Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies


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Christian Pietsch

CITEC – Center of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology
+LiLi – Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies

This page is no longer up-to-date. Please go to my new home page!



From 3 March 2008 till 29 February 2012, I worked as a researcher at the Center of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC, “Exzellenzcluster 277”).

First I joined Prof. Dr. Gerhard Jäger's group (then Professor of Theoretical Linguistics at Bielefeld University; now Professor of General Linguistics at Tübingen University).

In March 2009, I joined Prof. Dr. Stefan Kopp's Sociable Agents Group.

Current work

New: Since 2 January 2012, I have worked as a digital library developer at Bielefeld University Library, LibTec (Library Technology and Knowledge Management) department.


A computational linguist by training, my current main interest is putting linguistic theories to the empirical test. Most of my studies are based on linguistic data collections, usually text corpora.

While my background is in NLG (natural language generation) and unification grammars, I have recently broadened my horizon towards construction grammar, data-oriented parsing, latent semantic analyis, corpus linguistics, machine learning, and theories of discourse and dialogue.

Current projects


In 2010, Prof. Jan P. de Ruiter and I started a new CITEC research project called, The role of syntactic priming in dialogue (short name: SynPrime). Stay tuned for more!

More practically, I am also involved in building a CITEC dialogue demonstrator system featuring the embodied conversational agent (ECA) Vince which is being developed by the Sociable Agents research group.


In the summer semester 2010, I taught the seminar Verfahren zur Repräsentation und Verarbeitung multimodaler Dokumente (Creating and processing multi-modal documents) for students in the linguistics Masters course with a specialisation in discourse modelling.

In 2011, I supervised and marked a BSc thesis in computer science, Özlem Özer: Wird ein virtueller Agent für kompetenter gehalten, wenn er freundlich ist? (second reviewer: Sascha Griffiths).



For facts about my past, please take a look at my old home pages at the Open University where I worked in Donia Scott's NLG group, or at Saarland University where I took a degree called Diplom-Linguist (something like a Master's) in computational linguistics. Or check out my ancient home page at DFKI (German Research Center in Artificial Intelligence) where I worked as a student in Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster's Intelligent User Interfaces group. I grew up in Mühlhausen, a town in Thuringia.

Past projects

I have contributed to the following research projects (in chronological order): MedWis/KBS-DIAMET, VerbMobil-2, SmartKom, UNL (German text generation from the Universal Networking Language), Project HALO, Semantic Mining (aka Semantic Interoperability and Data Mining in Biomedicine Network of Excellence), CLEF-Services (Clinical E-Science Framework), and UNITIVES (full title: Routinization: What are the cognitive building blocks of syntactic structure?).





I am a member of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), taking an active role in SIGGEN (Special Interest Group in Natural Languagen Generation; student Board member 2009–2010) and SIGSEM (Special Interest Group in Computational Semantics; webmaster since 2007, board member since 2010). At the same time, I happen to be a member of the mysterious Evolutionary Linguistics Association.


As a service to the natural language generation community (and as an experiment with Semantic MediaWiki), I host and maintain the NLG Wiki which currently contains the new version of the Bateman/Zock List of NLG Systems. Please contribute!

In my spare time, I am concerned about civil rights in the digital age.



Christian Pietsch
Bielefeld University
Bielefeld University Library / LibTec
PF 10 01 31
33501 Bielefeld
Telephone number, email address and room number are listed here.

To bookmark my current homepage, please use this permanent URL: http://purl.org/net/pietsch/. In the EU, young researchers tend to lead a nomadic life.