Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Nikolaus Ritt
T: +43-1-4277-42424

Consultation hours: Tue 4-5pm

Ritt, N (ed.) 2019, Diachronic Phonotactics. Folia Linguistica Historica , no. 1, vol. 40, De Gruyter Mouton.




Baumann, A, Prömer, C & Ritt, N, ECCE database – user manual, 2018, Web publication.




Ritt, N 2017, The Tale of the Hungarian Time Traveller. in P Szigetvári (ed.), 70 snippets to mark Ádám Nádasdy’s 70th birthday.

Baumann, A, Prömer, C & Ritt, N 2016, 'Simulating hypothetical language stages: A new method for testing hypotheses in diachronic linguistics' 49th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Naples, Italy, 31/08/16 - 3/09/16, .

Ritt, N 2016, What’s in a word? Reflections on labels such as ‘ELF’or ‘English’. in M-L Pitzl & R Osimk-Teasdale (eds), English as a Lingua Franca: Perspectives and Prospects. De Gruyter Mouton, pp. 129-138.


Ritt, N, Baumann, A, Prömer, C & Kazmierski, K 2016, A Lotka-Volterra model of the evolutionary dynamics of compositionality markers. in SG Roberts, C Cuskley, L McCrohon, L Barcelo-Coblijn, O Feher & T Verhoef (eds), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11).


Ritt, N 2016, Linguistic pragmatics from an evolutionary perspective. in A Barron, P Grundy & G Yueguo (eds), Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics. Routledge.



Ritt, N, Smith, K & Fehér, O 2014, Eliminating unpredictable linguistic variation through interaction. in Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. pp. 1461-1466.

Ritt, N 2012, Evolutionary Linguistics. in B Kortmann (ed.), Theories and Methods in Linguistics. Walter de Gruyter.

Ritt, N 2012, How to weaken one’s consonants, strengthen one’s vowels and remain English at the same time. in R Bermúdez-Otero, D Denison, C McCully & E Moore (eds), Analysing Older English. Cambridge University Press, pp. 213-231.

Ritt, N 2012, Middle English: Phonology. in A Bergs & L Brinton (eds), Historical linguistics of English: An international handbook . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, pp. 399-415.

Ritt, N 2012, Middle English phonology in the digital age: what written corpora can tell us about sound change. in EC Traugott & T Nevallainen (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the History of English. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 81-87.

Ritt, N & Baumann, A 2012, Transferring mathematics to English Studies. in H Schendl & M Markus (eds), Transfer in English Studies. Wilhelm Braumüller Universitätsverlag, Vienna, pp. 219-237.

Ritt, N 2011, Distinguishing native and non-native languages on historical grounds. in RK Agnihotri & R Singh (eds), Indian English: towards a new paradigm. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 211-218.

Ritt, N 2011, Memes and Language. in PC Hogan (ed.), Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language Sciences. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.






Kazmierski, K, Ritt, N, Sommerer, L, Illes, T & Lutzky, U (eds) 2010, HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS IN THE MODERN PHILOLOGIES. VIEW[Z] : Vienna English working papers, vol. 19, Unknown publisher.

Ritt, N 2009, Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language Sciences. Cambridge University Press.



Ritt, N 2007, It seemed like a good idea at the time: why there may not have been any early Modern English shortening before dentals after all. in S Dollinger, J Hüttner, G Kaltenböck, U Lutzky & U Smit (eds), Tracing English through time: Explorations in language variation. Wilhelm Braumüller Universitätsverlag, Wien, pp. 315-331.

Ritt, N 2007, Meaning in a material world or How to find out what linguists think about meaning. in M Fabiszak (ed.), Language and Meaning. Peter Lang, pp. 235-269.

Kastovsky, D, Schendl, H, Ritt, N & Dalton-Puffer, C 2006, Introduction. in Medieval English and Its Heritage: Structure, meaning and mechanisms of change. Studies in English Medieval Language and Literature, vol. 16, Peter Lang GmbH Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, pp. vii-ix.

Kastovsky, D, Schendl, H, Dalton-Puffer, C & Ritt, N 2006, Introduction. in C Dalton-Puffer, D Kastovsky, N Ritt & H Schendl (eds), Syntax, Style and Grammatical Norms: English from 1500-2000. Linguistic Insights, vol. 39, Peter Lang GmbH Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, Bern, pp. 7-10.

