Douglas Lightfoot

Associate Professor of German and Linguistics
German Program Director
German Linguistics Graduate Advisor


  • PhD, Department of Germanic Languages, University of California, Los Angeles, Germanic Linguistics, 2000
  • MA, Department of Germanic Languages, University of California, Los Angeles, Germanic Linguistics, 1995
  • Dual BA, University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Germanic, Oriental, and Slavic Languages, Department of Linguistics, 1991
  • Georg-August Universität, Göttingen, Germany, 1988-1989

Research Areas

  • Historical Germanic linguistics, word-formation, affixoids, grammaticalization, lexicalization.
  • Foreign language teaching and learning
  • Scholarly writing

Selected Publications

  • Writing Groups License Success. Profession: In Practice, 2020,
  • To Rally for Writing Groups: A Necessity for the Profession. 2018. ADFL Bulletin 44.2.81-89.
  • Aspects of Authentic Spoken German:  Awareness and Recognition of Elision in the German Classroom. 2016. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German 49.24-35.
  • Testing the Suffixoidization of German –mann ‘-man’. 2011. Linguistica 51.273-283.
  • Grammaticalization and lexicalization. 2011. The Handbook of Grammaticalization, ed. by B. Heine and H. Narrog, 438-449. Oxford: Oxford UP.
  • Gestalt derivation in German. 2010 [2005]. Grammatikalisierung im Deutschen, ed. by T. Leuschner, T. Mortelmans, and S. De Groodt, 59-70. 2nd ed. Berlin: de Gruyter (= Linguistik – Impulse und Tendenzen, 9).
  • Language History for Teaching and Learning German. 2007. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German 40.34-45.
  • Co-Source Structures of the Suffix –tum in German. 2007. Journal of Southern Linguistics 31.63-79.
  • Aspects of the Rise and Fall of the Compound gomman in Tatian. 2006. Leuvense Bijdragen. Leuven Contributions in Linguistics and Philology 95.71-86.
  • Language Change and Foreign Language Teaching. 2006. The NECTFL Review 58.37-49. Supported by 2004 Research Advisory Committee grant.
  • Can the lexicalization/grammaticalization distinction be reconciled? 2005. Studies in Language 29.583-615.  Supported by 2002 Research Advisory Committee grant.

Selected Recognition

  • Southern Conference on Language Teaching Nominee for Post-Secondary Teacher of Excellence Award, Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers, 2011.  Interdisciplinary Award for all foreign languages in AL.
  • Article of the Year Award, 2007, Die Unterrichtspraxis: Teaching German, the publication of the American Association of Teachers of German. Award includes travel and seminar expenses from Austrian Air and the Austrian Ministry of Education.  “Language History for Teaching and Learning German”.
  • Freeman Award nomination. Nominated by Board of Directors of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages annually, recognizes best article on an applied pedagogical topic from any major journal.  “Language Change and Foreign Language Teaching” (2006).