How are texts structured? How does advertising language work? How do we know when it is our turn to say something in conversation? How do we recruit help, apologize, complain, or respond to such action? How do we deal with slips of the tongue, a wrong word, or simply not having understood what the other was saying?
Our work focuses on the empirical investigation of present-day English, with special attention to every-day interaction. We describe current English in terms of the core areas of English linguistics:
- phonetics/phonology (form, structure, combination and function of sounds and larger sound units of English),
- morphology (form and make-up of English words),
- lexicology (structure of the English word inventory),
- semantics (meaning of linguistic form(s) and its cognitive representation),
- syntax (combinations of words into larger units),
and against the background of
- text- and discourse linguistics (larger structure of more complex linguistic units) and
- pragmatics (function of linguistic units in context).
Our work is inspired by corpus linguistics, Phonetics/Phonology for Conversation, Construction Grammar, and usage-based approaches.
But our main research interest centres around the investigation of authentic spoken English, in particular its prosody, syntax and pragmatics as well as short-term language change. In studying these, we mainly employ methods of Interactional Linguistics and Conversation Analysis.
And most recently, we extended our research to the area of Applied Interactional Linguistics, and we started a range of teaching projects in both teacher training as well as study programs for other professional areas.
We serve as home to both trainee teachers as well as students planning to qualify for other professional fields connected with (the English) language.
Graduates, postgraduates and visiting scholars with a special interest in Interactional Linguistics and Applied Interactional Linguistics are very welcome to join us. Our research centre "Interactional Linguistics" serves as a focal point for relevant research activities at the University of Potsdam and as a partner for collaboration with similarly minded scholars and institutions outside of Potsdam.