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Clinical Linguistics research group


The research of the Clinical Linguistics research group is part of the activities of the Department of German Linguistics. It is incorporated into the Language and Cognition research unit and essentially deals with the various manifestations of speech and language disorders in children and adults. This includes in particular developmental speech and language disorders during childhood or acquired disorders of language in the case of neurological diseases such as stroke, but also impairments in reading and writing.

Based on linguistic and communication theories, our research focuses on describing the symptoms in detail and on analysing the language processing in groups of people with speech and language disorders. One major aim is to design, test and evaluate – on the basis of models and principles of typical language development – specific and effective diagnostic procedures and intervention methods. Another research focus is on the processing of words (lexical, semantic, morphological, phonological and prosodic aspects) in typical and clinical populations.

In our research, we apply therapy and learning studies, response time and speech elicitation experiments, examinations using electroencephalography (EEG) and other methodological approaches.


The Master’s degree programme Clinical Linguistics is offered once a year. Building on a linguistic Bachelor’s degree, this degree programme provides the opportunity to gain expertise in the fascinating, theoretically advanced and at the same time practice-oriented field of clinical linguistics and to obtain a sound therapeutic qualification.

In the course of four semesters, students acquire wide interdisciplinary content and skills in linguistics (including psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics), phonetics, speech science, education, psychology, medicine and other areas. Intensive internal and external internships give the first opportunity to apply new skills in working with patients.

MA Clinical Linguistics graduates may start a career as an academic speech and language therapist and obtain health insurance accreditation for relevant therapeutic indications.

The Master’s degree programme Clinical Linguistics is characterised by intensive seminars, small learning groups and supervised therapeutic exercises. These require continuous cooperation, openness to new methods and content, and self-reflexive acting. Dealing with one’s own communicative and linguistic ability in an open and flexible manner is needed both in the therapeutic practical work and in teamwork as well as in co-organising seminars. A sound basic knowledge in psycholinguistics is required, primarily in the areas of language processing and language acquisition. Students are thus able to acquire and implement the advanced contents of the Master’s degree programme. Moreover, proficiency in German at native-speaker level is a prerequisite for working with patients with speech and language disorders.

Even during the course of their studies, students can already take part in the research activities of the Clinical Linguistics research group and of the Department of German Linguistics. This offers them various opportunities for empirical Master’s thesis projects on a broad range of topics in the field of speech and language therapy. In addition, the Master’s degree allows graduates to choose an academic career (PhD), distinguishing this degree programme from the training at vocational colleges and also from Bachelor’s degree programmes, which qualify for working as a speech and language therapist.

We place particular importance on closely dovetailing linguistic theory, empirical research and the implementation in clinical practice. The interdependence of teaching, research and clinical practice is reflected in our outpatient clinic for speech and language therapy, KLing.


Last modified: 22.03.2017 · Jürgen Nemitz

Fb. 09 - Germanistik und Kunstwissenschaften

Institut für Germanistische Sprachwissenschaft, Pilgrimstein 16, 35032 Marburg
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