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Faculty of Languages and Literature

Chair of English Linguistics

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Varieties of English and English-related contact languagesHide

One of the main research foci of the English Linguistics Department is the variation of English throughout the world. We are interested in the forms and functions of English in various regional contexts such as the Caribbean and the American South (Susanne Mühleisen), Africa (Susanne Mühleisen, Eric Anchimbe, Jude Ssempuuma), and Asia (Sofia Rüdiger). Our research spans Englishes used as native, second, and foreign language, as well as pidgins and creoles.

For examples of our published work in this area, see:

Language, identity and society Hide

Language is an important means for expressing identities and provides essential glue for the fabric which is our society. In this research strand, we focus on the role of language in different communities. Our research in this field ties in with our interest in varieties of English and communication online, where the identity-expressing function of language also takes the center stage.

For examples of our work in this area, see:

Pragmatics and genre studiesHide

The field of pragmatics is concerned with meaning in context, that is, how do speakers make language mean the things they want to express? Our research here ranges from traditional speech act analysis and politeness theory to postcolonial pragmatics and the performance of in/formality; see, for example:

Related to this field is the study of genres and text types. Genre expectations guide the understanding of different texts and speech events and play an essential role in grasping the linguistic world around us. We are particularly interested in the transformation of particular genres when they ‘go digital’ (e.g. recipes, death notices, and dating ads).

Communication and narration onlineHide

The possibilities of digital communication has changed our forms of written interaction enormously in the last three decades. Our research topics in this area are concerned with language use and function in social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram as well as with forms and functions of narratives and presentation of self on the Web (cf. the conference "Personal Narrative Online").

Examples of our published work in this area:

Language and cultural studies on food and literatureHide

The use of language is pervasive in all areas of social and cultural life. Language and food is one example of a prominent literal and metaphorical discursive topic which contributes to establishing communities and creates a sense of identity (cf. the conference “Talking about Food”). But also the use of language in literature, including the use of different varieties of English, is one of the research topics which connects language, culture and World Englishes.

Examples of our published work in this area:

Translation studiesHide

Translation is, arguably, one of the most important aspects of intercultural communication. Translation Studies in recent times have included theoretical approaches from postcolonial research as well as anthropological linguistics, pragmatics and sociolinguistics. Our research topics in this area focuses the use of different varieties of English including contact varieties (pidgins and creoles) in literary translations as well as in Bible translations.

Webmaster: Univ.Prof.Dr. Susanne Mühleisen

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