Language and Learning

Melanie Fuchs

Research Associate

Phone: 49 (0) 221-470 76223

In 2016, Melanie Fuchs obtained a teaching degree from the University of Cologne (1st State Examination; equivalent to a Master’s degree). In her final thesis, she investigated how children of different ages interpret (ambiguous) personal and demonstrative pronouns. Her thesis was awarded a Faculty of Arts and Humanities Prize. During her studies, she also worked as a student assistant for the rector’s office.

After her studies, she worked in a collaborative research centre and did a PhD in empirical linguistics. In her PhD thesis, she focused on sentence processing and referential relations in discourse and used different methodologies such as text continuation studies and event-related potentials. In February 2021, she joined the department Language and Learning at the Mercator Institute where she is responsible for a project investigating the development of vocabulary knowledge of immigrant secondary school students.


3.18 (3rd floor, Triforum)



Vocabulary Acquisition
Language Processing
Referential Relations

Research experience and professional career

Since February 2021
Research assistant (wiss. Mitarbeiterin) in the department Language and Learning at the Mercator Institute, University of Cologne

April 2017 - January 2021
Doctoral studies in empirical linguistics, a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne, University of Cologne

January 2017 - December 2020
Research assistant (wiss. Mitarbeiterin) in the collaborative research centre “Prominence in Language”, University of Cologne  

July 2016 - December 2016 
Student assistant (WHK) with Prof Dr Petra Schumacher, Institute of German Language and Linguistics I, University of Cologne

November 2014 - June 2016            
Student assistant in the rector’s office, University of Cologne                                            

June 2016      
1st State Examination, University of Cologne (Final thesis: Eine empirische Studie zur Pronomenresolution im Vorschulalter ‘An empirical investigation of pronoun interpretation in German pre-school children’; awarded a Faculty of Arts and Humanities Prize)

September 2011 - June 2012            
Erasmus Programme, University College London, UK


Fuchs, M., & Schumacher, P.B. (2020). Referential Shift Potential of Demonstrative Pronouns - Evidence from Text Continuation. In: Å. Næss, A. Margetts, Y. Treis (Eds.). Demonstratives in Discourse (Topics at the Grammar-Discourse Interface) (pp.185-213). Language Science Press.


Fuchs, Melanie & Barberio, Teresa, Wortschatzkenntnisse neu zugewanderter Schüler:innen im Deutschen und Englischen (mit Teresa Barberio), „Sprache als Schlüssel – wozu? Bildungserfolg im Fokus“, University of Bamberg, 17.-18. March 2022

Fuchs, Melanie & Schumacher, Petra B., Demonstrative Pronouns as Attention-Orienting Devices, “SFB-Networking Köln - Potsdam - Saarbrücken”, University Potsdam, 14.-15. February 2019.

Fuchs, Melanie & Schumacher, Petra B., Demonstrative Pronouns as Attention-Orienting Devices (poster presentation), “Second International Conference Prominence in Language”, University of Cologne, 11.-13. July 2018.

Fuchs, Melanie & Schumacher, Petra B., Topic Shift Potential of German Demonstrative Pronouns, “Workshop: Discourse Functions of Demonstratives”, University of Oslo, 14.-15. June 2018.

Fuchs, Melanie & Schumacher, Petra B., Neural Correlates of Attentional (Re-) Orientation: The Case of German Demonstratives, “31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference”, UC Davis: University of California, 15.-17. March 2018.

Fuchs, Melanie & Schumacher, Petra B., German Pre-Schoolers’ Comprehension of Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns, “Anaphora Resolution in Sign and Spoken Languages - Theoretical and Experimental Dimensions (ARISAS)”, Workshop, Georg-August-University Göttingen, 20.-21. February 2017.