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 Aarhus University 
 School of Communication & Culture 
 Department of English 
 Research Programme in Language Sciences 

DANSK version af denne side

Sten Vikner

Professor, dr. phil. habil.

Department of English
School of Communication & Culture        
University of Aarhus
Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4 (bldg 1481)
DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

       I have four home pages (sorry!):
  ·   ENG very brief
  ·   ENG detailed (this one)
  ·   DAN meget kort
  ·   DAN udførlig
See also
"Sten Vikner" in Google Scholar
Contact: Tel. +45 8716 2639 (direct)
Tel. +45 8716 2564 (department secretary)
E-mail: sten.vikner@cc.au.dk
Office: Building 1481 (Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4), Room 330
This page: clock
Office hour
Research interests
(separate page)
(separate page)
AU Workshops
(separate page)
Min hjemmeside på dansk    Danish flag    My home page in Danish
My other web pages: comments
Project on
clauses and nominals

DanDiaSyn project
(Danish dialect syntax)

Project on
Object Positions

pointing hand
Optimality Theory
Syntax Project

Let us have articles betwixt us
Festschrift for Johanna Wood
(& reception)
Transcription of English Vowels
Der yiddisher alef-beys
(The Yiddish alphabet)

      (in English)
Three Yiddish Phrases
Linguistics and the
Theory of Science

      (my own page)
Sproget er et genetisk determineret organ
      (in Danish)
English Dept.
Relay Race Team

Various WWW-links
      (very old)


Office hour

Autumn 2018: Wednesday 11:00-12:00, Room 330, Building 1481
           week 40 = 13:30-14:30 on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018
           week 41 = 14:30-15:30 on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018
           week 43 = 13:00-14:00 on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018
(or by appointment: sten.vikner@cc.au.dk)



Timetables for Arts/AU   (First click the link "Timetables" and then choose "Staff" on the left.)
My classes in 2018 in the AU course catalogue   (The same for 2017, for 2016, and for 2015.)



I am a professor in English linguistics at the Department of English, which is part of the School of Communication & Culture at Aarhus University (see my inaugural lecture, April 11, 2016).

I am the head of the Research Programme in Language Sciences, where I also coordinate the research group on syntax and morphology, and I am also a member of the research committee of the School of Communication & Culture. I am furthermore a member of the assessment committee of the PhD programme "Language, Linguistics, Communication and Cognition".

From October 2005 to November 2013, I was a professor with special responsibilites in theoretical and comparative linguistics (see e.g. my inaugural lecture, Feb. 15, 2006, or a cutting from the university newspaper Campus (in Danish)).
- From February 2001 to September 2005, and again from December 2013 to February 2016, I was an associate professor in English linguistics.
- From 1990 to 2001, I was an assistant professor/associate professor at the Dept. of German and General Linguistics, University of Stuttgart in Germany.
- From 1984 to 1990, I was an assistant professor at the Dept. of English, University of Geneva in Switzerland.

From January 2009 to December 2013, I was the head of the section Cognition, Language and Music within the neuroscientific research cluster MindLab. The entire research cluster was headed by Leif Østergaard and Andreas Roepstorff, and it was financed by the Ministry for Science, Techology and Innovation (as it was called then).

From 2008 to 2011, I was the leader of a research project on clauses and nominals, which also included Steffen Krogh, Henning Nølke and Johanna Wood, all from the School of Communication & Culture (then "Department of Aesthetics & Communication"). The project also included post doc Eva Engels and Ph.D. student Katrine Planque Tafteberg, and it was financed by the Independent Danish Research Fund for the Humanities (Forskningsrådet for Kultur og Kommunikation).

From 2007 to 2008, I was part of the research project DanDiaSyn (on Danish dialect syntax), which was headed by Henrik Jørgensen from the Scandinavian Institute, and which also included Karen Margrethe Pedersen of the University of Copenhagen. The project was financed by the Independent Danish Research Fund for the Humanities (Forskningsrådet for Kultur og Kommunikation).

From 2005 to 2007, I was the leader of a research project on object positions, which also included Henrik Jørgensen from the Scandinavian Institute. The project was financed by the Independent Danish Research Fund for the Humanities (Forskningsrådet for Kultur og Kommunikation).

From January 1999 to December 2001, Gereon Müller and I were the principal investigators in a research project on optimality theory syntax financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation).

I am the supervisor of two PhD students, Katrine Rosenberg Ehlers (expected defense 2019, Aarhus Univ.) and Helle Kaalund Tornbo (expected defense 202019, Aarhus Univ.), and I was the supervisor of Tanja Schmid (defense Oct. 5, 2002, Univ. of Stuttgart), Ken Ramshøj Christensen (defense Sept. 22, 2005, Aarhus Univ.), Anne Kjeldahl (defense Sept. 29, 2010, Aarhus Univ.), and Johannes Kizach (defense Sept. 30, 2010, Aarhus Univ.). I was the co-supervisor of Gunnar Hrafn Hrafnbjargarson (defense June 10, 2004, Aarhus Univ.), Laura Winther Balling (defense March 16, 2009, Aarhus Univ.), Katrine Planque Tafteberg (forsvar 12.12.2012, Aarhus Univ.), and Anne Mette Nyvad (defense January 16, 2014, Aarhus Univ.).

