Encounters, contact, translation

In collaboration with Prof. Jürgen Zangenberg (Leiden), Prof. Markus Tiwald (Catholic Theology) conducted a research project on “Early Christian Encounters with Town and Countryside”. A conference in Leiden in 2017 and a follow-up event in 2018 in Essen with 21 speakers from the USA, Great Britain, Israel, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany considered the question of how the early Jesus movement and emerging Christianity interacted with urban structures. Their findings will be published in 2019 in a conference volume in the NOVUM TESTAMENTUM ET ORBIS ANTIQUUS (NTOA) series (funding: DFG).

In the “Verse Techniques in Translation. The Internationalization of German Poetics and Occasional Poetry of the 17th and 18th Century” project, Prof. Jörg Wesche (German Studies) reconstructs the role of “verse language” in establishing a German poetic and literary language between 1600 and 1800. Focussing on Breslau and Zurich and based on poetics of the largely anonymously published mass phenomenon of occasional poetry and didactic compendia of writing poetry that have hitherto largely gone unnoticed, the project asks what the source material tells us about concepts of “German poetry” at the time. Dr. Julia Amslinger is working in this context on a monograph, “Die Welt ist ein gebundener Gedanke’ – Verstechniken in Übersetzung”, on verse techniques in translation. Work is also under way on a “Repertorium of the international sources of German poetic compendia and poetic textbooks” (1624–1800). The project is part of the DFG Priority Programme “Cultures of Translation in Early Modern Times”, which was initiated and is headed by Prof. Wesche in conjunction with Prof. Regina Toepfer (TU Braunschweig, spokesperson) and Prof. Peter Burschel (HAB Wolfenbüttel).

The Naproche project (Natural Language Proof Checking) explores the semi-formal language of mathematics from a linguistic, philosophical and mathematical perspective. A central methodological component of this project is to develop a controlled natural language (CNL) for mathematical texts and an adapted proofing software that checks the syntactic and mathematical accuracy of texts written in CNL. The Naproche system is used to implement the ideas developed in the project with the aid of linguistic techniques for mathematical texts written in CNL (Prof. Bernhard Schröder/Dr. Bernhard Fisseni, German Studies; Prof. Peter Koepke, Bonn; Dr. Marcos Cramer, Dresden).

Prof. Isabelle Buchstaller (Anglophone Studies) has put an entirely undescribed variety of World English on the dialectological map: the English spoken in the Marshall Islands, an archipelago in the Southern Pacific.Some Pacific Islands Englishes have already received scientific attention and research on others is under way, but the varieties that resulted from contact between English and Marshallese are as of yet dialectologically uncharted. They have largely remained unaffected by the process of standardisation, which makes them especially interesting in diachronic terms. The overall objective of the “English in the Marshall Islands” project is also to explore the current sociolinguistic situation of this language variety.