Dr. Marta Donazzan

Universität zu Köln
Philosophische Fakultät
Institut für deutsche Sprache und Literatur I
Albertus Magnus Platz D-50923 Köln

Office : Luxemburgerstr. 299, Room 410


Research Interests

My research concerns the formal treatment of natural language semantics at its interface with syntax and morphology. My aim is to connect specific language phenomena to general laws, by following a comparative and theoretically informed perspective. My studies are based on the qualitative analysis of elicited data as well as on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of modern language corpora.

I am interested in understanding the ontology of natural language and the way in which languages express definiteness, countability and reference in both the eventuality and nominal domain. Together, the comparative research methodology that I privilege and the broad topic of investigating nominal and verbal parameters foster the understanding of language variation, both at a macro-level (Mandarin Chinese) and at the micro-level across Romance varieties, and shed a light on the relation between functional categories and semantic interpretation in a more general perspective.

Within the Emerging Group, I am working on the topic of the realization of prominence relations in argument and event structure. I am trying to understand the work done by conceptual primitives such as agentivity, dispositions and intentions at the interface, and to put cognitive semantics into form.

Present and past positions

(Click here for an extended version of my CV)

I am currently working as a Post-Doctoral researcher in the Emerging Group Dynamic Structuring of Language and Communication.       

2012            Visiting Lecturer Universidade de São Paulo, CNPq grant

2012            Post-Doc Labex EFL

  • Projet PLU Plurality and individuation of Reference, Laboratoire de    Linguistique formelle, Université Paris 7

2009-2011   Full-time lecturer General Linguistics – Université Paris 8, Departement of Language Sciences

2005-2008   Teaching assistant – Université Paris 7 : Departement of Linguistics

2005            Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies (MA)    Chinese language and linguistics, Université Paris 7 

  • On the Mandarin scalar particle HAI Advisor: Marie-Claude Paris.

2004            Laurea (MA)  Oriental Studies (Mandarin, Russian), Università Ca' Foscari, Venice  




A link to some recent publications and talks

Projects and grants

Mobility Grant - Universität zu Köln, Directorate for International Exchange. Grant [4.580 E] for a research stay at the Universidade Federal Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro), july-august 2017

Délimitation et identification des événements (DelimitEvent) - co-directed with Lucia Tovena (Paris 7) - project funded by the Research Federation Typologie et Universaux du Langage - CNRS FR 2559, 2014-2018

Semantic variation - event plurality in Chinese and Karitiana - co-directed with Ana Müller (Universidade de São Paulo) - project funded by Centro National da Pesquisa (CNPq), Brazil, 2012



WiSe 2016 - 2017


  •  L'ordre des mots en français                                                                                     Klips
  • Determination and referentiality in Romance                                                          Klips

SoSe 2016-2017

  • Contrasting syntax and morphology in English and Romance languages        Klips 
  • Definitheit (with K. von Heusinger)                                                                             Klips


Workshop of GEPEX

workshop and class at the Universidade Fluminenese, August 2017

The profile of event delimitation

workshop at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), Naples 31 August 2016  

Agentivity and Causation in Romance (and beyond)
Workshop - Universität zu Köln, November 24 2015