German Linguistics is concerned with the present and historic structures of the German language (systemic linguistics). It therefore studies the overlapping categories of phonetics and phonology, writing systems, morphology, syntax, and discourse analysis in both form and content. With this approach, German Linguistics as part of German Studies contributes to the understanding of language as a cultural medium: it elucidates the modalities of language usage in different communicative acts (pragmatics) and the media, and studies the effects of society on the usage of language (sociolinguistics). Scholarly results from linguistic research form a foundation for all other academic fields of study based on language (e.g., law, history, theology, as well as medicine and business studies) and for all academic fields of study that investigate language in different and more general aspects (e.g., speech communication, media studies, and general linguistics).
Future teachers of all types of schools (students in the respective teacher-training courses) and future employees in jobs for which excellent knowledge of the German language is fundamental (students in bachelor’s and master’s programs) acquire theoretical knowledge and professional competence needed to successfully use language as a means of communication in society. Besides becoming a teacher for German and German as a second or foreign language, linguists find new fields of work in human resources, intercultural communication, in the press/media and public relations. Occupations can also be found in the fields of computer/software/technical documentation/new media, in clinical linguistics and in interpreting. For more information on job opportunities have a look at Michael Becker-Mrotzek’s “Linguistische Berufe. Ein Ratgeber zu aktuellen linguistischen Berufsfeldern.”(Frankfurt/Main, 2000). Numerous well-established partnerships and cooperation programs with predominantly Eastern European universities provide students with the chance to participate in many research projects at home and abroad and place them in contact with foreign students.
German Linguistics at the University of Regensburg specializes in the study, description and teaching of language standards, language standardization as well as special language varieties within High German (i.e., in the languages of science, advertising and law). The Bavarian German and all its dialect varieties considered a cultural value constitute another specialization of research (i.e. the study of (place) names, of Bavarian dialects spoken in Eastern-European and Slavic regions and the treatment of speaker-biographies, multilingualism and language contact in German-Bohemian settlements around the world).