Christiane Andersen

Professor Emerita

Department of Languages and Literatures
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Christiane Andersen

Professor of German linguistics


After having completed a Master’s Degree in German, English and Educational Sciences at Humboldt University in Berlin, I became a doctoral student in General linguistics at Lomonosov University in Moscow. It was there where I discovered that German is an extraordinary language from a general linguistic perspective and that a long research tradition exists between German and Slavic languages. My PhD thesis from 1978 dealt with Semantic principles in the constitution of phrase structures in Dutch and German.

From 1979 – 1987, I was senior research assistant at Humboldt University and German lecturer at Tammerfors university. During these years, I also had a research project on comparative history of German and Russian linguistics with a particular focus on the influence of Jacob Grimm’s grammar on Russian grammarians. My postdoctoral theses (Habilitation) was published in 1985. From 1988 I was affiliated with the University of Umeå, and from 1994 with the University of Gothenburg. In 2001, I became a professor of German Linguistics.


In the last two decades, I have focused my research on language typology and language contact, particularly on Siberian German in contact with Russian. I am interested in syntax and particularly how the grammar of spoken German changes under long isolation with Russian as contact language.

Recently, I have focused my research interests on neurolinguistics and cognitive grammar, paying particular consideration to language acquisition and German as a foreign language.

I had several expert assignments in The Swedish Research Council and in The Research Council of Norway. In 2004 I was elected to The Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg.

I am editor of the online publication Göteborger Arbeitspapiere zur Sprachwissenschaft