PD Dr. Jörg Zinken

Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache
R 5, 6-13, Büro 3.17
D-68161 Mannheim

zinken (at)

Tel.: +49 621 / 1581 – 239
Fax: +49 621 / 1581 – 200

PD Dr. Jörg Zinken


Researcher in the Pragmatics Department


Researcher in the sub-project "Reformulations/Formulations" which is part of the project "The interactive constitution of meaning"

Qualifications and Positions

  • 2018 ‚Habilitation‘ at the University of Hamburg
  • 2013 Reader in Language and Communication, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth
  • 2003 Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth
  • 2002 Ph.D. in General Linguistics, Universität Bielefeld (with financial support from the Robert-Bosch-Foundation and GFPS e.V.)

Research Funding

  • 2012 Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz (€56,000), Fellowship grant
  • 2010 Arts and Humanities Research Council (£71,000), Fellowship grant
  • 2009 Economic and Social Research Council (£91,000), Comparative study of requesting in English and Polish informal interaction
  • 2008 British Academy (£3,000), Pilot work for comparative study of English and Polish family interactions
  • 2006 British Psychological Society (£1,800), Network grant, Vocal and gestural expression of emotion (with Katja Liebal and Kim Bard)
  • 2005 European Union 6th FP Research Grant (£96,000), Spatial and temporal concepts in Amondawa (with Chris Sinha)
  • 2004 British Academy International Networks Grant (£ 4,900), Network grant for comparative metaphor research (with Martin Döring)

Research Interests

  • Conversation Analysis
  • Social interaction in a comparative and typological perspective
  • Construction of comparable video corpora of informal interaction in diverse languages
  • Analysis of situated modal meanings (permission, possibility, necessity)
  • Reasons for syntactic complexity in language use
  • A „relational“ reformulation of linguistic relativity
  • Action categories and continuities
  • ‚Interpretation‘ and understanding social action

Selected publications


Journal articles and book chapters

  • Floyd, S., Rossi, G., Baranova, J., Blythe, J., Dingemanse, M., Kendrick, K. H., Zinken, J., &  Enfield, N. J. (2018). Universals and cultural diversity in the expression of gratitude. Royal Society Open Science, 5: 180391. PDF
  • Zinken, J. & Reddy, V. (2018). The practice of everyday life provides supporters and inviters of morally responsible agency. Invited commentary on John M. Doris, "Précis of Talking to Our Selves: Reflection, Ignorance, and Agency", Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41, p. 53-54.
  • Zinken, J. & Deppermann, A. (2017). A cline of visible commitment in the situated design of imperative turns. Evidence from German and Polish. In M.-L. Sorjonen, L. Raevaara, & E. Couper-Kuhlen (Eds.), 'Imperative Turns at Talk. The design of directives in action' (pp. 27-63). Amsterdam, NJ: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Rossi, G. & Zinken, J. (2017). Social agency and grammar. In N. J. Enfield & P. Kockelman (Eds.), Distributed Agency (pp. 79-86). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Rossi, G. & Zinken, J. (2016). Grammar and social agency. The pragmatics of impersonal deontic statements. Language, 92(4), e296-e325.
  • Kitzinger, C., Lerner, G., Zinken, J., Wilkinson, S., Kevoe-Feldman, H., Ellis, S. (2013). Reformulating place. Journal of Pragmatics, 55, 43-50.