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Photo: Chair of Present-Day English Language and Linguistics


Our work focuses on the empirical investigation, description and explanation of the structure of present-day English and its use, with special attention to spoken language. 

We serve as home to both trainee teachers as well as students planning to qualify for other professional fields connected with (the English) language. 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), 
  • text- and discourse linguistics (larger structure of more complex linguistic units) and 
  • pragmatics (function of linguistic units in context).  

Our main research interests centre around the investigation of 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. Moreover, our work is inspired by corpus linguistics, Phonetics/Phonology for Conversation, Construction Grammar and usage-based approaches. 

We are teaching students the basic concepts and methods of linguistics in general and theories and methods of English linguistics in particular as well as empirical methods and tools for the analysis of the English language system as it is used in everyday social interaction. For this, we use corpora of natural English. At the same time, students are trained in recording and analyzing authentic data with an eye towards their future professional fields. Classes take place in the framework of the following courses of studies: 


  • Anglistik und Amerikanistik
  • Englisch im Lehramt (Sek I, Primarstufe, Gymnasium)


  • Kommunikation, Variation, Mehrsprachigkeit
  • Fremdsprachenlinguistik 
  • Englisch im Lehramt (Sek I, Primarstufe, Gymnasium) 


Apart from this, postgraduates and visiting scholars with a special interest in investigating spoken English are very welcome to join us. The 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.

We are planning to extend our research to fields of applied interactional linguistics with regard to both English at school (bilingual classes, EFL) as well as other professional contexts (business communication, advertising, new media etc).