Prof. Dr. Jörg Zinken

Foto von Jörg Zinken
© Jörg Zinken

Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache
- Standort Augustacarree -
Augustaanlage 32
D-68165 Mannheim

Büro: AC/03

E-Mail: zinken(at)

Tel.: +49 621 / 1581 – 475
Fax: +49 621 / 1581 – 200

Prof. Dr. Jörg Zinken


Member of research staff in the Pragmatics Department

Professor of Linguistics at the University of Heidelberg


Project lead "Pragmatics and language diversity", "Norms, rules and morality across languages (NoRM-aL)"

Qualifications and Positions

  • 2018 'Habilitation' at the University of Hamburg
  • Since October 2014, Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for the German Language
  • 2013 Reader in Language and Communication, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth
  • 2003 Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth
  • 2002 Ph.D. in General Linguistics, Universität Bielefeld

Research Interests

  • Ethical and normative aspects of social interaction
  • Social interaction in a comparative and typological perspective
  • Analysis of situated modal meanings (permission, possibility, necessity)
  • Action categories and continuities

Recent publications

  • Küttner, U.-A., Kornfeld, L., & Zinken, J. (2023). A coding scheme for (dis)approval-relevant events involving the social sanctioning of problematic behavior. Mannheim: IDS-Verlag.
  • Kornfeld, L., Küttner, U.-A., & Zinken, J. (2023). Ein Korpus für die vergleichende Interaktionsforschung. In A. Deppermann, C. Fandrych, M. Kupietz, & T. Schmidt (Hrsg.), Korpora in der germanistischen Sprachwissenschaft (S. 103–128). De Gruyter.
  • Rossi, G., Dingemanse, M., Floyd, S., Baranova, J., Blythe, J, Kendrick, K., Zinken, J., & Enfield, N. (2023). Shared cross-cultural principles underlie human prosocial behavior at the smallest scale. Scientific Reports, 13(6057), 1-14.
  • Küttner, U.-A., Vatanen, A., & Zinken, J. (2022). Invoking Rules in Everyday Family Interactions: A Method for Appealing to Practical Reason. Human Studies, 45, 793-823.
  • Zinken, J. & Küttner, U.-A. (2022). Offering an Interpretation of Prior Talk in Everyday Interaction: A Semantic Map Approach. Discourse Processes, 59(4), pp. 298-325. DOI:
  • Zinken, J. & Kaiser, J. (2020). Formulating other minds in social interaction: Accountability and courses of action. Language in Society, First View, pp. 1-26 DOI:
  • Zinken, J. (2020). The Comparative Study of Social Action: What You Must and What You Can Do to Align with a Prior Speaker. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 53(4), pp. 443-462.
  • Zinken, J. (2020). Recruiting assistance and collaboration in Polish. In S. Floyd, Simeon, G. Rossi & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Getting others to do things. A pragmatic typology of recruitments (pp. 281-324). Berlin: Language Science Press (Studies in Diversity Linguistics 31) DOI:
  • Zinken, J., Rossi, G., Reddy, V. (2020). Doing more than expected. Thanking recognizes another’s agency in providing assistance. In C. Taleghani-Nikazm, E. Betz & P. Golato (Eds.), Mobilizing Others. Grammar and lexis within larger activities. (= Studies in language and social interaction 33) (pp. 253-278). Amsterdam / Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • Zinken, J. & Costall, A. (2019). Diversity and Invariance in Human Social Action. Karl Duncker's “Situational Meanings” and the Schema of Linguistic Relativism. Paradigmi, 37(3), 491-506.
  • Helmer, H. & Zinken, J. (2019). Das Heißt ("That Means") for Formulations and Du Meinst ("You Mean") for Repair? Interpretations of Prior Speakers' Turns in German. Research on Language and Social Interaction 52(2): 159-176.
  • Floyd, S., Rossi, G., Baranova, J., Blythe, J., Dingemanse, M., Kendrick, K. H., Zinken, J., &  Enfield, N. J. (2018). Universals and cultural diversity in the expression of gratitude. Royal Society Open Science, 5: 180391. PDF
  • Zinken, J. & Deppermann, A. (2017). A cline of visible commitment in the situated design of imperative turns. Evidence from German and Polish. In M.-L. Sorjonen, L. Raevaara, & E. Couper-Kuhlen (Eds.), 'Imperative Turns at Talk. The design of directives in action' (pp. 27-63). Amsterdam, NJ: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Rossi, G. & Zinken, J. (2016). Grammar and social agency. The pragmatics of impersonal deontic statements. Language, 92(4), e296-e325.
  • Zinken, J. (2016). Requesting responsibility. The morality of grammar in Polish and English family interaction. New York: Oxford University Press. [Review in LinguistList; Review in Ethnolinguistics] [Flyer]