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Department of German


Lifecycle:1 Jan 1993 →  31 Dec 2010
Organisation profile:The German Department consists of three autonomous Research Groups: the Research Group German Literature; the Research Group German Linguistics; the Research Group General Linguistics. The Research Group German Literature at Ghent University specializes in an approach that focuses on the internal dynamics of the literary text. The central domains of research include, among others, the usage of literary style, figurativity and narrativity by Nietzsche and by authors of literary (post)modernism, contemporary German and Austrian literature, travel literature, and the interaction between literature and philosophy. In terms of research methodology, priority is given to a close (hermeneutic) reading of texts in combination with the theoretical reflection of the preconditions of such a reading (rhetoric, narratology, reception theory). The Research Group German Literature has a strong and continuous record in promoting doctoral dissertations and attracting research funding: it is host to a considerable amount of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers and also conducts interdisciplinary projects in collaboration with classical studies, English studies, philosophy, history, theology, etc. The Research Group regularly hosts visiting Fellows and scholars from abroad and is involved in international research collaborations with researchers abroad (Hamburg, Basel, Zürich, London, Oulu, Leiden, Nijmegen). The German Department is the largest of its kind in the Benelux and provides courses and tutoring for over 250 students of German. The Research Group German Linguistics specializes in two research domains, viz. historical and contrastive-typological linguistics with special reference to German on the one hand and the psycho- and neurolinguistics of German on the other. The former domain includes research in lexicology and etymology, the historical, functional and contrastive-typological linguistics of German and the Germanic languages, and the comparative study of Bible translations. One characteristic approach is Theodistic, with a focus on the historical relationship between Dutch and German and special reference to convergent and divergent processes of grammaticalisation, lexicalisation, standardization etc.; other research in this domain focuses on the discourse-syntax interface, with inter alia a current research project on asyndetic subordination in German and English, on word-formation, and on the historical-political context of language and linguistics. Research in the second domain focuses on the empirical psycho- and neurolinguistic study of the acquisition, impairment, processing and representation of German inflectional morphology, German sentence structure and the interaction of phonology and morphology in German. Another research focus is on the role of phonology in reading acquisition in German children. Members of the Research Group German Linguistics are involved in international research collaborations with researchers at the Universities of Mainz, Konstanz, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Potsdam and Oxford, and with the Institute for Dutch Lexicology (Leiden). The Research GroupU+2019s publications are mainly in German and English. The Research Group General Linguistics focuses on several aspects of linguistic research, the general linguistic focus being the permanent concern for the interrelation between empirical research, linguistic methodology, the theory of language, and the epistemology of linguistics as a science. The Research Group maintains active collaborative relationships in several domains with research groups abroad, e.g. the Research Group on Iconicity in language (University of Amsterdam), the Coseriu Archives (University of Tübingen), and the Research Group on Valency and Typology (London Metropolitan University). The Research GroupU+2019s publications are mainly in English and German.
Disciplines:Language studies, Linguistics, Literary studies