In this course, we will examine the use(s) of language in a range of pop culture registers such as TV, film, music, videogames, and comics. In addition, we will also consider material from cyberculture (memes, online videos, podcasts, etc.). These sources will guide us through the world of linguistics and turn into the subject matter for our own linguistic investigations. After a short introduction to pop culture from a theoretical perspective and an overview of theoretical and analytical frameworks, we will delve into empirical work drawing on pop culture data. The aim of this course is to enable students to conduct their own linguistic studies drawing on material from pop culture.

This course is an introduction to the acoustic analysis of speech using the software Praat (Boersma & Weenink 2019). The aim is to enable participants to (i) understand general acoustic concepts such as periodicity/pitch, loudness, duration, and spectral properties, (ii) relate these concepts to properties of spoken language and define phonetic variables based on them, and (iii) conduct acoustic analyses in Praat. In each session, all three aspects will usually go hand in hand. We will start with manual analyses, but some automated (scripted) approaches will also be explained and practised. Participants are expressly invited to bring concrete research ideas (or some data of their own) to class.

Cognitive linguistics is concerned with the relation between language and cognition. In this course, we will discuss the basic concepts in the filed such as construal, perspective, foregrounding, metaphor, entrenchment, schematicity, and frame. We shall proceed to look at the structural characteristics of natural language categorisation. We will continue with the discussion of the functional principles of linguistics organisation such as iconicity. Furthermore, we will discuss the conceptual interface between syntax and semantics such as cognitive and constructive grammar. Lastly, we look at the usage-based theory is used to explain language acquisition. 


In this course, we will discuss the basics of corpus based language studies. We will look at the history of corpus linguistics and its role in modern linguistics. This will be followed by a description of how corpora are planned, compiled, annotated and analysed. Using the available corpora, we will explore linguistic variation in English language, that is, in first and second language varieties

This series of lectures discusses the most important changes in the course of the history of the English language. We will examine both the methods of investigating language change and the theories that explain it. We shall explore the origin and development of English vocabulary as well as the morphosyntactic and phonological changes in the history of the English language to date.


The aim of this introductory course is to provide students with basic knowledge of the field of English linguistics and its sub-disciplines, especially phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The focus in this course is both theoretical and practical. There will be a final exam at the end of the semester.
Preparatory Reading: Bieswanger, Markus & Annette Becker. 2017. Introduction to English Linguistics.
4th Edition. Tübingen: Francke.

The aim of this introductory course is to provide students with basic knowledge of the field of English linguistics and its sub-disciplines, especially phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The focus in this course is both theoretical and practical. There will be a final exam at the end of the semester.

This course is intended as an advanced exploration of various theoretical approaches of linguistics. It offers both a hands-on application of theories and a practical engagement with each of these approaches. The theoretical approaches envisaged for discussion include Schools of Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Language Contact and Change, Cognitive Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics, Written and Spoken Language, Text Linguistics and First Language Acquisition.

This course looks at the two branches of linguistics which deal with the properties and functions of speech sounds in human language. We will look at the sound producing system. This will be followed by a look at the description and classification of consonants and vowels according to place and manner of articulation. We will compare the inventories of sounds used in English and other languages such as German. Lastly, we will look at supra-segmental phonology and issues related to connected speech. Major topics include: speech production and perception, acoustic phonetics, articulation, co-articulation, sounds in association, assimilation processes, the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).


This course introduces students to the linguistic subfield of syntax: i.e. the study of sentences and phrases. Some of the topics to be discussed are phrases, clauses, constituents, word classes, heads and dependents, and wh-constructions. Furthermore, we will learn how to draw tree diagrams of sentences. The theoretical models and concepts which constitute the basis of this course will be supplemented with a multitude of practical exercises.
The aim of this class is to provide students with in-depth knowledge of syntax and prepare them for further work in this area.
This course is particularly recommended for Lehramt students as preparation for the Staatsexamen.

In this seminar, roughly equal weight will be given to three aspects: (i) the possible effects of socio-stylistic variables on linguistic variation (speakers’ gender, age, and social class, or contexts of language use); (ii) phonetic variables, i.e. characteristics of speakers’ accents that may be influenced by such socio-stylistic factors; and (iii) sociophonetic methodology, i.e. issues involved in planning, designing and conducting a sociophonetic study. Term papers written in this seminar should ideally have some applied components, i.e. they will at least partly be based on small-scale sociophonetic studies designed by participants.

This course is an introduction to the different varieties of English that are used around the globe, either as a first language (L1 varieties; e.g. England, Scotland, USA, New Zealand) or as a second language with official/institutional roles in the respective countries (L2 varieties; e.g. India, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Singapore). We will discuss the following aspects: (i) the paths along which English has expanded from Great Britain to other territories; (ii) different models and theories concerning the outcomes of this expansion; and (iii) the linguistic features found in a selection of selected present-day varieties of English.