Kastovsky, D, Schendl, H, Ritt, N & Dalton-Puffer, C (eds) 2006, Medieval English and its heritage: Structure, meaning and mechanisms of change. Peter Lang GmbH Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften.

Schendl, H, Kastovsky, D, Dalton-Puffer, C & Ritt, N (eds) 2006, Syntax, style and grammatical norms. English from 1500-2000. Peter Lang GmbH Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften.

Schendl, H & Ritt, N 2005, Introduction. in N Ritt & H Schendl (eds), Rethinking Middle English: Linguistic and literary approaches. Studies in English Medieval Language and Literature, vol. 10, Peter Lang GmbH Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, pp. vii-x.


Ritt, N & Schendl, H (eds) 2005, Rethinking Middle English: Linguistic and literary approaches. Studies in English Medieval Language and Literature, vol. 10, Peter Lang GmbH Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften.




Research interests

English linguistics
History of English
Phonology, Morphology, Morphonology,
Middle English, Early Modern English

Linguistic theory
Language as a historical system
Language and identity
Language transmission and evolution
Memetics
Complex adaptive systems and generalized Darwinism
Connectionist competence modeling
Language and cognition
Evolutionary epistemology
Constructivism

CV

1978-1985Student of English and German Philology at the University of Vienna
January1985Graduation to Magister Philosophiae (Mag. Phil.)
March 1985Promotion to University Assistant (English Department, Vienna University)
1985/86Teacher Training at a Viennese Grammar School
1987/88Foreign Language Lecturer (German), Durham University
June1990Graduation to Doctor Philosophiae (Dr. Phil.)
1991Community Service at a Neurological Clinic in Gugging, Lower Austria
1992(Summer term) Visiting Professor, Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest
April 1994Promotion to Assistant Professor
1994-2000Work on Habilitation Thesis on an evolutionary framework for the study of linguistic history
2001Venia Docendi for English Linguistics, Promotion to Associate Professor
Nov 2001-Jan 2002Visiting Professor, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan
Oct 2002-Jan 2005Head of the English Department of Vienna University
Oct-Nov 2006Visiting Professor, University of Santiago de Compostela
Jan 2007Visiting Fellow, University of Edinburgh
October 2004-2012Vice-Dean of the Faculty for Philological and Cultural Studies
February 2009Professor for English Historical Linguistics, University of Vienna
Oct 2016-Oct 2018Head of the English Department of Vienna University

Testing shared language as a source of trust in an investment game

Magdalena Schwarz (Speaker), Theresa Matzinger (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Contributor)
13 Sep 2019

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Middle English Open Syllable Lengthening produced canonical word form shapes

Theresa Matzinger (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Contributor)
2019

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


The effects of prosodic cues on word segmentation in an artificial language learning task

Theresa Matzinger (Speaker), Magdalena Schwarz (Contributor), Nikolaus Ritt (Contributor), William Tecumseh Sherman Fitch (Contributor)
2019

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Language and evolution: Issues and perspectives

William Tecumseh Sherman Fitch (Speaker), Ljiljana Progovac (Speaker), Geoff Schwartz (Speaker), Przemysław Żywiczyński (Speaker), Piotr Gąsiorowski (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
15 Sep 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Thematic session "The cultural evolution of language: Models and methods"

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker), Piotr Gasiorowski (Speaker)
15 Sep 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


What is a cultural replicator, and do we need to know?

