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PD Dr. Britta Irslinger

PD Dr. Britta Irslinger

 

irslingerEnglish Linguistics


ACADEMIC INTEREST


  • Comparative Linguistics
  • Indo-European and Celtic Studies

 

 

UNIVERSITY EMPLOYMENT


2010 – 2013    

Director of the DFG research project
"Western Europe as a Linguistic Area – Historical and Comparative Aspects"

06–08/2010

Assistant Professor
Department of Historical and Comparative Linguistics
University of Munich

2007 – 2010

Director of the DFG research project
"The Development of Gender in the Brittonic Languages"

2000 – 2006

Full-time Research Associate
Research project: "Indogermanisches Nomen", directed by Prof. Dr. E. Tichy
Department of Indo-European and General Linguistics | University of Freiburg

1994 – 1996

Student Research Assistant
Research project: "Mündlichkeit und Schriftlichkeit in der älteren irischen Literatur"
Directed by Prof. Dr. H.L.C. Tristram
English Department | University of Freiburg

1993 – 1999 Student Research Assistant
Prof. Dr. H. Rix, Prof. Dr. E. Tichy
Department of Indo-European and General Linguistics | University of Freiburg

 

EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS


1991 – 2000 PhD
Title of thesis: "Abstract Formations with Dental Suffixes in Old Irish”
Indo-European Studies, Celtic Studies and German Philology | University of Freiburg                              

 

STUDIES & LANGUAGE COURSES ABROAD


1993 – 1994 University College Galway: Diploma in Celtic Studies
Courses in Modern Irish in the Gaeltacht of An Ceathrú Rua, Co. Galway (8 weeks altogether)
1997, 2001, 2005, 2007 Courses in Modern Breton in Skaer, Bretagne, organized by Kamp Etrekeltiek ar Vrezhonegerien (KEAV) (7 weeks altogether)                                                                                        


SCHOLARSHIPS


1993 – 1994 University College Galway
Erasmus exchange student
Residence grant for speakers of Irish
1997 – 1998 PhD Scholarship of the Landesgraduiertenförderung Baden-Württemberg                                           

 

DFG-PROJECTS


  • Western Europe as a Linguistic Area – Historical and Comparative Aspects
    [September 2010 – August 2013]

    This project aims to study convergence phenomena of Celtic, Romance, Germanic languages and of the Basque language, whose presence in Western Europe has been documented since ancient times. Continuous cultural exchange and language contact, thanks to favourable commercial, technical and political conditions, have since led to linguistic levelling of the involved languages and to the creation of a specific Western European language type. Nowadays, there are several theoretical approaches describing the typological characteristics common to Western European languages and their classification into different linguistic areas. Apart from the Balkan Sprachbund, the widely researched Standard Average European Sprachbund in particular deserves mention, which is considered to be constituted by the main central European standard written languages.

    By contrast, the postulate of a Western European linguistic area wants to give greater attention to the roles of the peripheral languages such as Insular Celtic languages and the Basque language. This postulate starts from the fact that Insular Celtic languages and Basque were extended over a larger geographical area in the past. For this reason, their influence on the creation of a European language type should not be neglected. To this end, this research project focuses on the reorganization of grammatical systems from the point of view of convergence, with special emphasis on historical developments.

    [Ziel des Projekts ist die Erforschung translinguistischer Konvergenzen der keltischen, romanischen und germanischen Sprachen sowie des Baskischen, deren Anwesenheit in Westeuropa seit der Antike dokumentiert ist. Austausch und Sprachkontakt die ganze Zeit hindurch, der durch kommerzielle, technische und politische Gegebenheiten begünstigt wurde, führte zur Angleichung der beteiligten Sprachen und zur Ausbildung eines spezifisch westeuropäischen Sprachtyps. Derzeit existieren verschiedene Ansätze zur Beschreibung typologischer Gemeinsamkeiten europäischer Sprachen und ihrer Zusammenfassung in verschiedenen Sprachbünden. Neben dem Balkansprachbund ist vor allem der vielbeachtete SAE-Sprachbund zu nennen, als dessen Vertreter die großen mitteleuropäischen Schriftsprachen angesehen werden. Das Postulat eines "westeuropäischen" Sprachbunds will im Gegensatz dazu die Rolle der sog. Randsprachen Inselkeltisch und Baskisch stärker berücksichtigen aufgrund der Tatsache, dass diese in der Vergangenheit weiter verbreitet waren und ihr Einfluss auf die Ausbildung des europäischen Sprachtyps daher nicht vernachlässigt werden darf. Hierzu wird die Umstrukturierung grammatischer Teilsysteme – aus dem Blickwinkel der Konvergenz und unter Einbeziehung der diachronen Entwicklung – untersucht.]
  • The Development of Gender in the Brittonic Languages
    [February 2007 – January 2010]

    Continental Celtic, though of fragmentary attestation, continues the three-gender-system of Proto-Indo-European, and within the branch of Insular Celtic, Old Irish also preserves the neuter, but abandons it on its way to Modern Irish. In sharp contrast to this, the Brittonic languages Welsh, Breton and Cornish are lacking cases and the neuter gender right from the beginning of their attestation. With regard to nouns, the treatment both as masculine and feminine is regarded as an indirect indication of an original neuter. The majority of the neuter nouns was assigned either the masculine or the feminine gender.

