Kärt Roomäe

Kärt Roomäe

Department of English Language and Linguistics
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Constructionalizing Conversation: Collaborative Insubordination in English Language Podcasts
Supervisors: Dr Florent Perek and Dr Amanda Patten
PhD English Language and Applied Linguistics


  • MA in English Language and Literature (cum laude), University of Tartu, Estonia, 2021
  • BA in English Language and Literature (cum laude), University of Tartu, Estonia, 2019


Being originally from Estonia, I graduated from Tallinn French School in 2016. After that, I spent five years at the University of Tartu, graduating from their MA program in English Language and Literature in 2021, having obtained a BA in English Language and Literature with a minor in the French Language from the same university in 2019. Spoken language sparked my interest early on and my research, including BA thesis on non-canonical questions in an English language podcast and MA thesis on how come construction in a spoken English corpus, has focused on that. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of presenting at both local and international conferences as well as participating in an international research group as part of a science and technology cooperation project involving researchers from Estonia and France (see Other activities). This has motivated me highly and urged me to pursue a PhD degree in English linguistics. I have also been a teaching assistant during my MA (see Teaching) and occasionally tutor high school students who need assistance with their English. Additionally, I do freelance translations and edit texts written in Estonian and English.


  • Preparing for the National Examination in Estonian (Initiative of the Year of the Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics 2021, University of Tartu, Estonia; Learning Achievement of the Year 2021, University of Tartu, Estonia) 2021
  • History of English, University of Tartu, Estonia, 2021
  • English for Advanced Learners II, Level C1, University of Tartu, Estonia, 2020
  • English as a Minor II, University of Tartu, Estonia, 2020


Building upon what was established in my BA and MA theses on the topics of podcasts and spoken constructions respectively, this PhD project will explore the form-meaning pairs, or constructions, that are used in English language podcasts, therefore applying construction grammar to spoken language. The empirical study will use Spotify Podcast Dataset as the primary source. At this stage, I am planning to focus on the Communication “V that” construction from the English Constructicon project (Perek and Patten 2021) on the example of collaborative insubordination, a construction characteristic of the relatively informal, semi-spontaneous speech available through podcast data. The description of this construction will allow us to create more authentic study materials. On a more theoretical level, it advances the methodology of interactional construction grammar. Combining a new subfield of construction grammar, which is at the forefront of cognitive linguistics, with a popular, easy-access medium will reveal how and to what extent spoken constructions may resist or adhere to criteria applicable to written discourse.

Other activities

Research papers given at conferences:

Invited Talks:

  • Podcasts and Linguistics Research, PGTips, University of Birmingham, 8 March 2022
  • The analysis of canonical and non-canonical questions in an English language podcast, Parrot workshop Tartu-Tallinn, 22-23 October 2019

Oral presentations:

  • Klavan, J.; Roomäe, K.; Savchenko, D. A corpus study of intensifiers in Estonian learners’ spoken English. ICAME 41 Heidelberg Digital Conference Language and Linguistics in a Complex World: Data, Interdisciplinarity, Transfer, and the Next Generation at Heidelberg University and University of Cologne, Germany, 20-23 May 2020
  • Roomäe, K. Using digital tools for analyzing linguistic data: Direct questions in a podcast episode. ISLE 6 Conference: Evolving English and the Digital Era in Joensuu, Finland, 2-5 June 2021


  • From 2019,  Member of International Society for the Linguistics of English


  • The prosody and information structure of surprise questions in comparison with other languages. Did corpus research on the modality and information structure of French surprise questions and their Estonian translations, 2019–2021 EKKD10.
  • Estonian-French science and technology cooperation program project Surprise Questions from a Comparative Perspective. Gave a presentation during a workshop on canonical and non-canonical questions based on my BA thesis, 2019–2021 PARROT.

Research grants:

  • Kristjan Jaak degree studies abroad scholarship, PhD funded by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, 2021-2024 

CV on Estonian Research Information System



  • Roomäe, K, Listen, Podcast! Open!: the EATE journal, 56, 20−24, 2019.

Master's Thesis:

  • Roomäe, K, How Come That's A Construction? A Construction Grammar Approach to the how come Construction in Spoken American English (MA thesis, University of Tartu), Tartu: University of Tartu, 2021.

Book Reviews:

  • Roomäe, K, Meetings with and about Languages. Open!: the EATE journal, 59, 46−47, 2021
  • Roomäe, K, Language Change: Making Sense of Online Writing. Open!: the EATE journal, 60, 52−53, 2021
  • Roomäe, K, How Do We Talk Then? Open!: the EATE journal, 57, 62−63, 2020
  • Roomäe, K, Demystifying the Complex Spelling of English. Open!: the EATE journal, 58, 50−52, 2020