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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 the SFB 2329 "The gesture-to-sign trajectory: Phonological parameters in production and real-time comprehension" (with Pamela Perniss)


Member of the Key Profile Area "Skills and Structures in Language and Cognition"




Speaker of SFB 1252 "Prominence in Language"

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