    Recently Corbett (1991 and 2000) has shown that in many languages there is a close relationship between gender and number. As the Brittonic languages possess an elaborate and, within the IE language family, a unique system for the coding of number, comprising e.g. collectives, a formally marked singulative and a "dual" number, it seems to be promising to examine, whether the loss of the neuter was partly compensated by these categories. The Brittonic languages did not develop uniformly in this field, Breton showing a much greater deal of reshaping, e.g. with the collectives being all masculine and the singulatives being all feminine. This raises the question, whether and how gender assumes the function of structuring the noun lexicon together with number.

    Breton will be examined synchronically at different stages; diachronic changes and developments will be compared afterwards and contrasted with the developments in Welsh and Cornish as well as in Irish. Foreign influences and the question of language contact have to be equally considered in this context, especially the corresponding developments in French.

    These are just a few aspects to be treated within this project. The results will not only be relevant for the discipline of Celtic Linguistics but also for General Linguistics and Typology.

    Associated project: "Analyticisation of the Indigenous Languages of the British Isles and Ireland" directed by Professor Hildegard L.C. Tristram

    Publications
    • "Singulativ und Kollektiv in den britannischen Sprachen." Eurolinguistik. Entwicklungen und Perspektive. Akten der internationalen Tagung vom 30.9.-2.10.2007 in Leipzig. Hrsg. v. Uwe Hinrichs, Norbert Reiter und Siegfried Tornow. Wiesbaden 2009. 233-53 (Eurolinguistische Arbeiten 5).
    • "Genus und Nominalaspekt." Historische Sprachforschung 122 (2009). 1-30.
    • "Les dérivés avec gallois, cornique -yn(n)/-en(n), breton -enn, irlandais -ne: fonction et sémantique." La Bretagne Linguistique 15. Éd par Jean Le Dû, Nelly Blanchard. Brest 2010: CRBC.
    • "Gender of Abstract Noun Suffixes in the Brittonic Languages." Studies on the Collective and Feminine in Indo-European from a Diachronic and Typological Perspective. Eds. Sergio Neri & Roland Schumann. Leiden/Boston Brill, 2014. 57-113 (Brill's Studies in Indo-European Languages & Linguistics 11).
    • (in preparation) Studien zu Genus und Wortbildung in den britannischen Sprachen.

Publications

MONOGRAPHS

  • Abstrakta mit Dentalsuffixen im Altirischen. Diss. Univ. Freiburg. Heidelberg: Winter 2002.
  • Britta Irslinger, Dagmar S. Wodtko, Carolin Schneider: Nomina im indogermanischen Lexikon. Heidelberg: Winter 2008.
  • (in Arbeit) Studien zu Genus und Wortbildung in den britannischen Sprachen.
  • (in Arbeit) Medb - Matronen - Mythen. Zur (Re-)konstruktion prähistorischer Glaubensvorstellungen und Riten.

EDITION

  • Indogermanisches Nomen – Derivation, Flexion und Ablaut. Akten der Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft / Society for Indo-European Studies / Société des Études Indo-Euro­péennes. Freiburg, 19. bis 22. September 2001. Hrsg. von Eva Tichy, Dagmar S. Wodtko, Britta Irslinger. Bremen 2003.

