LINGUIST List 29.4700

Tue Nov 27 2018

Support: German; Germanic: PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Editor for this issue: Yiwen Zhang <>

Date: 20-Nov-2018
From: Irmengard Rauch <>
Subject: German; Germanic: PhD, University of California, Berkeley, USA
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Department: German
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of California, Berkeley

Required Language(s): German (deu)


Welcome to the Germanic Linguistics Specialization at the University of California, Berkeley.

Applications for the academic year 2019-2020 are due by December 15. For further information contact Thomas Shannon ( and/or Irmengard Rauch (

Germanic Linguistics Specialization – An Overview
Throughout its history the UC Berkeley Germanic Linguistics Specialization is characterized by its trend-setting, forward-looking stance. Thus, for example, in the first half of the twentieth century the Germanic Linguistics program included in its outreach to non-Germanic languages the research of the structure of California’s American Indian languages. In the second half of the last century, Berkeley’s Germanic Linguist was instrumental in creating the first written grammar of Pashto as part of the World War 2 effort. The second half of the twentieth century brought American semiotics with its inherent multi-disciplinary foci to the West through its addition to Berkeley’s Germanic Linguistics curriculum and through the hosting of the first California meeting of the Semiotic Society of America. In 1994, 700 persons from 50 countries were hosted in Berkeley for the Fifth Congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies. At that time as well Dutch Linguistics courses were established and brought under the umbrella of the Germanic Linguistics Specialization, thereby strengthening its interdisciplinary reach.

The Germanistics field is well served as a discipline which includes the hallmark scientific rigor provided by the Germanic Linguistics Specialization. It imbues the Humanities with a scientific component that offers unique skills and tools for job placement. Given today’s evolving and changing job market, the Germanic Linguistics Specialization prepares and equips students for employment not only in academia, but also in non-academic positions.

Nineteen course offerings, including the open topic German 290 Seminar in German Linguistics, comprise the interdisciplinary Germanic Linguistics Specialization. This curriculum displays the broad range of courses in contemporary German, in historical Germanic languages, and in the methods of German and Germanic linguistics, subsuming recent directions in theoretical approaches such as cognitive models, corpus linguistics, natural language processing, semiotics, and literary studies, as well as in anthropological and sociological approaches which seek the cultural and social impetus for given changes as ongoing, for example, in the language of gender, age, ethnicity.

The Bay Area German Project (BAG) offers the methods of linguistic fieldwork and socio-cultural, anthropological analysis of German as it is spoken by native and first-generation German speakers in the Bay Area. Interdisciplinary courses in other Germanic languages, for example, Dutch, English, Scandinavian languages, as well as in non-Germanic languages, e.g., Slavic, Romance languages, and/or non-Indo-European languages are encouraged. Participation in the biennial Berkeley Germanic Linguistics Roundtable, meeting since 1990, and in the annual Semiotic Circle of California, meeting since 1985, affords students a forum to present their linguistic and/or semiotic research, as well as to initiate global professional contacts.

Placement statistics of the 49 Ph.D. degrees awarded students in Berkeley’s Germanic Linguistics Specialization since 1982 are: Academe 32; Entrepreneurs 10; IT/Computer Firms 5; Law 1; US government 1.

Applications Deadline: 15-Dec-2018

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Dr. Irmengard Rauch

Page Updated: 27-Nov-2018