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English Language and Linguistics

Dr. Matthias Hofmann

+49 371 531-38558
+49 371 531-838558
Reichenhainer Straße 39, 219
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Dr. Matthias Hofmann has been a member of the ELL department since winter semester 2009/2010. He is a postdoctoral research associate, lecturer in English Linguistics, and the representative of the non-professorial staff at the English Department. Find his latest resume here.


Short Resume

Latest version

I earned my M.A. in English and American Studies, Intercultural Communication and Psychology at Chemnitz University of Technology in 2008. I spent a semester at Utrecht University in 2005/2006 and I completed an internship as a translator with the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at the Library of North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota, in 2007. I completed my Master's thesis in 2008, which focused on phonological features of African American Vernacular English in Rap lyrics. My PhD thesis "Mainland Canadian English in Newfoundland: The Canadian Shift in Urban Middle-Class St. John's" focuses on the dispute concerning the presence of the Mainland Canadian English lax vowel chain shift among young urban residents of the capital of Canada's youngest, and until recently poorest, province Newfoundland and Labrador.

Research Interests

My main research area is language variation and change in varieties of English, particularly in Newfoundland English. Other areas of interests are the phonology of African-American Vernacular English, American dialectology, the acquisition of English as a second language, frequency effects, sociolinguistics, (socio-)phonetics, corpus linguistics, e-learning, internet English and machine-human interaction.


in prep. The Urban Middle Class and their Many KITs: Frequency Effects in St. John's, NL. (with Susanne Wagner)
Dialect Authenticity in Film Text: The Case of Sweet Home Alabama. In B. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, M. Kopytowska, J. Osborne and J. Schmied (eds.). Languages and Cultures in Contact and Contrast. Chambéry: Éditions de l'Université de Savoie.
2011 Second Language Learner Phonology: ESL Speakers in Cameroon. In C. Haase & N. Orlova (eds.). ELT: Converging Approaches and Challenges. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 1-8.


2015 Social Networks, Oil, and Linguistic Marketplaces: The Canandian Shift in Urban St. John's, NL. New Ways of Analyzing Variation 44: Intersections. Toronto, ON, Canada. October 24.
The Role of Frequency in a Regular Sound Change Revisited. The International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE 3). Zurich, Switzerland (with Susanne Wagner). August 25.
Islanders or Mainlanders? The Canadian Shift in the Middle Class of Urban St. John's. Methods in Dialectology XV. Groningen, Netherlands. August 15.
How Frequent Is Frequent, and why Does it Matter? Lexical Frequency Effects on a Regular Sound Change. Methods in Dialectology XV. Groningen, Netherlands (with Susanne Wagner). August 15.


The Urban Middle Class and their Many KITs: Frequency Effects in St. John's, Newfoundland. 5th International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (ICLCE 5). Austin, TX, USA (with Susanne Wagner). September 28.
2012 Sociolinguistics Symposium 19. Berlin, Germany. August 21-24.
2011 Mainland Canadian English Phonology in Newfoundland - DRESS Lowering. Methods in Dialectology XIV. London, ON, Canada. August 4.
2010 Second Language Learner Phonetics: ESL Speakers in Cameroon. ATECR 2010. Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic. September 11.
2009 The Northern Cities Vowel Shift and the Regional Variety of North Dakota. Modena International Workshop. Modena, Italy. October 17.

Invited Talks

2011 Mainland Canadian English in Newfoundland - Linguistic Change Reflecting Economic Change? Memorial University of Newfoundland. St. John's, NL, Canada. September 9.
2010 Analyzing Spoken English Empirically: From Arthur the Rat to WWW Downloads. Chemnitz University of Technology. Chemnitz. April 21.


WS 2015/16 C Research Colloquium MA Theses (MA3)
SS 2015 V History of English Language and Culture (BA2)
  S Translation Theory and Technology (MA2)
  S eLearning (CALL) (MA2)
WS 2014/15 S Using and Learning English World-Wide (MA1)
SS 2014 S U.S. Varieties of English (BA4)
  S Translation Theory and Technology (MA2)
SS 2013 S U.S. Urban Black English and the Rap Game: Lexis, Phonology and Morphosyntax (BA4)
WS 2012/13 S Corpus Linguistics (BA3)
SS 2012 S Semantics (BA2)
WS 2011/12 S Using and Learning English World-Wide (MA1)
SS 2011 S Sociolinguistics (BA4)
WS 2010/11 S Sociolinguistics (BA3)
SS 2010 S Phonetics and Phonology (BA2)
WS 2009/10 T Applied Linguistics (BA3)