English Language & LINGUISTI Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer

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About me



bulletTeaching experience
  I am professor for English and digital linguistics at Chemnitz University of Technology.
When I started at TU Chemnitz, I filled in the following questionnaire for my future students, so that they could get an impression of who I am and what I do.

What is English and digital linguistics?

  Linguistics investigates how communication works. English and Digital linguistics at Chemnitz University of Technology covers the entire field of English linguistics and deals with questions such as the following:    
bulletHow do humans learn and use language?
bulletHow is the English language structured into sounds, words, sentences, texts etc.?
bulletWhat historical events have resulted in English becoming the lingua franca of the world?
bulletWhat research methods can we use to investigate language use (e.g. corpus linguistics and experimental studies)?
bulletHow can we apply linguistic insights to improve real-life situations (e.g. in the fields of language learning and teaching, translation, film dubbing and dictionary writing)?
  Linguistics has a long tradition of using digital research methods. We will use various different digital tools to explore aspects like the cognitive processing of language and human-machine interaction, and to develop potential practical applications in the field of digital humanities.

What fascinates you about your subject?

   To me, linguistics is the most exciting of all academic subjects, because it is so varied. Linguistics deals with everything that has to do with language, and since language permeates human existence, this means that our topics span the whole range from the correspondence between spelling and pronunciation via the register-specific use of language in comics to the question whether we can predict what English will look like in the future (in case you are interested, take a look at the open-access texts on my website at http://christina-sanchez.de/about_me/publications.html).

How did you become a linguist?

  At the beginning of my studies of English and French for secondary-school teaching (Lehramt Gymnasium), I attended a welcome event for new students by the department of English and American studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. I was immediately fascinated by what Professor Thomas Herbst told us about linguistics, and I was avid to learn more about the subject. When he asked me after my first semester if I would like to work for him as a student assistant , I immediately accepted and told him that I liked linguistics so much that I could imagine very well to continue doing it as a job – and many years on, I’m still as fascinated by the subject as back then; if not even more, because in the meantime, I have been exploring a large range of what linguistics has to offer.

What is your favourite quotation and the story behind it?

  My favourite linguistic quotation comes from Charles Hockett’s classical text “The Origin of Speech” (1960): 
  “‘Whale’ is a small word for a large object; ‘microorganism’ is the reverse.”
  I like this quotation very much, because it sounds funny and makes you laugh when you first hear it. But in the next step you realise how clever it actually is, because it makes you think about the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign. Arbitrariness is one of the most important aspects of linguistics and was also described by Ferdinand de Saussure, the founding father of modern linguistics. The question why we call a tree a tree eventually leads to the overarching question that linguistics is concerned with, namely: How do humans communicate?

What is your favourite idea?

  My favourite idea is usually the one that is currently keeping me busy in my research and teaching. At the moment, I am particularly fond of the virtual-reality adventure quiz app “Bridge of Knowledge VR”, which I developed jointly with Elisabeth Mayer from the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre and several students. You can download the app to your mobile and answer multiple-choice questions in a VR environment, in which your aim is to cross a bridge in the jungle by selecting the planks with the correct answers using your gaze. But be careful: If you pick the wrong plank, you will experience a free fall (except in fear-of-heights-mode). To watch a trailer and download the app, visit https://www.bridge-vr.gwi.uni-muenchen.de/ .
  You will find more detailed information about me following the links below.
  CV   Academic education, professional experience, scholarships
  Publications   Books, articles, reviews, language learning material, miscellaneous, media
  Research   Research interests and current projects
  Conferences   Papers and conference organisation
  Teaching   English language and linguistics courses taught up to the present
  Memberships   Membership in linguistic and academic associations
  Contact   E-mail address, phone, mail, office hours