Department of General Linguistics

The Department of General Linguistics was established on 1st September 2011 under the authority of prof. PhDr. Jan Kořenský, DrSc. The mission of the department is scientific and research activity within the field of general linguistics, semiotics and linguistic theory with an interdisciplinary approach linked with the natural sciences. More specifically, it focuses on grammar theory and possibilities of text modelling, semiotic aspects of communication, the relationship between linguistics and the cognitive sciences, mathematical linguistics, the history of linguistics and discourse analyses in particular.
The studies of general linguistics aim both at theoretical questions in linguistics and at a practical application of the output when analysing texts. With respect to the detailed attention to language and communication in general, the studies are highly suitable as a continuing field of study for students of philology who wish to deepen their knowledge concerning the structure and functioning of a particular language. General linguistics can, due to its focus on issues of communication and on the pragmatic dimension of language, also be useful for graduates of bachelor’s degree programmes in other fields focused on the humanities. Natural science graduates might also find the degree of interest, for example, with a focus on mathematical linguistics and biosemiotics.

RESEARCH
A research team, focused on using lexicostatistic and general linguistic methods in fields where the affirmative results of such an approach has already been demonstrated or should be demonstrated, has already been formed at the Department of General Linguistics FF UP. Under the supervision of Professors Jan Andres and Jan Kořenský, analyses of the occurrence of the Menzerath-Altmann law in texts are elaborated. Within this context the hypothesis of language/text fractality is being verified. The department team is developing the contribution of Dr. Luděk Hřebíček into a theory of language/text fractality, in line with current trends in cooperation with the Universities of Trier and Bochum. Most importantly, it is interested in verifying newly-formulated hypotheses.
Additional teams in the department are carrying out research work in the following fields of interest: verifying the Menzerath-Altmann law, biosemiotics (a grammatical description of DNA), critical discourse analysis of Radio Free Europe, reflection of semiotic theories in fiction, children’s speech and its development.

Recent achievements and activities
The Department of General Linguistics FF UP has successfully obtained two ESF grants Inovace studia obecné jazykovědy a teorie komunikace ve spolupráci s přírodními vědami (Innovation of the study of general linguistics and theory of communication in cooperation with the natural sciences) CZ.1.07/2.2.00/28.0076 which began in the year of 2011 and Lingvistická a lexikostatistická analýza ve spolupráci lingvistiky, matematiky, biologie a psychologie (Linguistic and lexicostatistic analysis in cooperation with linguistics, mathematics, biology and psychology) CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0161, which was initiated in the year 2012.
The common aim of both projects is to strengthen the teaching content and the current state of linguistic and other cooperating disciplines, and thus incorporate the activities of the Department of General Linguistics into the international scientific and research network.
Apart from traditional studies, there are a wide range of activities open to students:
research fellowships in CR (The Institute of the Czech Language and the Institute of Psychology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Charles University) and abroad (the University in Tartu, Belgrade, Trier, Budapest, Heidelberg)
research possibilities (mathematical linguistics, psycholinguistics, biosemiotics etc.)
sharing in and cooperating in creating entries for the on-line linguistics encyclopedia.

International cooperation
Development of cooperation with: University of Trier (Germany); Heidelberg University (Germany); University of Tartu (Estonia).


STUDY PROGRAMMES
Bc. (B.A.) Obecná lingvistika a teorie komunikace (General Linguistics and Theory of Communication) – a double major degree programme
Mgr. (M.A.) Obecná lingvistika a teorie komunikace (General Linguistics and Theory of Communication) – a single major degree programme
Mgr. (M.A.) Obecná lingvistika (General Linguistics) – a double major degree programme
Ph.D. Obecná jazykověda a teorie komunikace (General Linguistics and Theory of Communication)
The Bc. degree programme is a systematic introduction to theory and communication. It is not focused on a description of one particular language or one type of communication, but instead deals with basic principles and means of describing language(s) and communication.
Both Mgr. degree programmes are divided into two, equally demanding parts. Students attends courses which develop him/her as a general linguist (by means of obligatory courses). Students are also obliged to choose his/her specialisation. He/she has to choose from the elective courses offered within each specialisation.

Obligatory courses
Metody lingvistiky (Linguistic Methods), Sémiotika (Semiotics), Obecná lingvistika (General Linguistics), Teorie komunikace ( Communication Theory), Filozofie a jazyk (Philosophy and Language), Současné přístupy ke komunikaci a jazyku (Current Approaches to Communication and Language), Proměny myšlení o komunikaci a jazyku (Metamorphoses in Thinking Regarding Communication and Language), Komplexní analýza komunikačního procesu a textu (Complete Analysis of the Communication Process and Texts)

Specialisations within the limits of the elective courses
Mediální sémiotika (Media Semiotics), matematická lingvistika (Mathematical Linguistics), biosémiotika (Biosemiotics), filozofie vědy (Philosophy of Science), psycholingvistika (Psycholinguistics), kritická analýza diskurzu (Critical Discourse Analysis)

Profile of our graduates
Graduates may find work as researchers, university lecturers or communication specialists, as well as in, for example, public administration institutions or non-profit organisations. They will have opportunities to be involved in solving communication problems as language experts, public relations or marketing strategies analysts. Last but not least, they will be provided with the possibility to work as experts in institutions engaged in formal language modelling.