Tatjana Juliana Shannon Schnellinger
Background and activities
I am a PhD candidate in the Language and Linguistics programme at the Department of Language and Literature. I hold a BA and MA in English Studies as well as African Studies and Egyptology from the University of Cologne with a specialisation in linguistics. In addition, I have worked as a research assistant in the project ‘Split ergativity in Tima’ at the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Prominence in Language’ (CRC 1252) and as a live speaker at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne. My main research interests include contact languages, in particular Pidgins and Creoles; pragmatic variation; multilingualism and co-speech gestures.
- Contact linguistics
- Linguistic anthropology
- Pragmatic variation
My dissertation project explores how language shapes, and is shaped by culture, following a multi-disciplinary approach that brings together sociolinguistics, gesture studies, intercultural pragmatics, and linguistic anthropology to study cross-cultural diversity among Ghanaian and Afro-Surinamese communities. More specifically, the project focuses on flexible multilingualism and multimodal resources by exploring pragmatic variation of gesture-speech synchronisations in impolite discourse contexts. One aim of the research is to shed light on the visual gesture of Cut-Eye and the multimodal pragmatic marker of Kiss-teeth, two non-verbal forms of communication which are commonly used in African and Black diasporic communities.
In order to examine the interplay of these gestural forms and multilingual speech, this research will investigate the gestures’ functions in diglossic interactions, combining ethnography, stimuli-based elicitation tasks and analysis of video recordings. By using a corpus-based discourse analytical approach, the cross-cultural comparative study aims to generate spontaneous and comparable data that considers the multimodal, interactional and communicative aspects of plurilingual practices. The project is under the supervision of Professor Susanne Mohr (NTNU, Department of Language and Literature).