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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2016/17 Dr. Elisabeth Zima

Dr. Elisabeth Zima

Every year, approximately 50 Fellows are invited to work on their projects at FRIAS for 2 to 12 months in an intellectually stimulating environment. Fellows that have already been at FRIAS before can return to FRIAS for 2 to 6 weeks within the framework of the Alumni Programme, for example in order to finish a project. Furthermore, junior and senior researchers are regularly invited as guest researchers.


Our Research Focus profited enormously from the international team of Fellows and guest researchers at FRIAS.

Prof. Dr. Tobias Schätz, ERC Consolidator Grant 2015, Research Focus Quantum Transport 2014/15

University of Freiburg
Cognitive Linguistics
Junior Fellow
July 2012 - July 2015

Room 01 009
Phone +49 (0)761 203-97360


I am a post doc research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. After initial training in French linguistics (MA from the University of Vienna, Austria), I specialized in Cognitive and Functional Linguistics (Master of Advanced Studies of Linguistics, University of Leuven, Belgium). In my PhD (KU Leuven, 2011), I focused on intersubjective resonance and its creative exploitation in interactional political discourse. In 2010, I was a guest researcher at the University of Santa Barbara (under the supervision of Prof. John Du Bois) and in 2012 at the Albert-Ludwig-University Freiburg (Prof. Peter Auer).


Selected Publications

Books and Editions

  • E.Zima (in press). Kognition in der Interaktion - Eine kognitivlinguistische und gesprächsanalytische Untersuchung von Zwischenrufsequenzen in österreichischen Parlamentsdebatten. Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg.


  • Zima, E. (subm.). Cognitive Grammar and Dialogic Syntax: Exploring Potential Synergies. Review of Cognitive Linguistics.
  • Brône, G., Zima, E. (in press). Towards a dialogic construction grammar. A corpus-based approach to ad hoc routines and resonance activation. Cognitive Linguistics. Special Issue on Resonance. Eds. Du Bois J.W., Giora, R.
  • Zima, E. (in press): Online semantic creativity in parliamentary debates. In: Creativity in Discourse and Arts, Eds. Veale, T., Feyaerts, K., Forceville, Ch. Berlin. Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Zima, E., Brône, G. (2011): Ad hoc Konstruktionen in der Interaktion: eine korpusbasierte Studie dialogischer Resonanzherstellung. In: Konstruktionsgrammatik III: Aktuelle Fragen und Lösungsansätze. Eds. Lasch, A., Ziem, A. Tübingen. Stauffenburg, 255-273.
  • Zima, E., Brône, G., Feyaerts, K. (2010): Patterns of interaction in Austrian parliamentary debates. The pragmasemantics of interruptive comments. In: European Parliaments under Scrutiny: Discourse strategies and interaction practices. Ed. Ilie, C. Amsterdam. John Benjamins, 135-164.
  • Zima, E., Brône, G., Feyaerts, K., Sambre, P. (2009): "Ce n’est pas très beau ce que vous avez dit”. Resonance activation in French parliamentary debates. Discours (4) 2009.


FRIAS Research Project

Construction Grammar in interaction: a multimodal perspective on operator-scope-constructions across different genres of spoken interaction

My research project is situated at the crossroads of Interactional Construction Grammar and multimodality research. Drawing on interactional video data from various settings (parliamentary debates, TV panel shows, rescue operations, and colloquial conversations), I zoom in on the multimodal realization of a construction that is argued to be typical for spoken German: the operator-scope-construction (Fiehler et al. 2004, Duden 2006).

I am particularly interested in the interplay of multimodal structure and the situated, interactive meaning. On the basis of a thorough analysis of the syntactic, prosodic, and gestural form as well as the interactional function of operator-scope-constructions, I would like to address the following research questions:

  • Which multimodal signals and symbols (gestures) do speakers use co-verbally with operator-scope-constructions. How do these gestures relate to syntax and prosody?

  • What is the role of gesture in terms of the operator's projecting function?

  • Which interactive meanings are expressed via the interplay of the studied modes?

And finally,

  • which arguments for or against a conception of constructions as purely linguistic form-meaning pairings (as in most work within the field of Construction Grammar(s)) does a multimodal focus provide or in other words, are co-verbal gestures part of a construction's form or rather of its realization context?