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Soundwave and spectrogram of the utterance English Language and Linguistics

Anglistik III: English Language and Linguistics

In der Sprachwissenschaft des Instituts für Anglistik und Amerikanistik gibt es drei Professuren, die mit Tania Kouteva, Kevin Tang und Ingo Plag besetzt sind. Tania Kouteva ist eine der führenden Wissenschaftlerinnen auf dem Gebiet der Sprachentwicklungs- und Grammatikalisierungsforschung, Ingo Plag ist vor allem bekannt für seine Forschungen auf den Gebieten der Morphologie und der Kreolistik. Kevin Tangs Schwerpunkte liegen in den Bereichen Phonetik, Phonologie und Morphologie.

Forschung und Lehre der Englischen Sprachwissenschaft decken die ganze Breite der sprachlichen Subsysteme ab (Phonetik, Phonologie, Morphologie, Syntax, Pragmatik und Textlinguistik).

Prof. Dr. Ingo Plag:

Prof. Dr. Kevin Tang:

Dr. Julia Muschalik

Prof. Dr. Kouteva

Alexander von Humboldt International Research Linkage Group Project F010416

A functional and cognitive study of discourse markers

By adopting a functional-cognitive approach, this project investigates crucial aspects of discourse markers in Persian, against the background of a number of other languages, e.g. English, German, French, Bulgarian, Korean, Japanese.

Based on a series of recent works on Discourse Grammar, the goal of this project is to elaborate a theoretical framework for the rise of discourse markers in genetically and geographically related and unrelated languages.

Principal Co-Investigators

Prof. Dr. em. Bernd Heine (University of Cologne, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Tania Kouteva-Kuteva (University of Düsseldorf, Germany/SOAS, University of London, UK)

Prof. Dr. Mohammad Amouzadeh-Mahdiraji (University of Isfahan, Iran)

Funding Period: 2017 – 2022


The Ministry of Education of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea: International Project: 2020S1A5A2A03043203 (NRF no.) and 20201179 (CAU e-tera no.)

From Fear to Grammar: Grammaticalization of Apprehensionals from crosslinguistic and typological perspectives

It has been observed that many languages have grammatical means of signalling fear, largely known as Apprehensionals, with two fundamental concepts involved, i.e. high probability and undesirability. This corpus-based project is a collaborative work on diverse aspects of grammaticalization of Apprehensionals that occur in Korean, English, German, and Bulgarian, focusing on their source constructions, developmental processes, their establishment as grammatical forms, and their synchronic distributive patterns.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Sunhee Yae (Chung-Ang University, Korea)

Co-Investigator: Prof. Dr. Tania Kouteva-Kuteva (Heinrich-Heine University, Germany/SOAS, University of London, UK)

Co-Investigator: Prof. Dr. Seongha Rhee (Hankuk University, Korea)

Funding Period: 2020 -2022


Alexander von Humboldt Research Project Ref. 3.5 – 1203458 -CHN – HFST-E

Grammatical changes of Chinese comment clauses: A typological perspective

This project explores an area that is of concern to contemporary grammaticalization, discourse as well as typological studies, namely how to distinguish between grammaticalization, pragmaticalization and lexicalization on the basis of regularities in language change in individual languages as well as cross-linguistically. The starting point for the project is the preliminary research on Chinese comment clauses. In a second step, comment clauses will be studied from both a synchronic and a diachronic point of view; this study will then be extended to English and other languages.

The innovative value of the project consists in the novel pathway of grammatical development it identifies for comment clauses, which is instrumental in clarifying the boundaries between major processes of language change such as grammaticalization, pragmaticalization, and lexicalization. Further on, it has the potential to resolve a major issue within the newly elaborated framework of Discourse Grammar, namely the inter-dynamics between processes such as cooptation and grammaticalization.

Principal Investigator / Research Fellow: Prof. Dr. Haiping Long (Sun Yat-Sen University, Republic of China)

Host Professor / Collaborator: Prof. Dr. Tania Kouteva-Kuteva (Heinrich-Heine University, Germany/SOAS, University of London, UK)

Funding Period: 2019 - 2022


Alexander von Humboldt Research Project F010416012

Event-based time and quantification in three indigenous Brazilian languages and cultures: A typological perspective

This project aims to investigate the relationship in language, cognition and culture between time, number and space in three indigenous minority communities of Brazil: Awetý (Tupian), Kamaiurá (Tupian) and Huni Kuĩ (Panoan) from a typological perspective.

The research aims, objectives and methods to be used in the project are designed to answer the following Research Questions:

(a)     How is gesture integrated with speech and with symbolic artefact use in event-based time reckoning and temporal reference?

(b)     Does gesture reveal spatial conceptualisations of time (e.g. a mental time line) that are not manifested in speech?

(c)     To what extent are relationships (or their absence) between time, space and number in language paralleled in non-linguistic cognitive processes?

(d)     Are there differences between non-linguistic cognitive processes relating time, space and number in small number/event-based time language speakers, and those of speakers of more familiar languages? 

(e)     How does the domain of embodied cognitive and perceptual processes metaphorically map to the domains of time and space?

(f)     Is the absence in these languages of spatial metaphors for time best explained by the absence of linguistic and cognitive artefact representations of metric time, or by the prevalence of psychological metaphors across different domains, or both?

Principal Investigator / Research Fellow: Dr. Vera Da Silva Sinha (University of East Anglia, UK)

Host Professor / Collaborator: Prof. Dr. Tania Kouteva-Kuteva (Heinrich-Heine University, Germany/SOAS, University of London, UK)

Funding Period: 2021 – 2023.