Dr Martin Schweinberger

Dr Martin Schweinberger

My name is Martin Schweinberger, I live in Hamburg, Germany, and I am a professional linguist. I studied at the University of Kassel where I graduated with an MA in English Philology, Philosophy, and Psychology in 2008. I continued working in Linguistics and Semiotics in Kassel but soon moved to Hamburg where I received a PhD in English linguistics in 2014. Although a lot has changed over the past years – I have a beautiful little daughter and a handsome baby boy – I am still working at the Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik at the University of Hamburg. In addition, I have taken up a second part-time position as a linguist at the University of Kassel in 2014 and continue working there. Besides the Universities of Hamburg and Kassel, I have worked at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University in Greifswald, the Freie Universität Berlin, and at the Institute of English Studies at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg.

In my research I have so far mainly taken a variationist sociolinguistics apporach towards studying variation in language. However, I am also interested in other levels of analysis and various linguistic phenomena – but most of them share that there is some kind of variation – and I am dedicated to quantitative methodology. So in addition to being a linguist I am also a data analyst of sorts because I apply quantitative methods to data representing natural language. For most of my analyses I use R as it offers very flexible ways to handle, analyze and visualize (linguistic) data. Although I am not a trained R-onaut or programmer, I have come to really enjoy dabbling with R. With respect to linguistics I am most interested in issues relating to language variation and change, corpus-based and corpus-driven approaches, and statistics. I also have a YouTube channel (CorpusLingMS) which I mostly use to upload screencasts for students.

One basic issue underlying most of my research has been to find out if, how and why the linguistic behavior of speakers with a certain social profile differs from the language use of speakers with another social profile. For instance, I have tried finding out more about whether and how extra-linguistic variables such as the gender, age, class, and ethnicity of a speaker affect (or correlate with) their linguistic output. The underlying question here is: do social and psychological factors impact linguistic behavior and, if so, how and to what extent?

More recently, I have also become interested in integrating psycholinguistic determinants of variation, e.g. priming, into analyses of language change. In addition, I have focused more on morpho-syntactic changes such as changes in the preposition inventory of English and there are some methodological projects I have been pursuing like introducing students and colleagues to LaTeX, delving deeper into mixed-effects regression modelling, non-parametric alternatives to multivariate hypothesis testing, and factor analyses for analysing data from questionnaires.

(last updated 2015/09/04)