ARTICLES

  • Three articles in Kindlers Neues Literaturlexikon, supplementary vols. 21 and 22. München 1998 (New edition Stuttgart 2009):
    • Flann O'Brien: An Béal Bocht (Vol. 21) 220-1
    • Roparz Hemon: Das lyrische Werk (Vol. 22) 557-9
    • Roparz Hemon: Mari Vorgan (Vol. 22) 559-60
  • "An Béal Bocht und Cruiskeen Lawn von Myles na gCopaleen: Konzeption und Gestaltung." Keltologie heute. Themen und Fragestellungen. Akten des 3. Deutschen Keltologensymposiums, Marburg, März 2001. Hrsg. v. Erich Poppe. Münster 2004. 239-58.
  • "Abstract formations with *-tu- and *-ti- in Old Irish and Indo-European." Indo-European Word Formation. Proeceedings of the Conference held at the University of Copenhagen October 20th-22nd 2000. Eds. Birgit Anette Olsen and James Clackson. Copenhagen: 2004. 65-90.
  • "Singulativ und Kollektiv in den britannischen Sprachen." Eurolinguistik. Entwicklungen und Perspektive. Akten der internationalen Tagung vom 30.9.–2.10.2007 in Leipzig. Hrsg. v. Uwe Hinrichs, Norbert Reiter und Siegfried Tornow. Wiesbaden 2009. 233-53 (Eurolinguistische Arbeiten 5).
  • "Genus und Nominalaspekt." Historische Sprachwissenschaft 122 (2009 [2010]). 1-30.
  • "Die inselkeltischen Sprachen in Europa." Handbuch der Eurolinguistik. Hrsg. Uwe Hinrichs. Wiesbaden 2010: 241-64.
  • "Les dérivés avec gallois, cornique -yn(n)/-en(n), breton -enn et irlandais -ne: fonction et sémantique." La Bretagne Linguistique 15. Brest: CRBC.
  • "The Gender of Abstract Noun Suffixes in the Brittonic Languages." Studies on the Collective and Feminine in Indo-European from a Diachronic and Typological Perspective. Ed. by Sergio Neri and Roland Schumann. Leiden/Boston, Brill 2014. 57-113 (Brill's Studies in Indo-European Languages & Linguistics 11).
  • "Intensifiers and Reflexives in SAE, Insular Celtic and English." Indogermanische Forschungen 119 (2014). 159-206.

FORTHCOMING

  • Topikalisierung und Informationsstruktur im Bretonischen. Struktur und Semantik der Verbalphrase, Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft, Jena, 3.-5. April 2006. Hrsg. v. Rosemarie Lühr, Susanne Zeilfelder.
  • 2Aldhelm's De virginitate, Flaithius and the Loathly Lady motif." Proceedings of the first European Symposium in Celtic Studies, Trier 2013. Eds. Jürgen Zeidler & Sarah Junges.
  • "Medb 'the Intoxicating One'? Reconstructing the Past through Etymology." Submittel to Ulidia 4. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales, Belfast, 27-29 June 2013. Eds. Mícheál Ó Mainnín & Gregory Toner.
  • "Standard Average European and the Western Fringe – a Reconsidration." Submitted to Historische Sprachforschung.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Yearly contributions (2005 – 2015):
Bibliography Brittonic languages. Bibliographie linguistique / Linguistic Bibliography for the year 2001 and supplement for previous years. Ed. by Sijmen Tol, Hella Olbertz. Leiden/Boston, Brill.


