Kniffka, Hannes: Forensic Linguistic Expert Testimony in German court cases. Past and present. A note on range of variation, diversity, heterogeneity.
This paper tries to sum up some 50 years of Forensic Linguistic Expert Testimony (henceforth: FLET) in or for German courts (judges) and (higher) institutions of the police. FLET made up a central component of my work besides teaching General and Applied Linguistics at German universities. Nearly half a century of professional experience in any field of science provides an opportunity for systematic reflection of what one has been doing in the past, is doing in the present, and will be doing in the foreseeable future. In my view, a scientific field by its very nature deserves and needs (self)critical reflection about the dos and don’ts as well as a detailed descriptive analysis of the facts that matter in this science. The perspective chosen in this paper is a descriptive empirical and historical one. Wherever necessary and possible, some notes and comments on the ‘development’ of our field of an applied science will be made (or of data appearing to suggest such a ‘development’ to us). The overall descriptive focus of this paper is the diversity and heterogeneity of Forensic Linguistic (FL) data rather than the mere number of cases. Special emphasis will be given to the analysis of the communicative events with all their ingredients that take place when German judges order FLET. As far as I can see, this has never been analysed systematically by FL to date. In other words: If the antra learnt in every introductory class of law in a German university “Jeder Fall ist anders” (‘each case is different’) is valid, it therefore must have some veracity (and consequences?) for the auxiliary science FL.
Reis, Marga: On so-called ‘embedded imperatives’ in Modern German.
In recent years, M. Kaufmann’s claim that embedded imperatives are a principled option of grammar has gained increasing acceptance. In this paper I investigate a particular instance of this claim, namely that embedded imperatives are part of German grammar. While accepting that ‘embedded’ (alias ‘indirect’) imperative readings occur, I argue that they have no basis in grammar but are grammatical illusions. To this effect, I show first that the ‘embedded imperative’ cases fail the crucial syntactic tests truly embedded structures would have to meet, hence the ‘embedded’ readings must have a different grammatical basis. This basis, I claim, is the paratactic sequence of head clause + direct imperative speech report, which allows for ‘indirect’ = ‘embedded’ readings under favorable syntactic-semantic-pragmatic circumstances. In substantiating this claim I show that the many restrictions (dis)allowing these readings cannot plausibly count as grammatical in nature, but can be made sense of if viewed as conditions enabling the critical (but grammatically illicit) ‘indirect reading’ to pass, i.e. the embedding illusion to arise. In concluding I point out a possibly relevant consequence of my findings for further cross-linguistic research on embedded imperatives.
Müller, Anja: Narrative Fähigkeiten von Kindern mit Deutsch als Zweitsprache.
This study explores the narrative production ability of seven non-native German speaking children between the ages of 8 and 10. All children were attending a remedial course in German at their primary school during the period of investigation. The children were presented with a storytelling task based on a picture book and were asked to re-tell the story in their L2 German. Some of the children additionally told the story in their L1. The results indicate that: (a) features of macrostructure do not differ between the narratives of the L2-children and monolingual German children as reported by former studies and (b) no differences were found between the macrostructure of the narratives in L1 and L2."
Wang, Jingping, Qi, Dongdong: Linguistik online: ein Online-Kurs für chinesische Universitäten.
This article introduces an online course that helps spread German linguistics throughout China. The starting point, structure and execution of the online course are described. Based on their experience, the authors also comment on the possibilities and problems of an online course.