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Dr. Axel Bohmann

Dr. Axel Bohmann

bohmannPostdoctoral Research Fellow & Assistant Professor

Chair of English Linguistics | Mair

☎ +49 761 203-3329

R 4105 | KG IV





I am an assistant professor at Christian Mair's Chair for English Linguistics. After completing a teaching degree in Freiburg in 2010, I obtained a PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. My doctoral dissertation, now available as a book from Cambridge University Press, investigates register variation in English worldwide on the basis of ten national sub-corpora of the International Corpus of English (ICE) project.

In Freiburg, I coordinate the Master of English Language and Linguistics and conduct research for my second book project, a study of multilingualism among recently arrived immigrants in Southwestern Germany. I also continue to work on corpus linguistics, computational and statistical methods. Between April 2020 and April 2021, I am on a leave from my regular commitments to work on the VW Foundation-funded project "Language as a complex adaptive system: Insights from physical modelling," together with Martin Bohmann and Lars Hinrichs.

Apart from my academic life, I am a long-term member of the maniACTs and take a keen interest in following the student theater scene in Freiburg. Among my other interests are rap music, trail hiking and spending time with my family.




  • (2019) Axel Bohmann. Variation in English Worldwide: Registers and Global Varieties (Studies in English Language). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Refereed Publications in Books & Journals

  • (in prep.) Axel Bohmann. "ICE corpora, register, and omitted variable bias: A multidimensional perspective." In M. Krug, O. Schützler, F. Vetter & V. Werner (eds.). Perspectives on Contemporary English. Bamberg Studies in English Linguistics. Berlin et al.: Peter Lang.
  • (accepted) Axel Bohmann. "Uprooted speakers’ grassroots English: Metalinguistic perspectives of asylum seekers in Germany." In C. Meierkord & E. W. Schneider (eds.). World Englishes at the Grassroots. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • (accepted) Axel Bohmann. "Register in World Englishes research." In B. Schneider & T. Heyd (eds.) Bloomsbury World Englishes: Language. London: Bloomsbury.
  • (accepted) Axel Bohmann. “Situating Twitter discourse in relation to spoken and written texts: A lectometric analysis.” Invited contribution to Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik. Special Issue “Lectometry.” Hosted by M. Roethlisberger, L. Rosseel & K. Franco.
  • (2020) Lars Hinrichs & Axel Bohmann. "Sociolinguistics." In S. Adolphs & D. Knight (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of English Language and the Digital Humanities (Routledge Handbooks in English Language Studies). Milton Park: Routledge.
  • (2016) Axel Bohmann. “Grammatical change because Twitter? Factors motivating innovative uses of because across the English-speaking Twittersphere.” In L. Squires (ed.). English in Computer-Mediated Communication: Variation, Representation, and Change (Topics in English Linguistics 93). Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 149–178.
  • (2016) Axel Bohmann. “‘Nobody canna cross it’: Language-ideological dimensions of hypercorrect speech in Jamaica.” English Language and Linguistics 20(1). 129–152.
  • (2016) Axel Bohmann. “Grammatical Change in English World-Wide” [review article of Collins, Peter (ed.), Grammatical Change in English World-wide, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins 2015]. Journal of English Linguistics 44(4). 378–381.
  • (2016) Lars Hinrichs, Benedikt Szmrecsanyi & Axel Bohmann. “Which-hunting and the standard English relative clause.” Language 91(4). 806–836.
  • (2016) Lars Hinrichs, Axel Bohmann & Kyle Gorman. “Real-time trends in the Texas English vowel system: F2 trajectory in GOOSE as an index of a variety's ongoing delocalization.” Rice Working Papers in Linguistics 4,
  • (2016) Axel Bohmann. “‘Red mal Deutsch, Hundesohn, ich halt nicht viel vom Spitten’: Cultural pressures and the language of German hip hop.” Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 58(3), 203-228.


Outreach and Science Communication



Invited Talks

  • “Language and the Nobel Prize in Physics”
    Geisteswissenschaften in den 2020ern / Humanities in the 2020s | Workshop at FRIAS
    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 19 February 2020
  • "English on Twitter worldwide"
    Language and the media | Undergraduate class, instructor: Lars Hinrichs
    The University of Texas at Austin, 19 March 2018
  • "‘Nobody Canna Cross it’: Jamaican sociolinguistics, language ideologies, and speaky spoky"
    Critical Issues in Linguistics | Lecture series
    Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany), 19 April 2016
  • "‘Nobody Canna Cross it’: Styling hyper-correct speech in Jamaica"
    English-based Pidgins and Creoles around the World | undergraduate class, instructor: Danae Perez
    University of Zurich (Switzerland), 24 November 2014
  • "Language change because Internet? A variationist examination of because X on Twitter"
    British English and American English: Corpus-Based Comparisons | Undergraduate class, instructor: Lars Hinrichs
    Universität Augsburg, 3 June 2014
  • "Language ideological dimensions of hyper-correct speech in Jamaica"
    Colloquium at the Department of Culture and Identity
    Roskilde University (Denmark), 14 May 2013


