I am a postdoctoral researcher at the English Language and Linguistics Department at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and mainly interested in the interactions of gender and language, the semantics of genericity, discriminative learning, compounds, morphophonetics and phonetics in general, psycholinguistics, and sound symbolism.

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 a book published open access by Language Science Press here.
Three follow-up projects emerged from this project: “Typing S – Morphology between the keys”, “Learning S – Duration as a key to morphology”, and “Final S in German – Morphological effects in speech production”. 

My current main focus is with the projects “Form and meaning in English compounds: the role of prosody” and “The semantics of pronouns, role nouns, and genericity”. Both projects make use of the Discriminative Lexicon as a general framework to learn more about their respective objects of investigation. For compounds, I investigate whether stress patterns emerge through developing associations between form and meaning in a process of discriminative learning. Regarding interactions of language and gender and genericity, I ask, among other things, how gender-neutral supposedly gender-neutral masculine generics in German are and if singular they in English is truly singular and gender-neutral. 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 sound symbolism. Thus far, we investigated potential effects of cuteness 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)
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Department of English and American Studies
Anglistik III: English Language and Linguistics
Building 23.21, Floor 02, Room 96
Universitätsstraße 1
40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

Recent publications

Language and Gender

Schmitz, D., Schneider, V., & Esser, J. (2023). No genericity in sight: An exploration of the semantics of masculine generics in German. Glossa Psycholinguistics, 2(1). doi: 10.5070/G6011192

Subphonemic detail

Schmitz, D., Baer-Henney, D., & Plag, I. (2021). The duration of word-final /s/ differs across morphological categories in English: Evidence from pseudowords. Phonetica, 78(5-6), 571-616. doi: 10.1515/phon-2021-2013

Sound symbolism

Schmitz, D., Cicek, D., Nguyen, A. K., & Rottleb, D. (2023). Cuteness modulates size sound symbolism at its extremes. Open Linguistics, 9(1), 20220257. doi: 10.1515/opli-2022-0257

Find me on these sites
Forensic Linguistics Short Course