About me

Communication by means of natural language is one of the most amazing faculties evolution has bestowed on the human species. As a child I was intrigued by the fact that people from other countries sounded differently when they spoke and called things by other names than the ones I knew in my own native language.

This early fascination, curiously, also had some serious repercussions such as my suspicion - in view of my first stay with an English host family at age 11 - that what I had been taught in school as English might not actually work in England. Needless to say, I was quite relieved to discover that my host family could actually comprehend what I was saying - and vice versa.

I studied linguistics at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany and the University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.

I have been teaching linguistics since 1995 when I became a member of the English department of the Institut für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft of the Technische Universität Darmstadt where I am also in charge of teaching methodology in corpus and computational linguistics. In the department, I am responsible for all things computational in my function as systems administrator, network admin, hardware wizzard, software (and frustrated user) tamer and whatever else is caused by or can be fixed by computer.

I received my PhD in English linguistics from this institution. My PhD project was concerned with English collocations and has resulted in a book entitled "Structural and functional properties of collocations in English. A corpus study of lexical and pragmatic constraints on lexical co-occurrence."

Over the years, I have been involved in international research projects which have given me the opportunity to work with colleagues at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, the Faculty of Foreign Languages for Specific Purposes at Udmurt State University in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Russia, St. Petersburg University of Economics and Finance, Russia, and Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

I am working on a project for my second book (Habilitation). The working title of the project is "Modelling Multimodal Registers". The project is concerned with multimodal registers especially in science and technology. It aims to extend register analyses in view of the fact that much of linguistic communication is intrinsically multimodal, i.e. comprised of visual modalities (such as gestures and images, tables, diagrams and schematic figures) and virtual modalities (such as 2D and 3D CAD (computer-aided design) models).

I am responsible for a few web sites beyond the one you are currently visiting, namely the homepage of the Institut für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft at TU Darmstadt. Together with Elke Teich, I am the person behind and administrator of the Initiative for a Repository of SFL Resources (IRSFL), a website that provides research resources for the SFL (Systemic Functional Linguistics) community.

To be continued ....