Project Description

Short Vita

I am a cognitive scientist and antisemitism researcher holding the chair of General linguistics at the Technical University of Berlin.

What I find exciting about this research initiative

The concept of social cohesion plays an important role both in everyday communication, mass media and online hate speech. It is important to understand how different members of society define the coherence of their lives, their resilience in times of crisis in order to grasp the mechanisms of discrimination, conspiracy phantasies and processes of ingroup-outgroup constructions. Investigating empirically the way how people interact, how they define themselves as members of a community helps to understand how civil society can exist and prevail as a democratic institution.

What my discipline can contribute to this research initiative

Linguistics, and Cognitive linguistics, in particular, sees language as a street into the mind, into human cognition. Understanding the way how people communicate about themselves, their lives, their problems and feeling during a time of crisis helps to understand the symbiosis of language, emotion and cognition that fundamentally dominates all human cooperation. Coded emotions, textual metaphors and specific patterns of verbal evaluation play an essential role in this process.

Five key publications

  • 2019.“Antisemitism 2.0” – The Spreading of Jew-hatred on the World Wide Web. In: Lange, A. / Mayerhofer, K. / Porat, D. / Schiffman, L. H. (Hg.), 2019. Comprehending and Confronting Antisemitism. A Multi-Faceted Approach (Volume 1). Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 311-338.

  • 2017. Mit J. Reinharz. Inside the Antisemitic Mind. The Language of Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Germany.Boston: University Press of New England.

  • 2017. Konzeptualisierung und Referenzialisierung von Katastrophe in den Textweltmodellen des modernen Krisendiskurses. In: Cahiers d’etudes Germaniques, 41-64.

  • 2017. Language and Emotion. The Cognitive Linguistic Perspective. In: Lüdtke, U. (Hg.), 2015. Emotion in Language. Theory – Research – Application. Amsterdam: John Benjamin Publishing Company, 157–173.

  • 2012. Mit A. Kertész und M. Consten. Converging Data Sources in Cognitive Linguistics. Amsterdam: Elsevier (= Special Issue of Language Sciences).