Maryann OverstreetProfessor & Chair of German

Maryann Overstreet

Contemporary German language, pragmatics, discourse analysis
Office: Moore Hall 454 | Phone: (808) 956-4172

Maryann Overstreet is Professor, Chair and Undergraduate Advisor of German Studies. She was born in Hawai’i and holds an MA (German) and PhD (Linguistics). She studied at UH Mānoa, the University of Colorado Boulder, and at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. Professor Overstreet has taught all levels of German, as well as graduate courses on pedagogy, sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. She is the recipient of a college teaching award, as well as the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Today, she teaches upper-level German courses on conversation, phonetics, grammar, and reading. Her many years of teaching bridge courses on German literature formed the basis of her textbook The Routledge Modern German Reader (2016).

Professor Overstreet has performed a wide range of service to the university, including as a representative for UHPA and the Faculty Senate. She has established strong contacts with the local German community and, with Professor Niklaus Schweizer, was instrumental in helping the German Benevolent Society establish a scholarship for UHM German Studies majors.

Professor Overstreet’s research interests include German language teaching and learning, pragmatics, and discourse analysis. She is best known for her original scholarship involving a category of linguistic expressions that she named “general extenders” (e.g., and stuff, or something). Her work has inspired numerous studies of these forms in varieties of English, and investigations of corresponding forms in many other languages. Professor Overstreet has published two books with major presses: General Extenders: The Forms and Functions of a New Linguistic Category with co-author George Yule (2021, Cambridge University Press), and Whales, Candlelight, and Stuff Like That: General Extenders in English Discourse (1999, Oxford University Press). She has also published articles in journals such as Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, Pragmatics, Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of English Linguistics and Discourse Processes.