Poster presentation at the 17th International Pragmatics Conference, Winterthur (online)

Presentation of an academic poster containing preliminary results from current coding processes and analysis of interviews conducted in Spanish


Information about the conference  

Dates: from 27 June to 2 July 2021

Organization: Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)




Information about the presentation  

Date and time: Thursday, 1 July, 15:30 (Group „Speech Acts“)

Title: „Empirical Approaches to Verbal Violence against Migrants in German Institutions“


Abstract for submission (December 2020):

Although verbal violence against migrants seems to be a common phenomenon in German institutions, it is clearly understudied in Applied Linguistics. Problems with data collection and the fact that verbal aggressions are generally realized by indirect means (and thus not immediately recognizable) may have contributed to the lack of research in this field. The VIOLIN project, from which the present contribution emerges, aims at filling this gap, by developing novel forms of data collection and analysis.

Building qualitative analysis of narratives of so-called “critical incidents” reported by Spanish-speaking migrants in Germany, we developed analytical tools based on Speech Act Theory and Narrative Analysis that allow for a better understanding of how the perception of aggression and violence emerges in interactions. Special emphasis is laid on how migrants interpret pragmatic cues, make significant attributions about the motivations of their interlocutor, and organize their experiences within memory reconstruction processes.

In the poster proposed here, we will present an analytical apparatus for the study of verbal aggression and violence that combines approaches from Psychology and Political Sciences under an Applied Linguistics framework. Relying on a corpus of critical incidents taken from the interviews, we demonstrate how recurrent structures on the macrolevel can be detected through microanalysis of the migrant’s narratives. This allows a deeper understanding of why, how and where verbal aggression and violence against migrants emerges, which can be translated into recommendations for language use in German institutions.


Link to poster and appendixes