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Research at the Department of English Studies

The Department of English Studies is an independent structural unit of the Faculty of Humanities, the aim of which is to create and promulgate knowledge on linguistics, literary and culture theory.
The Chair of Linguistics (Head, Dr.philol. Gunta Roziņa) and the Chair of Literature and Culture Theory (Head, Dr. philol. Irina Novikova) combine a strong research profile with a professional commitment to their undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate teaching in the respective branches of science.
The Chair of Literature and Culture undertakes research in foreign literature, literary theory and theory of visual arts (including cinema).
The Chair of Linguistics conducts research in general linguistics, stylistics, lexicology and terminology, discourse analysis and pragmatics, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, corpus linguistics and computational linguistics.


• Geneal Linguistics
Linguistics as a branch of scientific study is a complex area. It deals with the investigation of language as a system of human communication. Linguistics covers a wide range of areas: phonetics, phonology, syntax and linguistic semantics, each discipline differing in its research object, methodology and research aims. Phonology deals with the study of sound systems; syntax deals with the study of sentence structure.  Linguistic semantics is a branch that studies the meaning of language units as well as the content of linguistic signs and their relations in the language system. Phonology, morphology, syntax and linguistic semantics are considered to be the core disciplines of linguistics.
Dr.philol. Jeļena Dorošenko is the head researcher in general linguistics. She runs the scientific research group in the areas of morphology, syntax and semantics. Besides, changes in the meaning of linguistic signs, the normative functions of language in various aspects of language use, as well as the impact of semantic change on the implementation of the communicative function of language are studied under her guidance.

• Stylistics
Stylistics is a branch of general linguistics; it studies the choice of linguistic expressive means in communication. Dr.paed. Dace Liepiņa, the head researcher, runs the scientific research group in stylistics, the leading researchers in this branch being Dr.paed. D. Liepiņa and Dr.philol. J. Dorošenko. Language styles as varieties of language, which depend on the sphere and situation of communication, its content and goal, are studied under their guidance.  
A new direction in the research of stylistics as a branch of applied linguistics at the Chair is related to the investigation of the application of stylistic means in professional language discourse: language of economics (Dr.philol.G.Roziņa, Dr.philol. Indra Karapetjana), language of politics and diplomacy (Dr.philol. I. Karapetjana) and language of law (Dr.philol. G. Roziņa, Dr.paed. D. Liepiņa).
• Lexicology and Terminology
Lexicology is a branch of general linguistics that studies the word as a unit characterized by a set of systematic linguistic features. Terminology being a branch of lexicology is a discipline that investigates the application and functions of general language and professionalisms in a certain scientific field. The scientific research group led by Dr.philol. J. Dorošenko and Dr.paed. D. Liepiņa conducts studies that are focused on working out methodology and theoretical stances in the spheres of practical application of language. The compilation of thesauri and other types of dictionaries, the standardization and harmonization of terms are conducted under their guidance.

• Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics
Pragmatics is a branch of applied linguistics that studies language use in communication. The selection of appropriate linguistic forms in relevant contexts establishes effective communication, which is characterized by the language user’s ability to apply the language system in relevant contexts. Pragmatics is based on the communicative linguistic competence.
Dr.habil.philol. Ingrīda Kramiņa, a Professor Emeritus of the University of Latvia, is the founder of the School of Applied Linguistic in Latvia. Her research has emphasized the language users’ knowledge of the rules of language application based on semantic, lexical, phonological, grammatical and contextual competences. Her followers in the areas of discourse analysis and pragmatics are Dr.philol. I. Karapetjana and Dr.philol. G. Roziņa, who lead the scientific research group that investigates the development of the language user’s general and pragmatic competences.                                                            
A new direction in the research of applied pragmatics at the Chair is the development of language users’ pragmalinguistic and sociolinguistic competences. These competences are important to facilitate international communication, which is based on thorough knowledge of various social and cultural aspects that underlie communication in academic and professional settings (Dr.philol. G. Roziņa, Dr.philol. I. Karapetjana, Dr.paed. Solveiga Ozoliņa). The latest research in the field of sociolinguistics at the Chair is devoted to the issues of language differentiation in international communication.

• Language Acquisition
Language acquisition is a branch of applied linguistics. Scientific research in this field is based on the use of the communicative approach in the foreign language acquisition process. It is characterized by the application of communication types, methods and means to master and display the skills of communication in the target language. The scientific research group run by Dr.philol. Vita Kalnbērziņa, Dr.paed. Monta Farneste and Dr.paed. S. Ozoliņa undertakes theoretical and empirical study in this field. The latest research is related to the study of communicative situations in cross-cultural communication (Dr.philol. V. Kalnbērziņa, Dr.paed. S. Ozoliņa, Dr.paed. M. Farneste, Dr.philol. I.  Karapetjana, Dr.philol. G. Roziņa).

• Psycholinguistics
Psycholinguistics is a branch of applied linguistics that studies language as a phenomenon of psyche. In its empirical application, psycholinguistics is related to nearly all the sub-disciplines of applied psychology: pedagogic psychology, economic and political psychology, and medical psychology. The head researcher in this field is Dr.philol.V. Kalnbērziņa. Further research focused on the investigation of speech and its perception and comprehension processes has to be conducted.

• Corpus Linguistics
Corpus linguistics is a branch of applied linguistics. The research in this field is based on the creation of an electronic database of linguistic elements. The linguistic elements have to be selected and grouped according to certain criteria to make them serve as language samples. Dr. habil.philol I. Kramiņa initiated this field of research at the Department of English Studies. Due to the development of information technologies, work on creation of corpus as a library of electronic texts, which would be compiled with a concrete academic goal and prescribed for the implementation of a concrete academic task, has to be carried out. The head researchers in this field are Dr.philol. Natalja Cigankova and Dr.philol. Zigrīda Vinčela.

• Computational Linguistics
Computational linguistics is an interdisciplinary branch of science that focuses on modelling natural languages. The end goal of its empirical research is machine translation, automatic linguistic processing of the selected text corpora and automatic retrieval of information from the texts. This is a comparatively new study field at the Chair, which aims at conducting further scientific research on computer modelling and on the application of computer programmes for the analysis of linguistic phenomena. This work is planned to be carried out under the guidance of Dr.philol. N. Cigankova and Dr.philol. Z. Vinčela.