Faculty profile

Anja Wanner

Anja Wanner

English Department
6111 Helen C. White
(608) 263-3807


Research Keywords

language, structure, syntax, morphology, semantics, text, variation, grammar, theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics


  • English Department - English Language and Linguistics, Associate Professor

Current Projects

  • "Deconstructing the English Passive" (monograph)
  • "Syntactic Variation and (Emerging) Genres" (edited volume)
  • "Linguistic Voices on Campus" podcast, dealing with common beliefs about language.

Representative Classes

  • English 324: The Structure of English
  • English 329: Introduction to English Syntax
  • English 338: The Study of Words in English
  • English 708: Advanced English Syntax
  • English 906: Verb Classes in English

Research Statement

In my research and teaching I explore the regularity of structure (grammar) and the quirkiness of individual words. The "temper" of English verbs – the relationship between their meaning and their behavior in syntax and morphology – is the focus of my research. Other research areas include the history of scientific writing and genres of internet communication. Currently, I am working on a book on the English passive and a volume on the relationship between syntactic variation and emerging genres.

Selected Publications

  • "Comfort Zones of Orality: How Participants Override the Structural Characteristics of a Discussion Forum". To appear in Sally Magnan (ed.): Mediating Discourse Online. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • "The Limits of Variation in Scientific Abstracts - Syntactic and Functional Constraints". ITL - Review of Applied Linguistics, 2004. 37-60. (co-authored with Heidrun Dorgeloh).
  • Structural Aspects of Semantically Complex Verbs (2001, co-ed. with Nicole Dehe).
  • Verbklassifizierung und aspektuelle Alternationen im Englischen (1999). Articles on agentivity, transitivity, psych verbs, cognate objects, event structure, and scientific English.