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Joseph Trotta

Senior lecturer

Joseph Trotta
Senior lecturer
+46 31 786 1477

Room number: F425
Postal Address: Box 200, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Renströmsgatan 6 , 41256 Göteborg

Department of Languages & Literatures (More Information)
Box 200
405 30 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Renströmsgatan 6 , 412 55 Göteborg

About Joseph Trotta

  • Phone/office hour: By agreement via e-mail 


I am an expatriate American who has been living in Sweden since 1986. I started my studies in English at Gothenburg University in 1989 and received my PhD in English Linguistics in 1998. My PhD dissertation, ‘Wh-clauses in English: Aspects of Theory and Description’ was well-received and subsequently published by an international publisher (Rodopi BV). I have held posts at Halmstad University College (senior lecturer, 1998-2002), The City University of New York, Graduate Center (visiting fellow, 2004), returning to Gothenburg University in 2005 where I am now senior lecturer in English Language.

I am a linguist with a strong footing in both empirical and theoretical approaches to language. Much of my work so far has focused on ‘descriptive-oriented theory’ in tackling specific questions about English grammar and syntax. Research of this type attempts to incorporate generative theory and modern descriptive grammar into a theoretically-unaligned approach, using theory-oriented ideas to justify description and vice versa, i.e. using empirical corpus data to support or refute theoretical claims.

Though my work has primarily concerned syntax, I am a scholar with many interests and eclectic tastes, which include, among other things, semantics, sociolinguistics, urban dialectology, semiotics and computer-mediated conversation. At present, I am especially interested in Popular Culture and the use of English in popular media such as film, TV, the internet, music, magazines, tabloids, ads, online games, etc. Several projects in this exciting field are in progress and I have also developed an elective course on this subject which is regularly offered to C-level students in Gothenburg.

I have roughly 20 years’ experience teaching university students in Sweden. At both Gothenburg University and Halmstad University I have taught a wide range of different undergraduate and graduate courses, chiefly on English language and linguistics. I believe in and practice many of the newest methods based on student-centered learning and dialogic teaching strategies. Group processes are essential in this approach and my goal is to advance students’ critical thinking by challenging them to reach to the best of their ability, while at the same time offering a supportive learning environment. In all my teaching, I set clear, high-level course objectives and develop assignments which measure these objectives. Though I am firmly convinced of the need of the individual to learn independently, I am not an ‘absolutist’ in my beliefs on student-centered learning. In my view, the most valuable lesson students can learn about the learning process is that knowledge is not ever just the transmission of information but instead involves a number of factors, one of which being an effective and open dialog between the learner and the teacher.

Latest publications

What can a corpus tell us about Apocalyptic/Dystopian Texts?
Joseph Trotta
Broken Mirrors: Representations of Apocalypses and Dystopias in Popular Culture / edited by Joe Trotta, Zlatan Filipovic, Houman Sadri., London, Routledge, Chapter in book 2020
Chapter in book

Welcome to the Beginning of the End of Everything
Joseph Trotta, Houman Sadri
Broken Mirrors: Representations of Apocalypses and Dystopias in Popular Culture / edited by Joe Trotta, Zlatan Filipovic, Houman Sadri, New York, Routledge, Chapter in book 2019
Chapter in book

Pop Culture and Linguistics—Is That, Like, a Thing Now?
Joe Trotta
The Language of Pop Culture / edited by Valentin Werner, London ; New York, Routledge, Chapter in book 2018
Chapter in book

Dealers and discourse: Sociolinguistic variation in The Wire.
Joe Trotta
Watching TV with a Linguist / edited by Kristy Beers Fägersten, Syracuse, New York, Syracuse University Press, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

Every city has a voice: Putting the urban back into urban dialectology
Joe Trotta
Captured by the City: Perspectives in Urban Culture Studies / edited by Blagovesta M. Momchedjikova, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars, Chapter in book 2013
Chapter in book

What Meatloaf won't do for love: A catalog of mystery, imagination and linguistic rebellion in popular music
Joe Trotta
Language, Football and All that Jazz: A Festschrift for Sölve Ohlander / Gunnar Bergh, Rhonwen Bowen & Mats Mobärg (eds.), Göteborg, Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, Chapter in book 2013
Chapter in book

Time, Tense and Aspect in Nonstandard English: An Overview
Joe Trotta
Tid och tidsförhållanden i olika språk, Göteborg, University of Gothenburg, Chapter in book 2011
Chapter in book

Image-based Online Communication: Observations on the Status of Images as Linguistic Constituentss in Computer-mediated Communication
Joe Trotta, Markus Danielson
McLuhan Galaxy Conference: Understanding Media, Today, Conference paper 2011
Conference paper

Showing 11 - 20 of 25



Comments on Vacuous Subject Movement
Joe Trotta
An international master of syntax and semantics : papers presented to Aimo Seppänen on the occasion of his 75th birthday / edited by Gunnar Bergh, Jennifer Herriman & Mats Mobärg, Göteborg, Göteborg University, Chapter in book 2004
Chapter in book


Bada-bing! A look at the language of The Sopranos
Joe Trotta
Moderna Språk, Journal article 2003
Journal article


Webheads, Googlewhackers and Anosmiacs
Joe Trotta
Moderna Språk, Journal article 2002
Journal article


The wh- + that pattern in present-day English
Joe Trotta, Aimo Seppänen
Corpora Galore, Conference paper 2000
Conference paper

Wh-clauses in English: Aspects of Theory and Description
Joe Trotta
Amsterdam & Atlanta, Rodopi, Book 2000


Language corpora and the internet: A joint linguistic resouce
Gunnar Bergh, Aimo Seppänen, Joe Trotta
Exporations in Corpus Linguistics, Conference paper 1998
Conference paper

Showing 11 - 20 of 25

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-08-12