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Discourse Studies

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Discourse studies at IfL explores pragmatic, cognitive, and semiotic aspects of large linguistic units. “Discourse” is taken as the domain of language use (in Du Bois’ terms) and as a process rather than a product (in Widdowson’s terms). Research and teaching interests encompass the interface between syntax and pragmatics; discourse structure above the sentence level; the conceptual mapping, blending, and compression behind figurative language; the relation between texts and socio-cultural contexts in contemporary as well as in historical texts (communication strategies, text production and text performance); and the theoretical underpinnings of multi- and cross-modal features in oral genres. Past and current synchronic and diachronic approaches apply contemporary frameworks to linguistic phenomena in ancient Greek corpora; further corpora are being progressively added. The starting team looks forward to increasing collaborations with the other sections of IfL, as well as with other Institutes, within and beyond the University of Cologne.


New! Check out the new MA profile module “Discourse Studies” here! 





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  • The Acquisition Sketch Project

    The Acquisition Sketch Project is an initiative that aims at increasing knowledge about the acquisition of understudied languages. The project combines insights from Child Language Acquisition and Language Documentation, providing a detailed description of how to collect data and write an “Acquisition Sketch” of a language based on as little as 5 hours of naturalistic data.
  • Indogermanische Gesellschaft: Preise für die besten Abschlussarbeiten

    Seit 2011 vergibt die Indogermanische Gesellschaft weltweit alljährlich Preise für die besten Abschlußarbeiten im Bereich Indogermanistik. Für das Jahr 2022 belegt Svenja Bonmann den 2. Platz mit ihrer Dissertation Parametric Syntactic Reconstruction. Noun Phrases in Iranian, Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Indo-European (Betreuung: Eugen Hill, Daniel Kölligan & Agnes Korn). Die Masterarbeit von Leo Rennert Die pronominalen Endungen der germanischen Adjektivflexion: Althochdeutsch (Betreuung: Eugen Hill) erhält den 3. Platz. Wir gratulieren beiden sehr herzlich!
  • Wilhelm von Humboldt Preis an Maria Bardají

    Im Rahmen der diesjährigen Jahrestagung wurde Maria Bardají i Farré der Wilhelm von Humboldt-Preis für den wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft verliehen. Hierbei handelt es sich um den wichtigsten sprachwissenschaftlichen Nachwuchspreis im deutschsprachigen Raum. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!
  • Prof. Himmelmann zu Gast im Podcast Theory Neutral

    In der Folge vom 08. Januar 2023 spricht Prof. Himmelmann über diskursive Demonstrativfunktionen und seinen Artikel "Demonstratives in Narrative Discourse: A Taxonomy of Universal Uses" (1996).

  • Öffnungszeiten ab April

    Ab April gelten folgende Öffnungszeiten: Montag, Dienstag, Donnestag und Freitag von 10 bis 18 Uhr. Mittwoch von 10:00 Uhr bis 17:00 Uhr

  • Stellenangebot

    Das Institut für Linguistik sucht ab sofort eine SHK (studentische Hilfskraft ohne Bachelorabschluss) oder WHB (wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft mit Bachelorabschluss) für IT (zwischen 9 u. 19 Std.). Die Aufgabenbereiche umfassen Systemadministration, Beschaffung und Pflege von Hardware, Soft- und Hardwaresupport von Mitarbeiter:innen. Alle weiteren Infos hier.

Current Publications.

  • Bonifazi, A., Ioannidou, P. & Salarzai, Z. 2022. Proper names as anaphoric expressions in short crime stories: Doing more than referring within and across paragraphs. Journal of Pragmatics 193:88-104.

  • Bonifazi, A. 2022. Dialogic syntax in ancient Greek conversation. In Bridging the Gap Between Conversation Analysis and Poetics: Studies in Talk-In-Interaction and Literature Twenty-Five Years after Jefferson, R. Person, J. Rae, and R. Wooffitt (eds.), 140-179. London: Routledge.
  • di Bartolo, Giuseppina. 2022.  ‘The μὴ ἵνα + subjunctive construction in Greek documentary papyri’. Glotta 98 (1), 136–147.
  • di Bartolo, Giuseppina. 2021. Studien zur griechischen Syntax dokumentarischer Papyri der römischen Zeit (Papyrologica Coloniensia XLIV). Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh / Brill. Flyer
  • Bonifazi, A. 2020 (online)/2021 (print). How To Do Things with keinos and autos in Tragedy: Initial Suggestions. In G. Martin, F. Iurescia, S. Hof & G. Sorrentino (eds.), Pragmatic Approaches to Drama: Studies in Communication on the Ancient Stage, 19-42. Leiden and Boston: Brill.

  • Particles in Ancient Greek Discourse: Exploring Particle Use Across Genres
    by Anna Bonifazi, Annemieke Drummen and Mark de Kreij is out in print as well! 
    Release date: 19.10.2021
    Publisher: Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC; distributed by Harvard University Press
    Paperback: ISBN:  9780674271296 Pages: 976 Price: $37.95 • £30.95 • €34.00
    Purchase/order via Harvard University Press:    

    Authors' Note: This is the print version of a freely accessible online edition published in 2016; see: Since 2016, the authors incorporated updates in the research chapters, and completed the online-only part of the work, the Online Repository of Particle Studies (ORPS; see (, completely searchable).The print version encompasses all the research chapters (Parts I to IV) in one tome. Only the print edition contains the Index of Subjects, conceived as a repertoire of recurring descriptions and linguistics topics that have informed and oriented the authors' research. The online edition compensates for that by allowing readers to search for any term anywhere. At the time of printing, the body texts of the online and print edition are identical. The numbering of parts, chapters, and paragraphs completely coincides, for ease of reference. Both editions include the bibliography incorporating all full references, including those of ORPS.     

Abstract: Particles are pervasive in Ancient Greek. Particles in Ancient Greek Discourse (PAGD) offers new tools for making sense of these words, through an analysis of particle use across five genres of ancient Greek discourse: epic, lyric, tragedy, comedy, and historiography. The research explores multiple discourse phenomena that influence the force of particles and particle combinations. The work has meta-scientific, theoretical, and analytic goals. Meta-scientifically, the authors aim to reveal a wealth of particle studies covering more than two millennia of research up to the present. On the theoretical level, by taking stock of current work on particles - both within and beyond ancient Greek - they aim to raise awareness of dimensions of language besides the syntactic organization of texts and the semantics of their content. Analytically, they intend to study particles in situ, within their co-text (co-occurring verbal features) and context, in order to identify and explain patterns of particle use. The ultimate goal is to make readers look at ancient Greek particles, and through them at ancient Greek literature, with fresh eyes. The tome includes the analysis of 461 passages, consistently accompanied by English translations. The comments offer plenty of grammatical explanations, and often challenge traditional readings and labels. Through the discussion of ancient Greek instances, the book can be seen as a contribution to general topics in discourse analysis and pragmatics such as anaphoric comprehension, dialogic syntax, discourse acts and moves, Conversation Analysis, stancetaking, segmentation, and coordination, besides, of course, discourse particles.