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Language and Linguistics

The Language and Linguistics section can be found in the

Department of English
Phil I, House B, 4th floor
Otto-Behaghel-Strasse 10B
35394 Gießen, Germany

Linguistics news:

Guest Lectures
The Language and Linguistics section would like to invite everyone who is interested to join our two linguistic guest lectures:
- Dr. Philipp Meer (Münster University) will give a talk on "English in Trinidad" in Phil 1, A3 on Tuesday, 11 June 2024 from 10 to 12 a.m.
- Dr. Mohammad Alenezi (Kuwait University) will give a talk on "English in Kuwait or Kuwaiti English: a corpus linguistic perspective" in Phil. I, B005 on Thursday, 13 June 2024 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to join!

New publications
We are pleased to inform that Tobias Bernaisch has published a new book titled "Indian Englishes in the Twenty-First Century" together with Sven Leuckert, Claudia Lange and Asya Yurchenko. The authors apply sophisticated corpus-linguistic and statistical methods to explore the unity and diversity of Indian English by providing studies of selected lexical and morphosyntactic features that characterise Indian English(es) in the 21st century.

Eliane Lorenz has published a new monograph titled "Crosslinguistic Influence in L3 Acquisition: Bilingual Heritage Speakers in Germany". The study explores crosslinguistic influence in third language acquisition, drawing insights from a study of young bilingual secondary school students in Germany to unpack the importance of different variables in the acquisition and use of English as an additional language.

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 English linguistics. As regards research foci, varieties of English around the world constitute a consistently prominent research topic, but also the history of the English language represents a focal point of research activities. Methodologically, the English linguistics section generally studies and describes the English language on empirical grounds and verifies its findings statistically. In terms of teaching, these research foci find reflection in that courses on World Englishes (e.g. American, British or Indian English) as well as on all stages of the history of the English language (e.g. Middle English, Early Modern English or Late Modern English) are offered; our courses also cover a variety of corpus-linguistic techniques and quantitative methodologies. Seminars on the different levels of language organisation in terms of sounds (phonetics and phonology), words (morphology and word-formation), sentences (syntax) and meaning (semantics and pragmatics) as well as on various applied fields of linguistic research (e.g. psycholinguistics or sociolinguistics) complete the set of courses offered. These courses generally have an empirical focus and offer hands-on training in the description and analysis of a wide range of linguistic phenomena, using state-of-the-art methods in corpus linguistics, statistics and data science. The goal is to enable students to design and carry out their own linguistic research projects. The respective courses are designed for students of all lines of studies, i.e. Bachelor and Master programmes as well as the entire range of teaching-degree study programmes (L1–5).


The three chairs in the linguistics section represent distinct yet interconnected research interests that also feed into the wide array of courses mentioned above:

  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Th. Gries, who holds the Chair of Corpus Linguistics (with a focus on quantitative methods), is a quantitative corpus linguist at the intersection of corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, and computational linguistics. In his courses, students learn to use a variety of different statistical methods to investigate linguistic topics. Moreover, his courses are designed to help students understand corpus-linguistic methodology and statistical methods in linguistics. Much of Prof. Gries’ recent work involves the open-source software R which he introduced in his courses. In terms of theory, he is a cognitively oriented usage-/exemplar-based linguist (with an interest in Construction Grammar) in the wider sense of seeking explanations in terms of cognitive processes.
  • Prof. Dr. Magnus Huber holds the Chair of English Linguistics and the History of the English Language. The research and courses of his chair cover a wide range of synchronic and diachronic topics and thus deal particularly, but not exclusively, with the descriptive levels of phonetics/phonology, morphology and syntax. Prof. Huber looks at these synchronically and diachronically over the past 1,000 years of the history of the language, from Middle English to Present Day English, and both in standard and non-standard varieties. His research and teaching have a special (but again not exclusive) focus on the subdisciplines of historical linguistics, sociolinguistics and dialectology, varieties of English around the world and pidgin and creole languages. Among his favoured methodologies are variationist and corpus-linguistic approaches as well as qualitative approaches like the analysis of early texts with regard to structural and language sociological features.
  • Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee is on leave until further notice. The research interests of his team members cover English as a World/Second language in general and (South) Asian Englishes in particular as well as corpus linguistics (both as a discipline and as a method and also including fields of application as e.g. in foreign-language teaching). A major part of the research and teaching activities in the “Mukherjee team” fall under the auspices of Dr. Tobias Bernaisch, who acts as Interim Chair of English Linguistics; his research interests include South Asian Englishes and corpus-linguistic methodology, but extend to other areas such as Gender in World Englishes as well. All courses offered by the team members reflect the aforementioned research interests.