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Overview

Language representations play an essential role in linguistic research and neighboring disciplines. Within the proposed graduate school, the aspects of the dynamics and stability of language representations will be focused at. These are aspects that relate the plasticity of the language system with its continuity: Language representations ought to be adaptable to within- and across-speaker variation, but simultaneously need to comprise pertinacious features in order to fulfill the needs of efficient communication. Our goal is to arrive at a meta-theoretical account at the interface of the Humanities and the Natural Sciences, combining innovative approaches of language variation research with those of Psycho- and Neurolinguistics. We attempt to precisely characterize representations that fulfill the requirements of neurolinguistic plausibility, developmental changes and intervention-induced modifiability, and variation- and change-based flexibility.

GRK 2700

The research program is illustrated in the above-figure (click to enlarge). Three main areas are connected by a project that seeks to arrive at descriptions of linguistic representations encompassing all dynamic and stable aspects highlighted in this overview.

The graduate school embraces several disciplines within Linguistics and neighboring fields. It will be open to students from Psychology, Biology and the Neurosciences. The graduate school will complement the interdisciplinary Master-program “Kognitive und integrative Systemneurowissenschaften” at the Philipps-Universität Marburg and thereby close a gap in promoting young talented researchers with an interdisciplinary focus. Ph.D.-projects will focus on theoretical as well as implementation-based and experimental aspects of language representations. All projects will mutually benefit from each other and enrich the research on language representations conceptually as well as methodologically.

The interdisciplinary research program will be complemented by an interdisciplinary qualification program, characterized by the co-supervision principle, deviating from a „one supervisor-one student“ approach. Ph.D. students will be offered a diverse and lively research context within which they will be able to gain expertise and experience well beyond their own subject. Together with more global initiatives, our graduate school will provide the best efforts towards gender equality and work-life-balance.

Next to the co-supervision principle, the optimal social and local infrastructure as well the excellent national and international contacts and collaborations of the linguistic department are further important pillars of the qualification concept of this envisaged graduate school. Our department is ideally suited for a successful implementation of this program, since we combine the classical linguistic disciplines (e.g. Phonology, Morphology, Syntax) with Phonetics, Linguistic Typology, Clinical Linguistics and Neurolinguistics. A direct connection to the Center for Mind, Brain, and Behavior (CMBB) through co-teaching in the aforementioned interdisciplinary Master-program and through joint projects ensures access to an excellent neuroscientific network in Marburg and Gießen.