I have also supervised a number of M.A. dissertations, both in Stuttgart and in Aarhus, and here are the links to two of the more recent ones, both from 2012, by Charlotte Bille Brahe and by Sanne Bergdahl Johansen.

I am a member of the editorial boards of the journal Studia Linguistica, and of the book series Linguistics Today. From 2001 to 2014, I was one of two main editors of the Nordic Journal of Linguistics. I have also been a member of the editorial boards of the journals Tidsskrift for sprogforskning (2005-2008), Syntax (2003-2007), Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics (1997-2004), and Natural Language and Linguistic Theory (1992-1999).

I have furthermore been a visiting scholar at M.I.T. (Sept.-Dec. 1987), at the University of Lund (Jan.-March 1988), and at the University of Tromsø (April-June 1988), visiting assistant professor at Rutgers University (Sept.-Dec. 1996), a fellow at N.I.A.S. (Feb.-June 1997), and visiting professor at the then Dept. of Linguistics, Aarhus University (Sept.-Oct. 1998).

In the autumn of 2008/spring of 2009 and again in the spring of 2014 and the spring of 2017, I was a visiting professor at the Department of Linguistics / Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge, where in 2008-2009, I was associated with the research projects Structure and Linearization in Disharmonic Word Orders and The Development of Negation in the Languages of Europe, and in 2014 and 2017 with the project Rethinking Comparative Syntax (ReCoS).

Finally, I was the head of the Århus groups under ScanDiaSyn (Scandinavian Dialect Syntax) and NORMS (Nordic Centre of Excellence in Microcomparative Syntax), and from 1994 to 2002, I was the secretary of the board of GLOW ("Generative Linguists in the Old World").

Studia Linguistica    Linguistics Today

Nordic Journal of Linguistics    Nordic Journal of Linguistics

Tidsskrift for sprogforskning    Syntax

Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics    Natural Language and Linguistic Theory


Scandinavian Object Shift and Optimality Theory

Verb Movement and Expletive Subjects in the Germanic Languages

Let us have articles betwixt us – Papers in Historical and Comparative Linguistics in Honour of Johanna L. Wood

Problemer og perspektiver i dansk syntaks – med Kristian Mikkelsen som anledning

Research interests

(See also e.g. the article "Method in the Madness" in the booklet University of Aarhus 2004.)

My main research interest is the syntax of English, Danish, and the related Germanic languages (Norwegian, Swedish, Faroese, Icelandic, Yiddish, German, Swiss German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Frisian) and also the syntax of French and Italian.

The linguistic framework of most of my research is generative grammar, which I consider to be the most adequate and promising of the existing linguistic theories. This does not mean, however, that I think that one can ignore the work that has been done within other linguistic theories or frameworks. On generative grammar, see e.g. "Foundational issues" (which is Chapter 1 in Santorini & Kroch (2007): The syntax of natural language) and also "Det særlige ved sproget " (in Danish), and on the relation between generative grammar and the theory of science, see e.g. "Linguistics and the Theory of Science". As for the relation between generative grammar and other linguistic frameworks, see e.g. my inaugural lecture "Theoretical and Comparative Linguistics" from 2006, or my article in Danish from 2004 "Nødvendigheden af en formel tilgang til sprogvidenskab" [The necessity of a formal approach to linguistics], or this quote from Newmeyer 1998.

One of my research goals is to find out which syntactic properties of English, Danish, or any other of the above languages is found only in that particular language, and which ones are shared with other languages, where I try to account for as many empirical surface differences as possible by deriving them from as few theoretical underlying differences as possible.

At the moment, I am continuing to work on the projects mentioned above on similarities and differences between clauses and nominals, on Danish dialect syntax and on object positions and their interpretation, and furthermore I am still working on verb movement within Optimality Theory syntax, and the link between the richness of verbal inflection and Vo-to-Io movement.

Optimality-theoretic Syntax

Studies in Comparative Germanic Syntax

Deutsche Satzstruktur - Grundlagen der syntaktischen Analyse

List of publications (many of which can be downloaded by clicking on their titles)
List of publications ("official")
(click on a title there and in most cases, you will get to a link to a paper)
List of activities ("official")
(click on a title there and in most cases, you will get to a link to a hand-out)


University of London Københavns Universitet  Université de Genève Universität Tübingen  1984: M.A. (Linguistics)
University of London
  Verb Movement Variation in Germanic and Optimality Theory Verb Movement Variation in Germanic and Optimality Theory
1987:Cand. phil. (English) [≈ M.A.]
University of Copenhagen
1990:Docteur ès lettres [≈ PhD]
University of Geneva
2002:Dr. phil. habil.
University of Tübingen

    This document is http://www.hum.au.dk/engelsk/engsv/
First posted: March 1997 (as http://pinguin.philosophie.uni-stuttgart.de/ifl/Vikner.html)
March 2001 (here, i.e. http://www.hum.au.dk/engelsk/engsv/)
Last modified:  August 7, 2018
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