Seminar: Excessive Language - Details
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General information

Semester SS 2022
Current number of participants 19
maximum number of participants 30
Home institute Englische Sprachwissenschaft
Courses type Seminar in category Teaching
Next date Mon , 27.06.2022 14:00 - 15:30, Room: (D, 1003)
Online/Digitale Veranstaltung Veranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.
Hauptunterrichtssprache englisch

Course location / Course dates

(D, 1003) Monday: 14:00 - 15:30, weekly (13x)

Module assignments


In the present-day public space, we encounter voluntarily excessive language use that we perceive as something that used to be kept private. The excessiveness of language use may pertain to the immediate interaction context in which interlocutors behave in an impolite manner towards each other. Excess may also characterize language use in which ranting, provoking or slandering are not directed at a specific interlocutor but at more distant individuals or social groups. Such excessive language is produced in public not only by anonymous Internet users but also by people who expose their name and identity, ranging from private persons to politicians and other public figures giving speeches or publishing posts on social media. Further, so-called alternative news outlets publish excessive content in guise of journalistic articles.

Against this backdrop, this seminar explores excessive language, with the aim to familiarize students with the appropriate linguistic methods fit to uncover such language use and its multifarious purposes in different social contexts of use. Topics will include, inter alia, ...

- the study of hate speech, including racist hate speech or racist discourse, in public communication.
- the relationship between linguistic expressions and (im)politeness in social contexts, as well as the role
of politeness in language change and, in turn, the diachronic changes to the linguistic manifestation of
- theoretical pragmatic and sociolinguistic accounts of cooperative principles and of the notions of face
and social distance.
- the role of gender in recent research on linguistic (im)politeness and on the interdependencies between
language and identities.
- the linguistic strategies to create authoritative speech, such as the first-person epistemic authority,
which, when extended to generic first-person plural, may confer epistemic immediacy on personal
statements, especially in populist speech.

Admission settings

The course is part of admission "ESW/ASW: Vertiefungsmodul BA: HS".
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