roland_schaeferI’m a linguist focussing on German morphosyntax in written language (including non-standard written language) as well as the encoding of phonology and morphosyntax in writing. I hold a venia legendi for German and General/Theoretical Linguistics from the Faculty of Language Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

My approach is cognitively oriented, theory-driven, and strongly empirical. I use corpus-linguistic and experimental methods. I also have a strong  interest in statistical methods and methods of large-scale data analysis. Furthermore, I’m the principal creator of a suite of very large web corpora (COW), which you can access at Finally, I have a strong interest in teaching methodology and the education of future schoolteachers of German, focussing on the role of linguistic knowledge in the acquisition of educated language and register awareness.  I have a broad teaching experience (both in German and English) in German Linguistics and English Linguistics as well as General/Theoretical Linguistics and Computational Linguistics.

Currently, I’m visiting professor for German Linguistics at Freie Universität Berlin. Starting April 2020, I’ll be working as a researcher in project A04 Situated Syntax of the DFG-funded CRC (SFB) 1412 Register at Humboldt University.

From 2015 to 2018, I worked on my own third-party funded project about the grammar on the German web called Linguistic Web Characterization at Freie Universität Berlin (personal grant SCHA1916/1-1 from the German Research Council, DFG). I previously worked at the German Department of Freie Universität Berlin and the Linguistics Department of the University of Göttingen. I was visiting professor for English Syntax at the University of Göttingen in the winter semester of 2011 and for German Grammar at Freie Universität Berlin in the summer semester of 2016 and starting with the winter semester of 2018. I also worked for Språkbanken at the University of Gothenburg in 2014.

Since 2015, I’ve been the chairman of the Special Interest Group on Web as Corpus (SIGWAC) of the Association for Computational Linguistics.

I’m a strong proponent of Open Access Publishing and Open Source.