Department of Linguistics

ILMS 2013 08 Björn Jernudd discussingMajor Research Areas

Research at the Department of Linguistics covers general methodology, issues of grammatical organization, linguistic theory, sociolinguistics and pragmatics. The primary theoretical orientation is functional and cognitive, rather than formal; the cognitively oriented research is concerned primarily with questions of categoriality, language variation and change, grammatical patterning in spoken language, and phonetics and phonology. Another area of research focuses on language typology and the investigation of linguistic structure in contact situations, with the Romani language providing a significant source of material. Principal issues in sociolinguistics and pragmatics include investigation of language minorities, language management (within society in general as well as in partial language communities, e.g. companies or specific language situations) and the social pragmatics of language contact.

LP 2015_009 Workshop Aspekty psane cestiny ceskych neslysicichImportant Projects

The Department of Linguistics has enjoyed success with projects at all levels. Recent international projects include: English in Europe: Opportunity or Threat? (Leverhulme Trust International Network, primary investigator – Tamah Sherman) and Languages in a Network of European Excellence – LINEE (2006-2010, EU 6th Framework Programme, primary investigator – Jiří Nekvapil). Department members have recently been the primary investigators of a number of Czech Science Foundation projects, including:

  • Czech-Vietnamese interaction in educational settings and its reflection by Vietnamese speakers (Tamah Sherman, 2014-2016)
  • Articulatory analysis of Czech sounds, sound combinations, and articulatory reductions (Pavel Machač, 2012-2013)
  • Linguistic Atlas of Central Romani (Viktor Elšík, 2011-2013)
  • Transfer and Diffusion of Grammar Structures: Czech and Slovak Romani Languages in Contact (Viktor Elšík, 2008-2010)

At the university level, the department members take part in the Charles University Center for Research on Collective Memory. Furthermore, the department participates in the Charles University Research Development Scheme (PRVOUK), project 10, Linguistics (particularly the sub-program Language Management in Language Situations), and is also regularly and actively engaged in curriculum development and student projects.

ILMS 2013 37 Geoffrey Maroko (left) and Ivo Vasiljev (right)Major Conferences and Events

From 2009-2012, the department organized an annual summer Training Institute for Multilingualism Research for Ph.D. students from European countries. In 2013 the Third International Language Management Symposium was organized, and in 2014, the international conference English in Business and Commerce: Interactions and Policies was held as part of the Leverhulme Trust project English in Europe: Opportunity or Threat?. Since 2013, the department has been co-hosting the annual postgraduate conference Linguistics Prague. The academic staff members also regularly take part in  leading international conferences in their respective fields.

Members of the department administer the language management website and are general editors of the series Prague Papers on Language, Society and Interaction.