Doreen Georgi

About me | Team | News | Contact

Note: I will be on maternity leave until the end of July 2022. During this time, I will check my emails infrequently. In urgent matters, please contact

  • my replacement (from June 2021): Dr. Philipp Weisser
  • the Postdoc of the research group: Astrid van Alem
  • for administrative issues: my assistant Dr. Anja Gollrad (anja.gollrad[at]

For information about the international MSc programme Linguistics: Empirical and Theoretical Foundations (content, application process), please consult this page and the links listed there before you contact faculty members or the student advisor. Most questions are answered on these pages.

About me

I am an Associate Professor in "Variation and Variability in morphosyntactic/morphological systems" at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Potsdam. I received my PhD in 2014 from Leipzig University. Before coming to Potsdam as an assistant professor in 2016, I spent the academic year 2015/16 as a maître de conférence at the ENS, Institut Jean Nicod in Paris. I study the syntactic and morphological properties of language from a cross-linguistic perspective with a focus on non-Indo-European languages in order to uncover the limits of variability in language ((im)possible patterns, parameters of variation). My major aim is to use empirical observations to understand the structural aspects of the grammar of human language and to advance formal theories of grammar. How to pronounce my name: /do.'ʁeːn ge.'ʔɔɐ.gi/

Areas of interest:

  • case and agreement (differential argument encoding, case stacking, scale effects, syncretism, portmanteaux, syntactic vs. semantic agreement)
  • dependency formation (movement vs. base-generation, postsyntactic operations)
  • locality (long movement, switch reference, non-local case assignment, reflexes of movement, resumption, islands)
  • extraction asymmetries (sharing constructions such as ATB-movement, subjects vs. non-subjects)
  • NP-syntax (possession, DP vs. NP)
  • grammatical function changing (possessor raising, inverse, passive)
  • the nature and interaction of elementary morphosyntactic operations (rule ordering, derivation vs. representation)


Research group Syntax, Morphology & Variability

Current members
Astrid van Alem (Postdoc/research associate, 05/2021 - )
Arsène Kengne Cenny (PhD student since 05/2017, 1st supervisor)
Timea Sarvas (PhD student in project C05 of the CRC 1287, 02/2021-06/2025, 1st supervisor)
Johannes Rothert (PhD student in project C05 of the CRC 1287, 08/2021-06/2025, 1st supervisor)

Former members
Dr. Johannes Hein (Postdoc in project C05 of the CRC 1287, 07/2017-12/2020)
Dr. Mary Amaechi (PhD student, 05/2017-08/2020; D. Georgi: 1st supervisor)


  • SAIAL workshop: The workshop Structural Asymmetries in African Languages (SAIAL) will take place online from April 15-16. For more information, see the SAIAL homepage.

  • Recent papers:
    • Hein, Johannes and Doreen Georgi (to appear): Asymmetries in Asante Twi A'-movement: On the role of noun type in resumption. In A. Hill and A. Farinella (eds.), Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society. GLSA, Amherst, MA.
    • Fominyam, Henry and Doreen Georgi (to appear): Subject marking in Awing. Studies in African Linguistics 50(1).
    • Wierzba, Marta, Martin Salzmann and Doreen Georgi (to appear): An experimental investigation of reconstruction for Condition C in German A'-movement. In Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society.
    • Amaechi, Mary and Doreen Georgi (to appear): Focus marking strategies in Igbo. Proceedings of ACAL 49. Language Science Press.
    • Amaechi, Mary and Doreen Georgi (2021): On optional wh-/focus fronting in Igbo: A SYN-SEM-PHON interaction. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 39(3).
    • Georgi, Doreen and Mary Amaechi (2020): Resumption and islandhood in Igbo. In M. Asatryan, Y. Song and A. Whitmal (eds.), Proceedings of the 5Oth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society. GLSA, Amherst, MA, pp. 261-274.
    • Georgi, Doreen and Elisabeth Stark (2020): Past participle agreement in French - one or two rules? In: M. Hinzelin, N. Pomino and E.-M. Remberger (eds.), Formal Approaches to Romance Morphosyntax: Linking Variation to Theory. Linguistische Arbeiten, de Gruyter, Berlin/New York.

  • Recent & upcoming presentations:
    • 03/2021: How to account for resumptives in movement chains: insights from phi-mismatches in Igbo. Invited talk, Linguistics Colloquium, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
    • 02/2021: Resumption in Igbo (joint work with Mary Amaechi). Invited talk, departmental lecture series, Department of Linguistics and Languages, McMaster University.
    • 12/2020:
      • Resumption in Igbo (joint work with Mary Amaechi). Invited talk, Morpho-Syntax-Colloquium, Institute of Linguistics, Leipzig University.
      • Asymmetries in Asante Twi A'-movement: On the role of noun type in resumption (joint work with Johannes Hein). Syntax Semantics Lab Meeting, University of Delaware.
    • 11/2020:
      • Resumption in Igbo. Resumption types and morphologial mismathes (joint work with Mary Amaechi). Invited talk, Departmental seminar, Linguistis Department, Queen Mary University of London.
      • Asymmetries in Asante Twi A'-movement: On the role of noun type in resumption (joint work with Johannes Hein). (Virtual) NELS 51, University of Québec à Montréal.

  • DFG project: In June 2017, my 4-year DFG-funded project The limits of variability in extraction asymmetries started as part of the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 1287 Limits of Variability in Language: Cognitive, Grammatical, and Social Aspects at the University of Potsdam; including a 65% position.


Universität Potsdam
Department Linguistik
Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24-25
14476 Potsdam, Germany

office: II.14 3.33 (campus Golm, house 14, room 3.33)
phone: +49 331 977 2968
email: doreen.georgi[at]

assistant: Dr. Anja Gollrad, anja.gollrad[at]], +49 331 977 2372