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Language and Linguistics

The English linguistics section of the Department of English is involved in a wide range of research activities and offers courses in all major fields of modern English linguistics and all stages of the history of the English language.

Linguistic research in Giessen puts special emphasis on – but is not restricted to – the in-depth and computer-based analysis of large collections of authentic spoken and written texts, i.e. corpora. Corpus-based methodology is applied to various levels of linguistic description, e.g. phonetics/phonology, morphology, lexicology (in English for academic purposes), syntax (with regard to verb complementation), synchronic and historical sociolinguistics and varieties of English (e.g. Indian English). In the area of non-standard varieties, the history, sociolinguistics and structure of English-lexicon pidgins and creoles form an important area of research, as do dialects of English. Research into the evolution of spoken and written norms and standards in postcolonial varieties of English considers both the structural and the social aspects of standardization processes. Language-pedagogical implications and applications of linguistic analyses are another important field of linguistic research into the English language in Giessen. For example, the English linguistics section has been actively involved in the compilation and analysis of various corpora of German learners' use of English as a foreign language.

Another focus of linguistic research in Giessen are process-oriented investigations of text comprehension, text production and translation using methods such as keystroke logging, think aloud, screen recording and eye-tracking. Other fields of applied-linguistic research in Giessen include linguistic stylistics and pragmatics. The history of the English language is an integral part of the research activities in the English linguistics section as well. Please have a look at the list of on-going Research Projects.

Our section offers introductory courses, seminars and lectures for students of all lines of studies (Bachelor and Master programmes, L1-5). The courses cover all major fields in the linguistic sciences, including the linguistic levels of phonology, morphology and word-formation, syntax, text-linguistics and pragmatics. We also provide courses in various applied fields of linguistic research (e.g. psycholinguistics, sociolinguisics), standard and non-standard varieties of English (e.g. Indian English, African varieties of English) as well as in all stages of the history of the English language (e.g. Middle English, Early Modern English, Late Modern English). Please have a look at the current Teaching Programme.