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
15 Sep 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Characteristics of pauses in L2 speech in different speech tempi

Theresa Matzinger (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Contributor), William Tecumseh Sherman Fitch (Contributor)
13 Sep 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


The effects of final lengthening and pauses on word segmentation in artificial language learning

Theresa Matzinger (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Contributor), William Tecumseh Sherman Fitch (Contributor)
1 Sep 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Everything you always wanted to know about Middle English Open Syllable Lengthening but didn’t dare to ask

Nikolaus Ritt (Keynote speaker)
29 Aug 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Linguistic and non-linguistic correlates in the evolution of phonotactic diversity

Andreas Baumann (Speaker), Theresa Matzinger (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
18 Apr 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Word form shapes are culturally selected for indicating their morphological structure

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker), Andreas Baumann (Speaker), Christina Prömer (Contributor)
17 Apr 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Middle English Open Syllable Lengthening and statistical (mor-)phonotactics

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker), Theresa Matzinger (Speaker)
1 Dec 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


'Subjectification' in semantic change, and what drives it

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
10 Oct 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


/l/- darkening in Austrian learner English

Theresa Matzinger (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
12 Sep 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Reconstructing the spread of Middle English schwa loss

Andreas Baumann (Speaker), Christina Prömer (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
12 Sep 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Phonotactic word form shapes are selected to be morphotactically indicative

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker), Christina Prömer (Speaker), Andreas Baumann (Speaker), Kamil Kazmierski (Speaker)
8 Sep 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Presentation of the ECCE database

Andreas Baumann (Speaker), Christina Prömer (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker), Peter Andorfer (Speaker), Daniel Schopper (Speaker), Tanja Wissik (Speaker)
7 Sep 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Interpolating Diachronic Phonotactic Data: On the Logistic Spread of Middle English Schwa Loss

Andreas Baumann (Speaker), Christina Prömer (Speaker), Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
31 Jul 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


Diachronic (Mor-)phonotactics: Schwa loss & the evolution of final consonant clusters in Middle English

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
9 May 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Science


The Vienna Circle's influence on scientific methodology in linguistics

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
7 Apr 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionScience to Public


Subjectification is driven by sceptic listeners

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
1 Sep 2016

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Reconstructing the life cycle of Open Syllable Lengthening from corpus data

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
23 Aug 2016

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Communicative Interaction leads to the Elimination of Unpredictable Variation

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
24 Mar 2016

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


A Game Theoretic Account of Semantic Subjectification in the Cultural Evolution of Languages

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
22 Mar 2016

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Evolutionary thinking in historical linguistics. Theory & practice.

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
26 Feb 2016

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Obligatorification in grammatical change. An experimental angle on the emergence of articles in Early English.

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
26 Feb 2016

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


An evolutionary account of variable stress patterns in English

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
25 Feb 2016

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Evolutionary thinking in historical linguistics. Theory & practice

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
23 Feb 2016

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Middle English Open syllable lengthening, syllabification and foot construction

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
4 Dec 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Diachronic reflexes of frequency effects among word final (mor)phonotactic consonant clusters in Middle and Early Modern English

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
26 Nov 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Sporadic final devoicing in English past tense forms ending in [sonorant]+/d/ clusters: a ‘therapeutic’ response to schwa-loss

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
26 Nov 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Evolutionary Game Theory and Historical Linguistics

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
17 Nov 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Eliminating unpredictable linguistic variation through interaction

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
13 Nov 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Phonology-morphology interaction and the emergence of /VVCC/-rhymes in the English lexicon

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
4 Sep 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Therapeutic responses to Early Middle English schwa loss in the domain of morphonotactics

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
4 Sep 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


The semantic development of MANAGE verbs in Germanic languages and what it implies for Subjectification Theory

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
28 Jun 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Explaining the historical (in-)stability of stress pattern diversity in English

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
5 Jun 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Language change as cultural evolution: from theory to practice

Nikolaus Ritt (Invited speaker)
5 Jun 2015

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Middle English coda phonotactics, schwa loss and past tense formation

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
13 Sep 2014

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


The spread of (in)definiteness mark­ing in Early English: Reconstructing category emergence in the lab

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
14 Jul 2014

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Evolutionary game theory in historical language studies

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
14 Apr 2014

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Language change as cultural evolution

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
23 May 201311 Jun 2013

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Modelling English word stress in terms of evolutionary game theory

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
26 Apr 2013

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


The morphonotactics of word final consonant clusters in and after the Middle English period

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
22 Mar 2013

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Subjectification, the prototypical subject, and the semantic development of verbs like cope with, deal with, or manage

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
8 Mar 2013

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Is it “speakers and their languages” or “languages and their speakers”? On biologism and speciesism in historical linguistic thought.

