Carolin Munderich


Biographical information

  • Born 1987 in Hechingen
  • 2006 – 2013: Studies of German Philology, Political Science and Spanish Philology at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and the Universidade da Coruña (Spain)
  • 2010 – 2012: Student Research Assistant (tutor for German Linguistics)
  • 2012 – 2013: Student Research Assistant at the Department of German Philology/Linguistics (Prof. Dr. Katrin Axel-Tober)
  • 2013: Research Assistant at the Collaborative Research Center 833, project C6: „The expression of extra-propositional meaning: diachrony and synchrony“ (Prof. Dr. Katrin Axel-Tober und Dr. Sam Featherston)
  • October 2013 – May 2014: Research Assistant at the project „Computational Historical Semantics“ (Prof. Dr. Peter Koch)
  • Since June 2014: Research Assistant and PhD Student at the Research Training Group 1808: Ambiguity – Production and Perception at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen
  • Since October 2015: Research Assistant at the University of Trier, Department of Romance Studies (French, Italian and Spanish Linguistics, chair: Prof. Dr. Esme Winter-Froemel)


Research interests

  • Language Change
  • Reanalysis
  • Reflexivity
  • Impersonal pronouns and indefinite elements



»Semantic ambiguity as a trigger for language change: Constructions containing an indefinite AGENT in Spanish and Italian?« (working title)

Within the framework of my dissertation project, I want to investigate certain reflexive constructions in Spanish and Italian, cf. (1):

(1) Sp. Se vende coches.

V direct object


= Valenzreduktionsmarker

(2) Dt. Man verkauft Autos.

Subject V direct object


Comparing the Spanish construction with its German translation, one notices a fundamental difference between the two: in the German construction, the indefinite pronoun man occupies the syntactic slot of the subject of the phrase and at the same time, it encodes an indefinite AGENT. On the other hand, according to the traditional analysis, in the Spanish construction there is no subject: it is an impersonal construction. The element se serves as a valency reducing device and the AGENT is not expressed explicitly, but implied indirectly.

One could assume, though, that the Spanish construction does not differ all that much from the German one, but also has an indefinite AGENT-subject slot similar to the German one. In this case, the analysis of constructions such as (1) would be different, cf. (3):

(3) Sp. Se vende coches.

Subject V direct object


If one accepts this hypothesis, then the Spanish construction is ambiguous in two respects: First of all, it can be interpreted as an impersonal construction or a construction containing an indefinite AGENT (‘A sale of cars takes place.’ vs. ‘An unspecified AGENT sells cars.’) On the other hand, it can be interpreted both existentially and generically. In my dissertation project I want to investigate the following questions amongst other things:

a) Do constructions like (1)/(3) contain an indefinite AGENT?

b) What is the relation between the existential and the generic reading of phrases like (1)/(3)?

In addition to a theoretical analysis of the field, I want to carry out corpus research and a psycholinguistic experiment that will investigate how structures like (1)/(3) are processed.



  • Dimensions of pragmatic ambiguity and pragmatic competence. Talk at the Symposium „Ambiguity and Ambivalence“, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, on February 14, 2016. (together with Prof. Dr. Esme Winter-Froemel)
  • Gleich und Gleich gesellt sich gern? Zur Interaktion von Kontiguität und Analogie in Reanalyseprozessen. Talk at the „Oberseminar Romanistische Linguistik“, Ludwig Maximilian University München, on December 2, 2015.
  • Nähe UND Ähnlichkeit? Zum Verhältnis von Kontiguität und Analogie in Reanalyseprozessen. Tandem-talk with Dr. Richard Waltereit (Newcastle University). RTG 1808, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, on October 29, 2015.
  • Micro-level changes in Romance Reflexive Constructions: Formal analogy, semantic contiguity and referential identity. Talk at the "13th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (ICLC-13)“, Northumbria University, on July 25, 2015.
  • The dynamics of Romance reflexive constructions: semantic contiguity, formal analogy and iconicity. Talk at the “Tenth International Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature”, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, on March 28, 2015.
  • Implicatures and Inferences: (Hearer-) Strategies in Everyday Language and Language Change? Talk at the Graduate Workshop of the RTG 1808 on "Ambiguity and Strategy” in Blaubeuren, February 6, 2015 (in co-operation with Gesa Schole).
  • Implikaturen und Inferenzen – (Hörer-)Strategien in Sprachgebrauch und Sprachwandel.Talk at the "Forschungskolloquium der germanistischen Linguistik", Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen on January 07, 2015.
  • Semantische Ambiguität als Trigger in Sprachwandelphänomenen. Talk at the RTG 1808, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, on October 30, 2014.



  • Schole, Gesa; Carolin Munderich (accepted): "Are Hearer Strategies Strategic? Relevance Theory and the Strategicness of Hearer Action in Everyday Language and Language Change". Strategies of Ambiguity. Ed. Matthias Bauer, Angelika Zirker. London: Routledge.
  • Rohmann, Florian; Lisa Ebert; Elias Güthlein; Carolin Munderich (accepted): "The Case of Epistemic Ambiguity and Its Strategic Production: Connecting Text and Cognition". Strategies of Ambiguity. Ed. Matthias Bauer, Angelika Zirker. London: Routledge.
  • Munderich, Carolin; Gesa Schole. "Dimensions of Pragmatic Ambiguity and Pragmatic Competence." Ambiguität und Ambivalenz. Eds. Matthias Bauer, Frauke Berndt and Sebastian Meixner. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann.



  • Winter term 2015/2016
    • Tutorial „Einführung in die romanistische Sprachwissenschaft“, University of Trier.
  • Summer term 2016
    • Undergraduate seminar "Relevanztheorie, sprachliche Dynamik und Chatkommunikation“, University of Trier.
  • Summer term 2018
    • Undergraduate seminar "Wie funktionieren natürliche Dialoge und Chatkommunikation? Ansätze der Pragmatik", University of Trier.