spectrogram-juskan

[ˈmaɐtɛn ˈjʊskaːn]

"FREDDIE"

I have been part of "FREDDIE" (the FReiburg English Dialect Database for Instruction and E-learning), a project that aimed to turn the English dialect corpus FRED into an interactive e-learning platform. One of our goals was to make research tools more accessible to (undergraduate) students.

Free resources

Classes

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Current teaching (summer 2018)

English Sounds and Sound Systems

In this class, students will receive an introduction to the sound system of English.

They will learn to perceive, distinguish, and describe the phonemes of English and their most common allophones. Stress, intonation, connected speech processes, and syllable structure are also of central interest.

In addition, students will practise phonemic transcription and learn about the most important developments in the history of English from around 450 AD to the present day.

Introduction to English Linguistics

This class familiarises students with the basics of English linguistics, primarily in the areas of morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.

Sessions dealing with linguistic concepts and terminology on an abstract level are accompanied by numerous exercises that allow participants to apply their newly acquired knowledge by analysing naturalistic examples of present day English.

Grammar BM

Grammar BM offers participants a chance to develop and enhance their understanding of basic English grammar rules.

Teaching is centred around contextualised exercises that students prepare beforehand to discuss their solutions with the instructor in class.

Main topics in this class are: Non-finite verb forms, tense and aspect, modality, relative clauses, and word order.

Sociolinguistics

How is society reflected in language use? How does language use contribute to establishing, maintaining, and modifying the shape of society? What is the role of extra-linguistic factors in language variation and change?

Sociolinguists address these and a number of related issues by investigating the impact of social factors such as style, class, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or level of education. Language attitudes, questions of identity, and the structure of social networks are also among the range of phenomena that this line of research is interested in.

This class offers students an overview of the most important concepts, research methods, and the evolution of the field – from the first, classical studies to very recent work. By the end of the term, participants should be equipped with the necessary tools to start their own sociolinguistic research projects. The course will mostly, though not exclusively, be based on Meyerhoff 2006 (both first and second edition are fine).

Past teaching

English Sounds and Sound Systems

In this class, students will receive an introduction to the sound system of English.

They will learn to perceive, distinguish, and describe the phonemes of English and their most common allophones. Stress, intonation, connected speech processes, and syllable structure are also of central interest.

In addition, students will practise phonemic transcription and learn about the most important developments in the history of English from around 450 AD to the present day.

Introduction to English Linguistics

This class familiarises students with the basics of English linguistics, primarily in the areas of morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.

Sessions dealing with linguistic concepts and terminology on an abstract level are accompanied by numerous exercises that allow participants to apply their newly acquired knowledge by analysing naturalistic examples of present day English.

Grammar BM

Grammar BM offers participants a chance to develop and enhance their understanding of basic English grammar rules.

Teaching is centred around contextualised exercises that students prepare beforehand to discuss their solutions with the instructor in class.

Main topics in this class are: Non-finite verb forms, tense and aspect, modality, relative clauses, and word order.

British Dialects and Where to Find Them

Most people in the UK do not speak 'the Queen's English', but rather some kind of non-standard, often regional, variety. In this class we will investigate the rich British dialect landscape that has been shaped by traditional and modern forms of non-standard language use.

We will describe local features, consider the impact of factors such as education and mobility, and see how ordinary speakers perceive the dialect space around them.

We will also look at available tools and resources (from corpora to audio recordings to twitter data) that enable participants to carry out their own analyses of regional variation in Britain on the lvelvs of phonology, morphosyntax, and the lexicon.

Urban Accents in the British Isles (Proseminar)

In this class, we will look at phonetic and phonological variation both within and between the big urban centres of the United Kingdom.

The main goal of this proseminar is a synchronic description of the local accents of places such as London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, or Dublin. A secondary focus will be on the emergence of these varieties, their sociohistorical background, and recent changes in the 20th and 21st century.

Concepts such as “new dialect formation”, “levelling” and “geographical spread” will form the theoretical basis for this analysis.

Devising and Assessing SLA Teaching Materials (Proseminar)

This class is aimed at students who are eager to employ rigorous scientific methods in developing and evaluating their own SLA teaching materials.

A brief overview of the kind of problems that can occur in Second Language Acquisition will provide the necessary theoretical background. Following that, participants will get hands-on experience with different (software) tools that will enable them to plan simple production and perception tests, collect data in a semi-automatic way, and perform sound analyses of these data using (very!) simple statistical tests.

Under the guidance of the instructor, students will then choose a particular problem, design suitable training material, and devise a test to evaluate the efficiency of said material in a scientifically reliable way.

LaTeX for Students of English (Übung)

This class provides a slow-paced step by step introduction to the document-preparation system LaTeX.

It is specifically aimed at students of linguistics and literary studies and does not require any previous experience with the software. LaTeX is a very versatile open source software that produces professional layout and typesetting and is particularly well suited for academic writing.

Phonetics and Phonology (Proseminar)

In this seminar students learn about basic phonetic principles and the phonology of present day English.

Whenever possible, participants perform their own analyses and acquire practical skills in measuring acoustic correlates of linguistic phenomena. Applications of fundamental phonetic principles in areas such as sound system reconstruction or speech synthesis and recognition are also discussed.

Doing Linguistics (Übung)

This class familiarises students with the basic tenets and terminology of (synrchonic structural) linguistics, as well as with the fundamental principles of empirical research.

Participants then put this theoretical knowledge into practice by carrying out small-scale research projects in groups of 3-5 people.

Doing Historical Linguistics (Übung)

Diachronic equivalent of "Doing Linguistics" (see above), barring the group research projects.

Students work on specific problems to practice the methods commonly employed in diachronic linguistic research.

knitr - an Introduction (Workshop)

Advanced users of R and LaTeX learn to generate dynamic documents with the help of 'knitr' a software package that allows to include R code directly in LaTeX-documents.

Tutorial to lecture "Synchronic Linguistics"

Accompanies a lecture that familiarises students with the basics of synchronic linguistics.

The instructor provides exercises covering everything from basic structural topics such as phonology and morphology to things like discourse analysis and sociolinguistics. Students work on these exercises individually before discussing their solutions in class with their instructor.