Language and Linguistics
The Language and Linguistics section can be found in the
Department of English
Phil I, House B, 4th floor
35394 Gießen, Germany
DEALING WITH THE CORONAVIRUS:
# Most of the courses offered by the English linguistics section in the summer semester 2022 are being held as face-to-face events by observing the hygiene and safety measures. Keeping a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between two persons and wearing a medical mask is still strongly recommended.
# For all supervised examinations (e.g. written and oral exams) under the responsibility of JLU following 12 March 2020, a comprehensive free attempt regulation was passed by the Senate. That means that any first failed attempt following this date will count as an open attempt and will not be counted towards the number of possible examination attempts. Federal or state regulations on state examinations remain unaffected by this regulation.
# Most lecturers offer face-to-face office hours. Please see here for further information.
# JLU buildings are open to the public. Wearing a medical mask (surgical mask or FFP2 respirator) is strongly recommended and encouraged.
Please refer to the FAQ for regularly updated information on how to deal with the current situation.
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 holds the Chair of English Linguistics. 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 as group leader; 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.