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German linguistics has a long tradition at the University of Gothenburg – the first chair in German linguistics was established already in 1951.
At present, the research and PhD theses in the field are carried out within a number of subdomains, primarily from a comparative perspective.

Text and discourse

How are values, knowledge and ideology created and conveyed linguistically in texts and discourses, regarded as collections of thematically related texts and expressions? These questions are explored in linguistic text and discourse analysis. Researchers at the Department study for example discourses of German left-wing terrorism, and the role of language in that context. The research on text and discourse linguistics is concerned with how language is used and in particular its cultural and social embedding.

Language contact

Language contact is a young but rapidly growing research field with roots in both linguistic typology and theories of language change. Most modern societies are multilingual, where majority languages tend to influence minority tongues. The research field Syntax in contact. Spoken German in Krasnoyarsk (Siberia) has emerged at the Department. We especially explore language contact phenomena in Russian Siberia and Brazil. We also study similarities and differences between Standard German grammar, spoken German and contact varieties.

Language Acquisition

How do we learn to express ourselves in a foreign language (i.e. to form utterances and phrases that are accurate from a morphological, syntactical and pragmatic point of view) and how do we store linguistic information in our memory? Language acquisition research examines the interplay between linguistic input, social interaction and the mental processes that are activated when we process linguistic information. Researchers at the Department study learners’ German language production in order to learn more about the form-function mappings that reflect the developmental process of language acquisition. The current focus lies on the use of words, phrases and fixed multi-word sequences (formulas) in students’ interaction in written chats and their importance to achieve complexity and fluency in German.

Language history and onomastics

In the subject of German at SPL, the focus within language history is on the study of writing, historical sociolinguistics and the study of personal names. The area is associated with SPL's overall research area "Writing and Society".
Current research in onomastics and language history deals with medieval North Germanic personal names recorded by scribes on the Continent. These names show significant signs of oral language contact. The main interest lies in the spelling and grammar of the language contact phenomena and the factors behind the variation in the contact outcomes. Thus, the sociolinguistic context is also explored, which encompasses for example language and writing skills of the involved actors as well as the social function of the names.

Linguistic corpora and corpus linguistic methods

German linguistics research at the Department involves the use of linguistic corpora and corpus linguistic methods. Our researchers strive to develop new corpora that can be used in research, PhD studies and Master’s courses in German. You can access a wide range of German corpora in the Swedish Language Bank.

Contact Information

Christiane Andersen, Professor, Linguistics

Box 200, 405 30 Göteborg

Visiting Address:
Lundgrensgatan 7

031-786 4363

Page Manager: Annika Andersson|Last update: 3/21/2018

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