Frankfurt Summer School: Linguistics

This year’s Frankfurt Summer School (5.8.-30.8.) offers a 4-weeks course package in research methods in linguistics.

The modules are open to all interested students. They are particularly useful for students of disciplines in which language plays an essential role, such as linguistics, philology, literary studies, media studies, gender studies, ethnology, (foreign) language teaching etc.

The lecturers are: Gerald Penn (Toronto), Janina Radó (Frankfurt a.M.), Frank Richter (Frankfurt a.M.), Iverina Ivanova (Frankfurt a.M.), and  Ulrike Schneider (Mainz)

Module 1: Basic Research Methods in Linguistics (weeks 1 and 2, 05.08.–15.08.)

Language is an essential feature ofall humans that distinguishes us from all other known species. The study of human languages is not only the study of a central social skill but it also provides a unique window to the human mind. In this course students will get an overview of the basic toolkit in linguistics research: presenting and interpreting linguistic data, linguistic argumentation, and writing like a linguist. We will analyse datasets from different areas of linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax) and practice interpreting data from languages we do not speak. We will also discuss how our own introspective judgments and examples in the literature can be supplemented by working with informants and with small questionnaires. The course will comprise lectures, group work and problem sets.

Module 2: Data-oriented Methods in Linguistics (weeks 3 and 4, 19.08.-30.08.)

Traditional linguistic research was based on laborious manual data collection, or, especially in the second half of the 20thcentury, on the introspective evaluation of artificially created examples by individual researchers. This has radically changed with the advent of large electronic resources and the adaptation or development of statistical and computational tools for linguistic analysis. This course will focus on methods for collecting and analyzing larger sets of data for linguistic research. We will discuss corpus and experimental methods to study questions in grammar and language interpretation, and we will use various techniques from the computational toolkit of modern linguistics to visualize processes and results. Students will have the opportunity to work with corpus linguistic and statistical tools to study language use, language change, and translation. The course will comprise lectures, group work and problem sets.

General program

  • The seminars are held in English (about 50 contact hours).
  • Excursions and study tours to the German city of Heidelberg as well as a weekend visit to the French town of Strasbourg and an optional trip to Berlin are also part of the programme.
  • The optional German language courses for beginners and advanced learners take place in small learning groups


2,100 € (accommodationin dormitory, seminar and cultural program, the German language courses, all study material, health, liability and accident insurance and the transportation fee within Frankfurt).

Important dates


Information on the linguistics modules:



General information on the Frankfurt Summer School:
Frankfurt Summer School
International Office, Goethe University
Tel: 0049 6979817247

Information on the linguistics modules: