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Dr. Heiko Seeliger

Department of German Language and Literature I

Office: Philosophikum, room 2.122
Tel: +49 (0)221 470-3434
Email: hseelige(at)

Research areas

  • Phonology/phonetics: prosody of non-canonical questions
  • Phonology/phonetics: prosodic prominence in non-assertions
  • Semantics/pragmatics: question bias
  • Semantics/pragmatics: high negation in questions


  • Since 2018: Postdoc, Universtiy of Cologne
  • 2018: PhD Linguistics, Humboldt University Berlin
  • 2016-2018: research assistant, English Linguistics, Kassel University
  • 2014-2015: research assistant, CRC 632, Area A08, Humboldt University Berlin
  • 2012: MA Linguistics, Humboldt University Berlin



  • Seeliger, Heiko & Sophie Repp. Givenness perception in declaratives vs. exclamatives. Speech Prosody 2024, Leiden. July 4th 2024.
  • Seeliger, Heiko, Anne Lützeler & Constantijn Kaland. The perception of German wh-phrase-final intonation: a contour clustering evaluation. 2nd International Conference on Tone and Intonation, Singapore. November 20th 2023.
  • Seeliger, Heiko & Sophie Repp. The prosody of contrastive focus and verum focus in rejections. 2nd International Conference on Tone and Intonation, Singapore, poster presentation. November 18th 2023. [Poster]
  • Repp, Sophie & Heiko Seeliger. Reject?! On the prosody of non-acceptance. ICPhS 2023, Prague, poster presentation. August 10th 2023.
  • Repp, Sophie & Heiko Seeliger. Contrast and givenness in biased declarative questions. ICPhS 2023, Prague, poster presentation. August 7th 2023.
  • Seeliger, Heiko & Sophie Repp. On the prosodic marking of German rejections and rejecting questions. LabPhon18, online poster presentation. June 25th 2022. [Poster]
  • Seeliger, Heiko & Sophie Repp. Don’t make me more prominent! Or do? Prosodic reflexes of contrast, newness and givenness in wh-exclamatives and wh-questions. 3rd International Conference on Prominence in Language, Cologne, poster presentation. June 3rd 2022.
  • Seeliger, Heiko & Constantijn Kaland. Boundary tones in German wh-questions and wh-exclamatives: a cluster-based approach. Speech Prosody 2022, Lisbon. May 23rd 2022. [slides]
  • Seeliger, Heiko & Sophie Repp. Variability in information structure marking in German questions and exclamatives. Phonetics and Phonology in Europe 2021. Workshop 'Creativity and Variability: Prosody and Information Structure', Barcelona, June 23rd 2021.
  • Seeliger, Heiko & Sophie Repp. Competing prominence requirements in verb-first exclamatives with contrastive and given information. Speech Prosody 2020, Tokyo (online).
  • Seeliger, Heiko & Sophie Repp. Intonation of Swedish rejections and rejecting questions. Nordic Prosody XII. Trondheim, August 10th - 12th 2016. [slides]
  • Seeliger, Heiko & Sophie Repp. Rejections and rejecting questions: Declaratives with clause-initial negation in Swedish. 38. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft, AG 5: The Grammatical Realizations of Polarity. Konstanz, February 24th - 26th 2016.
  • Seeliger, Heiko & Sophie Repp. Swedish rejections and rejecting questions with fronted negation. Linguistic Evidence. Tübingen, February 18th - 20th 2016.
  • Seeliger, Heiko. Two scopes of negation in Swedish declarative questions. Sinn und Bedeutung 19. Göttingen, September 15th - 17th 2014. [slides]

Organized workshops

Research projects

  • SFB 1252 „Prominence in Language“, Area A06 „(De-)linking prosodic and discourse prominence: The case of non-assertive speech acts“