Prof. Dr. Walt Detmar Meurers


I joined the Leibniz Institute für Wissensmedien (IWM) as a research professor in April 2024, where I head the newly formed research group "Language and AI in Education". Previously I was a Full Professor of Computational Linguistics and head of the Theoretical Computational Linguistics group in the Department of Linguistics of the University of Tübingen, which I had joined in Summer 2008. Check out the web page of my ICALL Research Group for an overview of our work in that area, which we will continue in the new IWM research group.


For some recent presentations of my work in the media, check out "Hilfe für heute statt Hype von morgen" (Wiarda Blog, 19.03.24), "KI-Methoden für konkrete Herausforderungen in der Bildung" (Analysen & Argumente Nr. 527, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, March 2024), "Unser Hilfslehrer Dr. Bot" (Südwestumschau, Axel Habermehl, 20.01.24), or a recent public talk on Language and AI in Learning. The 2023 podcast on "Im Dialog: KI und die Zukunft des Lernens" can be found here. Some other talks and interviews are available on Youtube. To learn more about two recent start-ups that I am a mentor for, check out cabuu and Prosodiya.


My work currently focuses on four broad areas:


  • I. the use and advancement of linguistic modeling and insight in:
  • II. the interface of Computational Linguistics and Empirical Educational Science, with a focus on
  • III. the division of labor of syntax and information structure, aimed at exploring context-based explanations for restrictions traditionally considered syntactic constraints. This includes corpus-based empirical research and explicit and formal analysis in a constraint-based HPSG architecture.

  • IV. teaching CL and linguistics in a way that combines current technology and research insights with the fundamentals of the field. Together with Chris Brew and Markus Dickinson, we wrote "Language and Computers", a book intended for a non-specialist audience, published October 2012 by Wiley-Blackwell.

I'm a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Center of Advanced Technology for Assisted Learning and Predictive Analytics (CATALPA), the Scientific Advisory Board of the Language Centre of the Universities in the Land of Bremen (SZHB), and on the English Language Teaching Expert Advisory Board of Oxford University Press, and a member of Steering Committee of the Heritage Language Network since its creation.


From 2013 to 2016, I also was a member of the Department of Language and Linguistics at the Universitet i Tromsø, Norway as a Professor II to collaborate on ICALL research with the Giellatekno group. From 2008 to 2010, I served two years as head of department of linguistics at the University of Tübingen. From 2005 to 2008, I was an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Linguistics, where we built the Computational Linguistics group at The Ohio State University, after working there as an Assistant Professor since 2001. From 1997 to 2000, I was a Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Tübingen, where I had worked as a full time researcher in the SFB 340 since 1995.


I received my MA degree in Linguistics, Computer Science, and Psychology from the University of Tübingen in 1994, and my PhD in Computational Linguistics there in 2000. During my studies, I enjoyed a year as an exchange student with an ERASMUS grant at the Institut de Recherche en Informatique (IRIT) at the Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse in France.


An event I co-organized is the CALICO-09 Workshop on Automatic Analysis of Learner Language (AALL'09), which follows up on the AALL'08 workshop and the Special Issue of the CALICO journal on this topic. The events build on the Interfaces of Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (IICALL) workshop I organized in 2006. I also taught a course on ICALL: An emerging interdisciplinary field at ESSLLI 2009 in Bordeaux and an updated version of the course at the Summer School in Bilingualism 2012 at Bangor University.


Some newspaper articles related to our work: Spiegel Online on the complexity of language in school books (20.11.2017), Stutgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten on linguistics in computational linguistic applications (10.11.2017), and language learning apps (16. August 2017). An interview "In conversation with ... Detmar Meurers" recorded by Lancaster University, with a focus on corpus linguistics, is available here: Part 1 and Part 2.


For more detail on papers, projects, etc. check out the CV information in cv-meurers.pdf (updated: September 2019).