Mag. Theresa Matzinger, MSc


My project unites my broad interests in linguistics and cognition, including both human and non-human animal cognition.

The project focuses on speech segmentation cues that learners use when acquiring their native language. In particular, it investigates the prosodic cue of phrase-final lengthening, which is the language-universal phenomenon that speakers pronounce the final element of an utterance longer compared to other, preceding elements. The project studies how salient this lengthening cue is for speech segmentation in relation to other prosodic cues such as pause or pitch. It further explores whether non-human animals perceive these lengthening cues too, and can make use of them to segment acoustic signals. A third goal of the project is to show that phrase-final lengthening has effects on how the sounds of a language change historically.

The project involves and combines psycholinguistic methods, comparative research on budgerigars, and historical linguistics. This interdisciplinary approach will contribute towards a better understanding of language evolution and change in general.


Matzinger T, Auersperg AMI & Bugnyar T: Problem-solving and tool-use in Common Ravens (C. corax) and Carrion Crows (C. corone) (in prep)

Sima MJ, Matzinger T, Bugnyar T & Pika S. 2018. Reconciliation and third-party affiliation in carrion crows. Ethology 124, 33-44.

Matzinger, T. 2014. Teiche in der Landschaft – Bedeutung, Funktionen und Gefährdung. Schriftenreihe des Bundesamtes für Wasserwirtschaft, Band 36. 


Conference contributions

ESHP 2017: Third Edinburgh Symposium on Historical Phonology; Edinburgh, UK, November 30-December 1, 2017. Matzinger T, Ritt N. Middle English Open Syllable Lengthening and statistical (mor-)phonotactics.

SLE 2017: 50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europeae; Zurich, CH, September 10-13, 2017. Matzinger T, Ritt N. /l/-darkening in Austrian learner English.

Annual Meeting of the Ethological Society 2017: From Sensory Perception to Behaviour; Bonn, D, February 22-24, 2017. Matzinger T, Aust U. Visual discrimination of natural and artificial stimuli in pigeons (Columba livia).

ASAB Summer Conference 2015: Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Summer Conference; Lincoln, UK, August 26-27, 2015. Matzinger T, Auersperg AMI, Von Bayern AMP & Bugnyar T. Problem-solving and tool-use in Common Ravens (C. corax) and Carrion Crows (C. corone).

ECBB 2014: European Conference of Behavioural Biology; Prague, CZ, July 17-20, 2014. Matzinger T, Auersperg AMI, Von Bayern AMP & Bugnyar T. Problem-solving, tool-use and insight in Common Ravens (C. corax) and Carrion Crows (C. corone).



2017- : PhD student, Department of Cognitive Biology and Department of English, University of Vienna.

2016- : University Assistant (prae-doc), Department of English, University of Vienna.

2014- : AHS teacher for English and Biology

2015-2016: Studies of English Language and Linguistics, University of Vienna.

2011-2015: MSc in Behaviour, Neurobiology and Cognition, University of Vienna.

2008-2014: Mag. rer. nat. in Biology and English (Lehramt), University of Vienna.

2008-2011: BSc in Biology (Microbiology and Genetics), University of Vienna.


Awards, Scholarships and Grants

2017: Conference Travel Grant of the Ethological Society 

2012, 2014: ASAB Conference Travel Grants

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 (2x), 2014, 2017: Academic excellence scholarship (Leistungsstipendium), University of Vienna.



Proseminar Linguistics 1 - Phonetics and Phonology (WS 2017/18), University of Vienna.