Grit Liebscher


Grit LiebscherApplied linguistics (sociolinguistics, bilingualism, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, language and identity, German migration)

Contact information


Leipzig, Edinburgh, Austin, Waterloo – these are the main stations of my academic and personal life. My interest in linguistics, sports, travelling and music started in Leipzig, Germany. My experience travelling the world grew when the East German wall came down in 1989. I got the chance to experience the university, castle, and ghosts of Edinburgh, Scotland. My taste in country, blues and jazz was then strongly influenced by the great music on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. Waterloo, Ontario, is my home since 1999. When I am not reading linguistics books or novels, I may be playing tennis, swimming, or enjoying music in Waterloo at the Blues Festival or the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. There is also a good chance that I am out driving my kids around to activities or watching them dance or play music. Frequent trips to Germany take me to Leipzig, Berlin, and Mannheim.


  • PhD (Texas at Austin)
  • Staatsexamen (Leipzig)

Selected Publications

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2013) Language, Space, and Identity in Migration. Palgrave Macmillan. 

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain. (2013) Constructing identities through Laughter. In: Studies of Laughter in Interaction, edited by Phillip Glenn and Liz Holt. Continuum Press/Bloomsbury Publishing: London/New York. 234-257.

Reichert, Tetyana and Grit Liebscher. (2012). Positioning the expert: word searches, expertise, and learning opportunities in peer interaction. Modern Language Journal 96, 4, 595-605.

Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2011).  Germans from different places: constructing a German space in urban Canada. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 23/4 (special issue on Germanic languages and migration in North America, ed. by Kristine Horner), 315-345.

Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2011). Language attitudes, migrant identities, and space. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 212, 91-133.

Liebscher, Grit, Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain, Mareike Mueller, and Tetyana Reichert. (2010). Negotiating identities through pronouns of address in an immigrant community. Pragmatics 20, 3, 375-400.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2009). Language attitudes in interaction. Journal of Sociolinguistics 13, 2, 195-222.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2009). Teacher and Student Use of the First Language in Foreign Language Classroom Interaction: Functions and Applications. In: First Language Use in Second and Foreign Language Learning, edited by Miles Turnbull and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 131-144.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2009).  Dialect use and discursive identities of migrants from the west in Eastern Germany.  In: Language, Discourse, and Identity in Central Europe, edited by Patrick Stevenson and Jenny Carl. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 185-202.

Schulze, Mathias, James M. Skidmore, David G. John, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach (eds.) (2008). German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2007). Identity and positioning in interactive knowledge displays. Style and social identities. Alternative approaches to linguistic heterogeneity, edited by Peter Auer. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter. 247-278.

Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2006). Language learners' use of discourse markers as evidence for a mixed code. International Journal of Bilingualism 10, 1, 89-109.

Liebscher, Grit. (2006). Perspectives in conflict: An analysis of German-German conversations. In: Beyond Misunderstanding. Linguistic Analyses of Intercultural Communication, edited by Kristin Bührig and Jan D. ten ThijeAmsterdam: John Benjamins. 155-174.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2005). Learner code-switching in the content-based foreign language classroom. The Canadian Modern Language Review 4, 2004. 501-525, reprinted in The Modern Language Journal 89.2, 2005, 234-247.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2005). West Germans moving east: Place, political space, and positioning in conversational narratives. In: Dislocations/relocations: narratives of displacement, edited by Mike Baynham and Anna de Fina. Manchester, UK: St. Jerome. 61-85.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. 2003. Conversational repair as a role-defining mechanism in the classroom. The Modern Language Journal 87, 3, 375-390.


  • GER/REES 261/ENGL 220A: Languages in Society I: Discourse Analysis
  • GER/REES 262/ENGL 220B: Languages in Society II: Multilingualism
  • GER 303: German through Media
  • GER 612: Topics in Sociolinguistics: Language, migration, and identity
  • GER 601: Approaches to Linguistics (Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis)
  • GER 613: Approaches to Analyzing Communication
  • GER 613: Language and Identity
  • GER 612/GER 431: Topics in Sociolinguistics: Multilingualism in the Modern World
University of Waterloo

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