Welcome to English Lingustics at the University of Augsburg!
Let us give you a brief impression of what English Linguistics is and what we do:
English Linguistics takes in its scope the time from around 700 to the 21st century, past and present varieties of English as well as English in its diverse usage contexts and functions. In our teaching we try to do as much justice to this wide range as possible, with courses on, e.g., Chaucer’s English, Speech Acts or Forensic Linguistics. More specifically we focus on the following areas in research and teaching:
Researching language in use, such as describing the general principles governing speaker’s linguistic choices or showing how situational / institutional requirements shape texts, constitutes the fields of pragmatics and discourse linguistics. Our interests here include narrative, evaluation, and the emergence / use of pragmatic features in various media and genres, e.g. CMC, film, and history writing. At the pragmatics-semantics interface we investigate figurative and non-literal language (e.g. metaphors, hyperbole) and the polysemy of prepositions.
With regard to the history of the English language, we focus in particular on the Early and Late Modern English periods (1500 onwards). We have taken structural (verb structures, intensifiers) and textual (newspapers, pamphlets, historiography) perspectives on this period. Specific processes of change (e.g. pragmaticalisation) and standardisation have been a further focus.
We believe in the importance of using authentic data, of whatever nature, both in research and in teaching. We are thus also active in corpus linguistics, both using and constructing corpora (large collections of electronic text). We are or have been involved in the construction of a corpus of Early Modern English news pamphlets, a corpus of English history writing, and a corpus of film scripts.
English Linguistics is concerned with the analysis of the English language system as a whole, comprising first of all the core areas of linguistics: the sound system (phonetics and phonology), the lexicon (lexicology, morphology, lexicography), meaning (semantics), and grammar (syntax, inflectional morphology).
Furthermore, it deals with the distribution of English (social and regional varieties), its historical development (diachronic linguistics) and its uses in everyday life (pragmatics, text and discourse linguistics).