This picture shows Prof. Sabine Zerbian

Prof. Sabine Zerbian

Areas of Research: Digital Humanities, Linguistics and Computational Linguistics
Thematic Priority: Sound structures, in particular in English, German and the Bantu languages

Field of Work

Prof. Sabine Zerbian’s research interests are mainly focused on the sound structures of the world’s languages, in particular English, German and the Bantu languages of South Africa. As a phonologist, Zerbian is especially interested in sound systems and intonation. She investigates whether and how the linguistic meaning of a sentence is influenced by phonetic accentuation and looks into what happens when two different language systems (for example German and English) come together in a single speaker.

Other focus areas are the specific features of South African English and also the English language in general as a language of contact. Prof. Zerbian conducts research into experimental phonology, for which a special linguistics laboratory was set up at the University of Stuttgart from the 2013/14 winter semester.

Personal Information

Phonology is the research focus of Prof. Sabine Zerbian at the Institute of Linguistics, Department of English Studies, University of Stuttgart. Born in Berlin in 1975, Zerbian studied German linguistics, English studies and psychology and obtained a doctorate at the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2006 with a dissertation on the structure of the Bantu language of Northern Sotho. After spending several years conducting research at the Leibniz-Center General Linguistics (ZAS) in Berlin, she took up a three-year post as senior lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Between 2010 and 2013, when she took up her appointment in Stuttgart, she taught as a junior professor at the University of Potsdam.


Prof. Sabine Zerbian
University of Stuttgart
Institute of Linguistics (LING)
English Linguistics
Tel.: +49 711/ 685-82985

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