As a linguist, I am interested in the psycholinguistic interactions of morphology, phonology and phonetics, in sound symbolism, and in gender representations in language.


I am a postdoc at the English Language and Linguistics department of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. As part of the DFG research unit “Spoken Morphology” I wrote my dissertation on the “Production, perception, and comprehension of subphonemic detail: Word-final /s/ in English”. My dissertation can be downloaded as book published open access by Language Science Press here.
Two follow-up projects emerged from this project: “Typing S – Morphology between the keys” and “Learning S – Duration as a key to morphology?”.

Currently, I am investigating the semantics of gender and genericity. The overall aim of this project is to investigate gender in language from a novel perspective, combining distributional semantics and discriminative learning. I also co-signed a statement by German and international linguists on gender-fair language in December 2020.
Another project of mine is concerned with effects of cuteness on findings in sound symbolism research, with a focus on size sound symbolism.

My previous research mainly covered tonal alignment and compensatory vowel shortening. From 2017 to 2018 I also published more practical articles on IT in logopedics.

Dr Dominic Schmitz (he/him)
Department of English and American Studies
Anglistik III: English Language and Linguistics
Building 23.21, Floor 02, Room 96
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Universitätsstraße 1
40225 Düsseldorf, Germany


gender in language

Schmitz, D., Schneider, V., & Esser, J. (2023). Die semantische Repräsentation des generischen Maskulinums. 45. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität zu Köln, Germany. 07-10 March.

Schmitz, D., Schneider, V., & Esser, J. (2022). An exploration of the underlying semantic features of masculine generics in German. InSemantiC 2022, University of Porto, Portugal. 21-23 November.

spoken morphology

Schmitz, D., Baer-Henney, D., & Plag, I. (2021). The duration of word-final /s/ differs across morphological categories in English: Evidence from pseudowords. Phonetica78(5-6), 571-616. doi: 10.1515/phon-2021-2013

Schmitz, D., Plag, I., Baer-Henney, D., & Stein, S. D. (2021). Durational differences of word-final /s/ emerge from the lexicon: Modelling morpho-phonetic effects in pseudowords with linear discriminative learning. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.680889

sound symbolism

Schmitz, D. (2022). Cuteness modulates size sound symbolism at its extremes. Iconicity Seminar 2022 (IcoSem2022), online. 14 November.

Schmitz, D. (2022). A ‘size meets cuteness’ relation in German vowels. Poster presented at 18. Phonetik und Phonologie Tagung, Universität Bielefeld, Germany. 6-7 October. doi: 10.11576/pundp2022-1039

Find me on these sites
Forensic Linguistics Short Course