Refereed Conference Presentations

  • “Varieties of English worldwide: A lexical-semantic perspective”
    ICAME 41 (Heidelberg/digital), 20-23 May 2020
  • “A large-scale diachronic analysis of the English passive alternation”
    (with Julia  Julia Müller, Mirka Honkanen & Miriam Neuhausen)
    ICAME 41 (Heidelberg/digital), 20-23 May 2020
  • "A diachronic look at the English passive: Distributional semantics of be vs get"
    (with Julia Müller, Miriam Neuhausen & Mirka Honkanen)
    Poster presentation at IRG 2020, Fribourg (CH), 6-8 February 2020
  • "Like finding that one tree in a forest: Markers of stance in narration"
    (with Wiebke Ahlers)
    Poster presentation at NWAV 48, Eugene, 11 October 2019
  • "ICE corpora, register, and omitted variable bias: A multidimensional perspective"
    BICLCE 8, Bamberg, 28 September 2019
  • "‘Like she says like I -like’: Markers of stance in narration"
    (with Wiebke Ahlers)
    SLE 52, Leipzig, 21 August 2019
  • "Asylum seekers’ discursive construction of communicative breakdowns"
    iMean6, Wellington, 17 April 2019
  • "Global system, local langscape: The interplay of emergent norms and perduring indexical relations in asylum seekers’ ELF communication"
    ELF 11, London, 7 July 2018
  • "Dimensions of variation in World Englishes"
    ISLE 5, London July 18, 2018
  • "Orienting towards German with English linguistic resources: Observations on the communicative repertoires of English-speaking asylum seekers in Germany"
    ISLE 5, London, 17 July 2018
  • "When communication fails: Asylum seekers’ discursive construction of communicative breakdowns"
    Zurich Conference on Colonial and Postcolonial Language Studies – Changes and Challenges, Zürich, 5 June 2018
  • "Geographic and register variation in World Englishes: Methodological issues"
    Workshop "Statistical standards for scientific discovery in linguistics: a practical introduction", Zürich, 6 June 2017
  • "Investigating geographic and register variation in World Englishes"
    ICLaVE 9, Málaga, 6 June 6 2017
  • “A cross-varietal study of (ing) in written computer-mediated discourse”
    Sociolinguistics Symposium 21, Murcia (Spain), 17 June 2016
  • “Mapping the social meanings of /str/-palatalization in Texas English”
    (with Lars Hinrichs, Wiebke Ahlers, Alexander Bergs, Erica Brozovsky, Kirsten Meemann & Patrick Schultz)
    Poster presentation at Sociolinguistics Symposium 21, Murcia (Spain), 17 June 2016
  • “Sibilants and ethnic diversity: A sociophonetic study of palatalized /s/ in STR clusters among Hispanic, White, and African-American speakers of Texas and Pittsburgh English”
    (with Lars Hinrichs, Erica Brozovsky, Noli Chew, Kirsten Meemann & Patrick Schultz)
    Texas Linguistic Society 16, The University of Texas at Austin (USA), 19 February 2016
  • “Sibilants and ethnic diversity: A sociophonetic study of palatalized /s/ in STR clusters among Hispanic, White, and African-American speakers of Texas and Pittsburgh English”
    (with Lars Hinrichs, Alexander Bergs, Erica Brozovsky, Brian Hodge, Kirsten Meemann & Patrick Schultz)
    NWAV 44, University of Toronto (Canada), 23 October 2015
  • “Enquoting voices on Twitter: A multi-local study of quotative be + like in computer-mediated discourse”
    BICLCE 6, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), 20 August 2015
  • “‘Nobody Canna Cross it’: Ideological Aspects of Hyper-correct Speech in Jamaica”
    GAPS 2015, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany), 16 May 2015
  • Which-hunting and the Standard English relative clause”
    (with Lars Hinrichs & Benedikt Szmrecsanyi)
    iMean 4, The University of Warwick (UK), 11 April 2015
  • “Enquoting voices on Twitter: A multi-local analysis of be + like in computer-mediated discourse”
    ISLE 3, University of Zurich (Switzerland),  26 August 2014
  • “Null complementizers in Spanish and the use of Twitter as a tool for corpus-based linguistic research”
    (with Adrian Riccelli)
    Workshop on Social and Business Analytics, The University of Texas at Austin (USA), 28 March 2014
  • “The interactional dynamics of speaky spoky”
    ICLCE 5, The University of Texas at Austin (USA), 27 September 2013
  • “Unusually strong impact of prescriptive rules on language use: The case of object-function restrictive relativizers in written Standard English”
    (with Lars Hinrichs & Benedikt Szmrecsanyi)
    The Fourth Conference on Prescriptivism, Universiteit Leiden (Netherlands), 12 June 2013
  • “Discourse in motion: A mixed-methods case study from Jamaica”
    ISLE (Post-)Doctoral Spring School, University of Freiburg (Germany), 15 April 2013
  • “Dialect leveling in Texas English: A mixed-method approach to real-time change in the goose vowel”
    (with Lars Hinrichs)
    SALSA 21, The University of Texas at Austin (USA), 13 April 2013
  • “Degree of fronting and F2 trajectory type in the Central Texas goose vowel“
    (with Lars Hinrichs)
    NWAV 41, Indiana University Bloomington (USA), 27 October 2012
  • “The contested role of African American English in German rap discourse”
    Hip Hop Literacies, Ohio State University, Columbus (USA), 10 May 2012
  • “The /u/s of Texas: goose-fronting in 1980s Austin speech”
    SALSA 20, The University of Texas at Austin (USA), 14 April 2012
  • “Local appropriations of global English: The case of German hip hop culture”
    ICLCE IV, Universität Osnabrück (Germany), 21 July 2011
  • “Sacred that and wicked which: Prescriptivism and change in the use of relativizers”
    SALSA 19, The University of Texas at Austin (USA), 16 April 2011
  • “Origins of the American short story: ‘The desperate negroe’”
    Black Odyssey Continued – International Symposium of American Studies, Palacký University, Olomouc (Czech Republic), 14 November 2009