Stephanie Rotter

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

Stephanie Rotter studierte Kognitionswissenschaft in ihrem Bachelor an der Universität Osnabrück. Für ihren Master im Studiengang „International Experimental and Clinical Linguistics“ an der Universität Potsdam konzentrierte sie sich auf Psycholinguistik sowie Mehr- und Zweisprachigkeit. Sie ist Doktorandin im SFB1412-Projekt A07: Pragmatic Functions and Effects of Register Variation and Switch: a Register approach to negation and polarity.


A07 Pragmatic Functions and Effects of Register Variation and Switch: a Register approach to negation and polarity


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin


Publications & Presentations


  • Pescuma, Valentina Nicole; Serova, Dina; Lukassek, Julia; Sauermann, Antje; Schäfer, Roland; Adli, Aria; Bildhauer, Felix; Egg, Markus; Hülk, Kristina; Ito, Aine; Jannedy, Stefanie; Kordoni, Valia; Kühnast, Milena; Kutscher, Silvia; Lange, Robert; Lehmann, Nico; Liu, Mingya; Lütke, Beate; Maquate, Katja; Mooshammer, Christine; Mortezapour, Vahid; Müller, Stefan; Norde, Muriel; Pankratz, Elizabeth; Patarroyo, Angela Giovanna; Plesca, Ana-Maria; Ronderos, Camilo R.; Rotter, Stephanie; Sauerland, Uli; Schulte, Britta; Schüppenhauer, Gediminas; Sell, Bianca Maria; Solt, Stephanie; Terada, Megumi; Tsiapou, Dimitra; Verhoeven, Elisabeth; Weirich, Melanie; Wiese, Heike; Zaruba, Kathy; Zeige, Lars Erik; Lüdeling, Anke; Knoeferle, Pia; Schnelle, Gohar  (2023) Situating language register across the ages, languages, modalities, and cultural aspects: Evidence from complementary methods In: Frontiers in Psychology [DOI] [ViVo]
    In the present review paper by members of the collaborative research center ‘Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of SituationalFunctional Variation’ (CRC 1412), we assess the pervasiveness of register phenomena across different time periods, languages, modalities, and cultures. We define ‘register’ as recurring variation in language use depending on the function of language and on the social situation. Informed by rich data, we aim to better understand and model the knowledge involved in situation- and function-based use of language register. In order to achieve this goal, we are using complementary methods and measures. In the review, we start by clarifying the concept of ‘register’, by reviewing the state of the art, and by setting out our methods and modeling goals. Against this background, we discuss three key challenges, two at the methodological level and one at the theoretical level: 1. To better uncover registers in text and spoken corpora, we propose changes to established analytical approaches. 2. To tease apart between-subject variability from the linguistic variability at issue (intra-individual situation based register variability), we use within-subject designs and the modeling of individuals’ social, language, and educational background. 3. We highlight a gap in cognitive modeling, viz. modeling the mental representations of register (processing), and present our first attempts at filling this gap. We argue that the targeted use of multiple complementary methods and measures supports investigating the pervasiveness of register phenomena and yields comprehensive insights into the cross-methodological robustness of register-related language variability. These comprehensive insights in turn provide a solid foundation for associated cognitive modeling.
  • Liu, Mingya; Rotter, Stephanie  (2023) Modal concord in American and British English: A register-based experimental study In: Proceedings of the 58th annual meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS58), University of Chicago [ViVo]
  • Rotter, Stephanie; Liu, Mingya  (2023) Interlocutor relation predicts the formality of the conversation: An experiment in American and British English In: REALIS: Register Aspects of Language in Situation [DOI] [ViVo]
    Formality is an important notion in register research. However, it is hard to give it a precise definition. Furthermore, it is challenging to identify the situational parameters required for levels of formality. Potential parameters include the social relation between interlocutors. We conducted two rating studies with American and British English speakers and tested the connection between formality and social relations, while exploring the influence of certain demographic factors on the rating. We hypothesised that public social relations are associated with more formal contexts than private social relations. The results strongly confirmed the hypothesis. We expect that our findings shed further light on the connection between formality and social relations and consequently, inform experimental set-ups investigating variation in language use. 
  • Liu, Mingya; Rotter, Stephanie; Giannakidou , Anastasia  (2021) Bias and Modality in Conditionals: Experimental Evidence and Theoretical Implications In: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research [DOI] [ViVo]
    The concept of bias is familiar to linguists primarily from the literature on questions. Following the work of Giannakidou and Mari (Truth and Veridicality in Grammar and Thought: Modality, Mood, and Propositional Attitudes, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2021), we assume “nonveridical equilibrium” (implying that p and ¬p as equal possibilities) to be the default for epistemic modals, questions and conditionals. The equilibrium of conditionals, as that of questions, can be manipulated to produce bias (i.e., reduced or higher speaker commitment). In this paper, we focus on three kinds of modal elements in German that create bias in conditionals and questions: the adverb wirklich ‘really’, the modal verb sollte ‘should’, and conditional connectives such as falls ‘if/in case’. We conducted two experiments collecting participants’ inference about speaker commitment in different manipulations, Experiment 1 on sollte/wirklich in ob-questions and wenn-conditionals, and Experiment 2 on sollte/wirklich in wenn/falls/V1-conditionals. Our findings are that both ob-questions and falls-conditionals express reduced speaker commitment about the modified (antecedent) proposition in comparison to wenn-conditionals, which did not differ from V1-conditionals. In addition, sollte/wirklich in the antecedent of conditionals both create negative bias about the antecedent proposition. Our studies are among the first that deal with bias in conditionals (in comparison to questions) and contribute to furthering our understanding of bias.
  • Presentations

  • Liu, Mingya; Rotter, Stephanie  (2022) An experimental study of multiple modals and register effects in American and British English In: CLS, University of Chicago [ViVo]
  • Rotter, Stephanie; Liu, Mingya  (2022) Register sensitivity of negative concord in American and British English In: SLE Workshop on "A hundred years of negative concord", University of Bucharest [ViVo]
  • Liu, Mingya; Rotter, Stephanie  (2022) An experimental study of multiple modals and register effects in American and British English In: Workshop on "Variation, contact, and modal constructions in English", University of Paris [ViVo]