Research can be collaborative or by myself, but it always involves different languages and it is definitely always fun.

Multilingual Data - Multilingual Academic

I have worked on multilingual and monolingual data, conceptually written and spoken. Previous and current varieties include (in alphabetical order):

Current Projects

What's up, Switzerland

On 01 June 2014, the Universities of Zurich, Bern, Neuchâtel and Leipzig launched a Switzerland-wide WhatsApp data collection drive for the research project "What's up, Switzerland?". Over 6m tokens were collected and on 01 October 2015, "What's up Switzerland" is starting its research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (1.6m CHF) and aims to describe the linguistic features of WhatsApp messages.

Although I am not taking part in the research, I co-developed the data collection methodology and lead the creation of the multilingual content for the collection and the one-stop-shop website.

Previous Projects

SMS communication in Switzerland

The project "SMS communication in Switzerland", funded by the Swiss National Fund, analysed 24,000 SMS (mobile phone text messages) mainly written in French, German, Swiss German, Italian, and Romansh. The aim of the project was to describe features of SMS language in these varieties and show a contemporary understanding of language usage and mixing in Switzerland.

In the sub-group C, led by my supervisor Prof. Beat Siebenhaar and Prof. Simona Pekarek Doehler, I was a corpus linguist investigating multilingualism found in SMS. My favourite example was Hallo! Voulez vous luncher avec moi hüt? "Hello! Do you want to have lunch with me today?" (SMS ID 6417) which combines French, German, and Swiss-German elements.

German learner essays and CEFR levels

Sylvia Jaworska and I looked at phraseological and lexico-grammatical structures found in German learner essays that have been classified as B1, B2, C1, and C2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Work-Family balance for professional IT men in Indian

Prof. Vasanthi Srinavasan and I explored themes and narratives found in 13 interviews with male Indian IT professionals. In this joint collaboration, we combined scholarship and methods from human resource management, work-life integration, social and workplace support, and corpus linguistics.

2013 Luxembourgish General Election manifestos

On 20 October 2013, Luxembourg held its General Election (Chamberwahlen). For this, I analysed the (German language) manifestos of the 9 parties in question: déi Lénk, ADR, KPL, DP, Piratepartei, déi Gréng, LSAP, CSV, and PID. You can download the manifestos: each text file consists of only the main titles and section titles and the bodies. Titles have been put in angular brackets to be able to exclude them in a concordance software. Initial results have been disseminated to some Luxembourgish Media. You can listen to the radio interview of 24 October 2013.


In 2009-2012, the project "What's Hard in German?" (WHiG) aimed to analyse the language of learners of German. For this, I was responsible for collecting, processing, and evaluating essays written by undergraduate second-year and final-year learners of German at Welsh and English universities.

Prof. Astrid Ensslin and I worked with our German partners, the FALKO team, led by Prof. Anke Lüdeling at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. With our research partner, Dr. Sylvia Jaworska, we analysed formulaic language in native and learner essays. Our aim was to contribute towards phraseological scholarship and develop free learning and teaching materials.

Visit the WHiG page to download conference papers.

My PhD research

I submitted my PhD thesis in July 2009, had my viva in November, and my minor amendments were approved in February 2010. The thesis is about modal particles and discourse markers found in Luxembourgish emails, plays, and film-scripts. This involved reading about pragmatic markers, computer-mediated communication, pragmaticalisation and grammaticalisation, and corpus linguistics.