Germany

  • 2002 – 2011
    C4 professor of the linguistic system and grammar of the German language, including the recent history of the German language, at Saarland University, Germany

  • 2002
    Visiting professor of the history of the German language at Péter-Pázmány University in Piliscsaba, Hungary

  • 2000 – 2001
    Visiting C4 professor of contemporary German language at Friedrich Schiller University Jena

  • 1999 – 2000
    Visiting C4 professor of German philology at the University of Tübingen

  • 1999
    Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, with a thesis on the historical syntax of the German noun phrase

  • 1997 – 2000
    Lecturer in the Department of Germanic Linguistics, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany

  • 1996 – 1997
    Lecturer in the English Department, University of Leipzig, Germany

  • 1995
    Visiting researcher at the Centre for General Linguistics (ZAS) in Berlin, Germany

  • 1993 – 1995
    Postdoc fellowship from the DFG, visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA

  • 1993
    PhD with a dissertation on the history of 'tough movement' in German and English

  • 1988 – 1993
    Research assistant in a German Research Foundation (DFG) project on the language of early newspapers, University of Tübingen

  • 1980 – 1987
    Studied German philology and geography, Universities of Tübingen, Germany, and Aix-Marseille, France

Selected publications

  • Demske, U.: The grammaticalization of the definite Article in German: From demonstratives to weak definites. In: Renata Szczepaniak & Johanna Flick (eds.): Walking on the Grammaticalization Path of the Definite Article in German: Functional Main and Side Roads. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2020, pp. 43-73.

  • Demske, U.: Towards coherent infinitival patterns in the history of German. In: Journal of Historical Linguistics 5, 2015, pp. 6-40.

  • Demske, U.: Verbstellungsvariation in hypothetischen Vergleichssätzen. In: Linguistische Berichte 238, 2014, pp. 101-140.

  • Demske, U.: Raising patterns in Old High German. In: Thórhallur Eythórsson (ed.): Grammatical Change and Linguistic Theory: the Rosendahl Papers. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2008, pp. 143-172.

  • Demske, U.: Das Mercurius-Projekt: eine Baumbank für das Frühneuhochdeutsche. In: Zifonun, G., Kallmeyer, W. (Hg.): Sprachkorpora – Datenmengen und Erkenntnisfortschritt. Berlin: de Gruyter (= Jahrbuch des Instituts für deutsche Sprache 2006), 2007, pp. 91-104.

  • Demske, U.: Weshalb Demonstrativpronomina nicht immer Determinantien sind. In: Franz-Josef d'Avis (Hg.): Deutsche Syntax: Empirie und Theorie. Symposium Göteborg 13.-15. Mai 2004. Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis (= Göteborger Germanistische Forschungen 46), 2005, pp. 53-80.

  • Demske, U.: Grammatische Merkmale und Relationen. Diachrone Studien zur Nominalphrase des Deutschen. Studia Linguistica Germanica 56. Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 2001.

  • Demske, U.: Zur Geschichte der "ung"-Nominalisierung im Deutschen: Ein Wandel morphologischer Produktivität. In: Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur 122, 2000, pp. 365-411.

  • Demske, U.: Modales Passiv und Tough Movement – Zur strukturellen Kausalität eines syntaktischen Wandels im Deutschen und Englischen. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1994.

Selected projects

  • German Research Foundation (DFG) project "Word Order and Discourse Structure in the Early Modern Period", 2021 – 2024

  • Collaborative Research Centre 1287 Potsdam: German Research Foundation (DFG) project "Grammatical processing and syntactic change", 2017 – 2025

  • German Research Foundation (DFG) project "Creating a digitally available, structured, transcribed, lemmatised and grammatically annotated reference corpus of Early New High German (1350 – 1650)", 2011 – 2018

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of Review Board 'Linguistics', German Science Foundation, 2016 – 2020

  • Research board of Saarland University, 2010 – 2011

  • Member of the German Research Foundation (DFG) senate and grants committee for Research Training Groups, 2006 – 2011

Additional qualifications

  • Chair of the German Linguistic Society, 2018 – 2021

  • Vice president for International Affairs, Alumni and Fundraising at Potsdam University/Germany, 2013 – 2015

  • Vice president for teaching and student affairs at Saarland University/Germany, 2007 – 2009

  • Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Saarland University, 2006 – 2007

  • Vice Chair of the German Linguistic Society, 1996 – 1999


You can only see the contact information of the academics in the database if you are a registered user of AcademiaNet.
Please register here


  1. Read what our members say about AcademiaNet.

Follow us

Similar profiles

  1. Prof. Elisabeth Ahlsén

    Languages, Neuro-linguistics

  2. Prof. Dr. Andrea Albrecht

    Social and behavioural sciences, Languages, Literary studies, recent German literature, cultural studies

  3. Prof. Elizabeth Amann

    Languages, Social and behavioural sciences, Comparative literature, Literature of Romance languages, Literary studies, Cultural history, Nineteenth-century studies

  4. Dr. Eva Liina Asu

    Languages, Linguistics, Phonetics, intonation

Academia Net