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
2013

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Using corpus data for comparing actual histories to potential alternatives

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
2013

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Subjectification and verbs of the type to cope (with)

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
21 Aug 2012

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Boundary phonotactics, productivity and historical stability: -hood vs. -dom.

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
2012

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Subjectification from a memetic point of view

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
2012

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


The “Celtic Hypothesis": evidence and ideology.

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
2012 → …

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Grammaticalisation, subjectification and verbs of the type 'to cope with'

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
29 Sep 2011

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Lexical stress, utterance rhythm and game theory

Nikolaus Ritt (Contributor)
9 Sep 2011

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Grammar, accommodation and the uni-directionality of grammaticalisation

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
2 May 2011

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Transferring mathematics to English linguistics: prospects and problems

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
15 Apr 2011

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Grammar, accommodation and the uni-directionality of grammaticalisation

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
2011

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Lexical stress, game theory and utterance rhythm

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
2011

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Who benefits from linguistic change? Accounting for principles of English Stress placement in evolutionary terms.

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
20 Nov 2010

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Agents or Vehicles? The role of speakers in directing linguistic evolution

Nikolaus Ritt (Keynote speaker)
25 Sep 2010

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


High vowels in Middle English vowel lengthening and the avoidance of morphotactic ambiguity

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
23 Aug 2010

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


The influence of morphology on the evolution of English phonotactics

Nikolaus Ritt (Contributor)
23 Aug 2010

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Historische Sprachwissenschaft an der Anglistik Wien

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
7 Dec 2009

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Historische Linguistik in den Modernen Philologien

Nikolaus Ritt (Contributor)
5 Dec 2009

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Assuming that it is possible to approach cultural history in evolutionary terms, are there any good reasons for doing so?

Nikolaus Ritt (Invited speaker)
20 Oct 2009

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Middle English (mor-)phonotactics: system, usage, change

Nikolaus Ritt (Keynote speaker)
24 Sep 2009

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Using corpora in diachronic phonotactics

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
8 Jul 2009

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


A holistic approach to the evolution of English phonology

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
9 Oct 2008

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Why languages are essentially historical systems

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
13 Sep 2008

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


How 'one' nearly ousted 'any'

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
26 Aug 2008

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Putting memetic explanations to the test: long term trends in English phonotactics.

Nikolaus Ritt (Invited speaker)
16 May 2008

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Can one be a native speaker of a non-native language? On a few paradoxes in established views on the speaker-language relation

Nikolaus Ritt (Invited speaker)
23 Oct 2007

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


The fall and rise of _any_ in Early English

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
16 Sep 2007

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Sense and sociability - The fall and rise of _any_ in Early English

Nikolaus Ritt (Invited speaker)
13 Jun 2007

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


The emergence of a dually patterned coding system through genetic and cultural co-evolution

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
26 Jan 2007

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Revisiting ME vowel quantity from a generalised Darwinian perspective

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
19 Jan 2007

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


A generalized Darwinian view of Modern English vowel shifting, its causal coherence and historical actuation

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
18 Jan 2007

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Cui Bono? Who profited from keeping /h/ in Early Modern English?

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
8 Nov 2006

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Languages as Darwinian cultural systems: optimality, evolutionary stability, and human interest

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
17 Jul 2006

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Imitation and Grammaticalisation: Explaining the Emergence of the English article

Nikolaus Ritt (Invited speaker)
1 May 2006

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Vowel quantity before dentals: on the interaction between morphology and phonology in English monosyllables

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
20 Apr 2006

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Extrametrical constituents in English phonology: a natural account of an unnatural phenomenon

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
6 Apr 2006

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Darwinian linguistics and evolutionary game theory

Nikolaus Ritt (Invited speaker)
1 Jan 2006

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Grammatikalisierung aus historisch-konnektionistischer Perspektive: Demonstrativa im frühen Englisch

Nikolaus Ritt (Speaker)
29 Oct 2005

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalk or oral contributionOther


Department of English and American Studies

Spitalgasse 2, Hof 8 (Campus)
1090 Wien
Room: 3E-O2-17

T: +43-1-4277-42424
F: +43-1-4277-842424

nikolaus.ritt@univie.ac.at