LECTURES


  • "Abstract Formations with *-tu- and *-ti- in Old Irish and Proto-Indo-European"
    Indoeuropean Word-Formation – Inventory and Analysis, Copenhagen, 20–22 October 2000
  • "An Béal Bocht von Myles na gCopaleen: Der arme Mund spricht weiter"
    Drittes Deutsches Keltologinnen- und Keltologensymposium, Marburg, 22–24 March 2001
  • "Abstract Formations with *-to- and *-tah2- in Old Irish and Indo-European"
    Crossing Boundaries, 12th International Congress of Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth, 24–30 August 2003
  • "Zur Suffixentstehung im Indogermanischen. Das Adjektiv im Indogermanischen"
    Workshop with members of the project „Das Lexikonkonzept des Urindogermanischen und seine Weiterentwicklung", Jena, 25–26 September 2003
  • "Indogermanische Abstraktsuffixe – synchron und diachron"
    12th Congress of the Indo-European Society, Kraków, 11–16 October 2004
  • "Deverbale Nominalbildung im Indogermanischen am Beispiel zweier LIN-Lemmata"
    Workshop Das Substantiv im Indogermanischen, Würzburg, 31 March–01 April 2005
  • "Topikalisierung und Informationsstruktur im Bretonischen"
    Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft, Jena, 2–5 April 2006
  • "Gender in Breton"
    13th International Congress of Celtic Studies, Bonn, 23-27 July 2007
  • "Genus und Semantik"
    XIII. Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft, Salzburg, 21–27 September 2008
  • "Les dérivés brittoniques en *-ino/a- (gallois -yn/-en, breton -enn): sémantique et origine"
    La Bretagne Linguistique, rencontre du 13.12.2008, CRBC, Faculté Victor-Segalen, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest
  • "Présentation du nouveau dictionnaire sur les noms en indo-européen"
    Colloque 21 février 2009, Centre Alfred Ernout, Université de Paris-Sorbonne
  • "Diminutiva und Singulativa mit kymr., korn. -yn(n)/-en(n), bret. -enn, ir. -ne"
    5. Deutschsprachiges Keltologensymposium
    , Universität Zürich, 7–10 September 2009
  • "Die idg. Flexionstypen im LIN"
    Workshop on Indo-European Accentology, Göttingen, 24–26 March 2010
  • "Menschenbild der Indogermanen oder Menschenbild der Indogermanisten? Zur Etymologie von Medb"
    Das Menschenbild bei den Indogermanen. Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft an der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, 31 March–2 April 2011
  • "Gender of Abstract Noun Suffixes in the Brittonic Languages"
    XIV International Congress of Celtic Studies, NUI Maynooth, 1–5 August 2011
  • "Relative Clauses as a Feature of (Non-)Standard Average European: A Closer Look on Celtic Languages and Diachronic Developments"
    Workshop Non-Standard Average European, FRIAS Freiburg, 2–3 February 2012
  • "Das bretonische Suffix -adeg: Ursprung und Verwendung"
    Building Blocks of Grammar: Progress in Middle and Early Modern Breton Grammar and Philology, Marburg, 26–28 April 2012
  • "Meadhbh, die große Königin: weibliches Sexsymbol oder Göttin der irischen Mythologie?"
    Public Lecture im Rahmen des Ciste na Gaeilge-Programms der Regierung der Republik Irland, Englisches Seminar, Freiburg, 31 March 2013
  • "Aldhelm's De virginitate, Flaithius and other Loathly Ladies"
    First European Symposium in Celtic Studies, Trier, 5–9 August 2013
  • "Die Verben des Opferns im Keltischen"
    Workshop Verben in der Ritualliteratur, Würzburg, 11 October 2013
  • "The Intensifier – Reflexive Differentation in Insular Celtic and English: Areal and Historical Consideration"
    Séminaire sur le moyen Breton et autres, Rennes, 22–23 November 2013
  • "Die Kopula in den Sprachen Westeuropas: Form(en) und Funktionen"
    Linguistisches Kolloquium des Romanischen Seminars, Freiburg, 7 January 2014
  • "Rituelle Berauschung, Heilige Hochzeit und Pferdeopfer? – Methodische Probleme bei der (Re-)Konstruktion urindogermanischer Mythologie und Kultur"
    Probevortrag vor dem Habilitationsausschuss der Philologischen Fakultät, Freiburg, 22 February 2015
  • "Brave heroes and vicious goddesses: philological research and national identity in Ireland between 1800–1950"
    Building the North with Words, FRIAS Freiburg, 11–13 June 2015
  • "Reflexivity, Reciprocity and Middle in the Brittonic Languages"
    15th International Congress on Celtic Studies, Glasgow, 13–17 July 2015
  • "Suppletion and the copula: The two-copula-systems of Western Indo-European languages from a typological and diachronic perspective"
    Diachrony and Suppletion, Institute of Comparative Linguistics, Charles University in Prague, 25–26 September 2015

ACADEMIC TEACHING


  • Undergraduate course (Proseminar) held at the English Department, University of Freiburg (funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht of the Government of the Republic of Ireland):
    • Winter term 2020/21 - Irish / Gaeilge
  • Undergraduate course (Proseminar) held at the English Department, University of Freiburg (sponsored by the Irish Government's Ciste-Programme):
    • Summer term 2010 – Irish for Anglicists
  • Seminars at the English Department, University of Freiburg:
    • Speaking and Understanding Modern Irish I
      Winter term 2010/11, 2011/12 & 2012/13
    • Speaking and Understanding Modern Irish II
      Summer term 2011 & 2013
  • Undergraduate courses (Proseminare) held at the Department of Indo-European and General Linguistics, University of Freiburg:
    • Bretonisch I
      Winter term 2001/02 & 2002/02, Summer term 2002
    • Morphophonemik und Morphosyntax des Bretonischen
      Summer term 2003
    • Neuirisch I & II
      Winterterm 2003/04, Summer term 2004
    • Bretonisch I & II
      Winter term 2005/06, 2006/07
    • Altirisch I, II & III
      Summer term 2008, Winter term 2008/09, Summer term 2009
    • Festlandkeltisch
      Winter term 2009/10
  • Courses at the Language Learning Institute, University of Freiburg (sponsored by the Irish Government's Ciste-Programme):
    • Modern Irish (Gaelic)
      Summer term 2006 to Summer term 2007
  • Lectures "Breton Language and Culture", held within the frame of the Proseminar "Irish (Gaelic) and its Cultural Context" (organized by Prof. Hildegard L.C. Tristram, sponsored by the Irish Government's Ciste-Programme)
    Winter term 2006/07, Summer term 2007 to 2013
  • Intensive course "Modern Breton"
    Philipps-Universität Marburg, 26 July – 6 August 2010
  • Intensive course "Einführung in die Indogermanistik"
    Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, March 2004