skip to content

Prof. Dr. Petra Schumacher

Professor of German Linguistics / Empirical Linguistics

Institute for German Language and Literature I 

D-50923 Köln

Office: Philosophikum, room 2.124
Phone: +49 - 221 - 470 - 2696
Fax:    +49 -  221 - 470 - 5107
Email: petra.schumacher(at)


Office Hours

Student requests to

My zoom office hours are on Fridays 1-2pm. Please sing up on the scheduler of UoC.


Main Research Topics

Experimental pragmatics

Information structure





Recent Publications

Bambini, Valentina, Lewis Bott & Petra B. Schumacher. (2021). It Is Not Always a Matter of Time: Addressing the Costs of Metaphor and Metonymy through a Speed-Accuracy Trade-off Study. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale, 75, 2, 189–196.

Baumann, Stefan & Petra B. Schumacher. (2020). The Incremental Processing of Focus, Givenness and Prosodic Prominence. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 5,1, 6.

Fuchs, Melanie & Petra B. Schumacher. (2020). Referential Shift Potential of Demonstrative Pronouns – Evidence from Text Continuation. In: Åshild Næss, Anna Margetts & Yvonne Treis. (Eds.) Demonstratives in Discourse (Topics at the Grammar-Discourse Interface ). Berlin: Language Science Press, 185-213.

Patterson, Clare & Petra B. Schumacher. (2021). Interpretation Preferences in Contexts with three Antecedents: Examining the Role of Prominence in German PronounsApplied Psycholinguistics, 1-35.

Patterson, Clare & Petra B. Schumacher. (2020). The Timing of Prominence Information during the Resolution of German Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns. Dialogue & Discourse, 11,1, 1-39.

Patterson Clare, Petra B. Schumacher, Bruno Nicenboim, Johannes Hagen & Andrew Kehler. (2022). A Bayesian Approach to German Personal and Demonstrative PronounsFrontiers in Psychology, 12, 672927. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.672927

Röhr, Christine T., Ingmar Brilmayer, Stefan Baumann, Martine Grice & Petra B. Schumacher. (2020). Signal-Driven and Expectation-Driven Processing of Accent Types. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 36,1, 33-59.

Ruigendijk, Esther & Petra B. Schumacher. (2020). Variation in Reference Assignment Processes. Psycholinguistic Evidence from Germanic Languages. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics, 23,1.

von Heusinger, Klaus & Petra B. Schumacher. (2019). Discourse Prominence: Definition and Application. Journal of Pragmatics, 154, 117-127.

Schumacher, Petra. B. (2019). Metonymy. In: Chris Cummins & Napoleon Katsos. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Experimental Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 316-330.

Ventura, Caterina, Martine Grice, Michelina Savino, Diana Kolev, Ingmar Brilmayer & Petra B. Schumacher. (2020). Attention Allocation in a Language with Post-Focal Prominences. NeuroReport, 31, 8, 624-628.


Research Projects


Speaker of SPP 1727 "" (with Uli Sauerland, ZAS)

Project within the SPP 1727 "Processing speaker's meaning: Epistemic state, cooperation and commitment" 

Momentum Project "Communication electrified - towards a natural investigation of real-time language processing"


Project within SFB 1252 "Forward and backward functions of discourse anaphora"  

Project within SFB 1252 "Intonation and attention orienting: Neurophysiological and behavioral correlates" (with Martine Grice)

Project within SFB 1252 "Prominence and predictive processing" (mit Martine Grice & Nikolaus Himmelmann)     




Experimental Linguistics in Cologne