Sarah Zobel


I am a linguist at the Department of German Studies and Linguistics at HU Berlin, specializing in formal semantics, pragmatics, and their interfaces.

I studied General Linguistics at the University of Vienna (2004-2008) and Technical Mathematics at the Vienna University of Technology (2004-2009). I finished my PhD in General Linguistics at the University of Göttingen with a dissertation on impersonally interpreted singular personal pronouns with a focus on German in October 2012, which I pursued as a member of the research group "Noun Phrases in Intensional Contexts" under the supervision of Magdalena Kaufmann (University of Connecticut), Cleo Condoravdi (University of Stanford), and Regine Eckardt (University of Konstanz).

My dissertation is published as:
Zobel, Sarah. 2014. Impersonally Interpreted Personal Pronouns. Göttingen: Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen. URL:

From April 1, 2013 until August 31, 2019, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the German Department at the University of Tübingen, where I completed my habilitation in General Linguistics and German Linguistics in November 2019 (Promotors: Claudia Maienborn and Gerhard Jäger).

My stay at the University of Tübingen was interrupted twice: From April 1, 2016 until March 31, 2017, I was a visiting professor at the English Department at the University of Göttingen teaching courses in semantics and pragmatics. From September 1 until December 20, 2017 (Fall Term 2017), I was a visiting scholar at the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT (supported by a scholarship for postdoctoral researchers by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD).

From September 2019 until August 2021, I was a postdoctoral fellow in linguistics at the University of Oslo, where I was the principal investigator of "Looking for the Impersonal Core – Impersonal Pronouns across Germanic languages" (IPG_CORE), a project on the semantics of impersonal pronouns in German, Norwegian, and Swedish funded by the EU (project number: 842363) as part of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship.

My full CV (PDF) can be found here: CV


I also enjoy writing code. This webpage was built using Pelican powered by Python with a custom made theme. In building the theme, I followed this tutorial and built on the Skeleton CSS Boilerplate.

Last modified: 2022-04-06 12:00:00+02:00
Latest article

The Impersonal Use of German 1st Person Singular Ich.
Zobel, Sarah. 2021. The Impersonal Use of German 1st Person Singular Ich. Linguistic Inquiry (Online first).

Recent presentations
  • @ HU Berlin: Determinerless predicative nouns in German
  • @ UBC: Roles and the motivation behind role nouns
  • @ RUB: Two types of existential quantification
Recent teaching
  • Sommer 22: SE Text & Discourse
  • Sommer 22: SE Textual coherence
  • Sommer 22: HS/OS Generizität