Research Profile (en)

Research Focus

The focus of my linguistic and media-scientific work of the last years is on language respectively media as instruments of communication. Particularly, the interaction between linguistic forms as well as activity models and knowledge schemas (form-function-correlates) in the context of different social institutions and domains is in my interest. I am geared methodologically to the approaches and investigations of pragmatics, textual linguistics and discourse analysis, (frame) semantics, socio-linguistics and terminology research, ethnomethodology and interactional conversation research as well as corpus linguistics respectively computerized data analysis and contrastive media linguistics.

On the one hand, my previously research approaches try to mediate social macro or discourse level and interactional communication on the micro level with each other. On the other hand, I try to fructify computerized methods of evaluation of language patterns complementary for the extension of qualitative, linguistic hermeneutics (Digital Humanities).

Thereby, my research projects are generally interdisciplinary and use approaches especially of the cognitive sciences and the psycho linguistics, of sociology, media sciences, and the law as well as the computer linguistics.

In the centre of my research are linguistic signs (inclusive image and sound) as marks of social conflict dynamics, processes of understanding and misunderstanding and social or power asymmetries. The purpose is not only a contribution to the comprehension of the thereby connected processes, but also the empirical established development of paradigms and communication maxims for a democratic communication.

To view in the genesis, this cognitive interest reflects in the previous as well as current research projects: From the analysis of the linguistic-media preparation of the „Paris riots“ 2005, to the linguistics of legal norm genesis using the example of online-searching and surveillance (Online-Durchsuchung) to the point of current projects about linguistic constituents of nation stereotypes and national prejudices, to conflict linguistics 2.0 – personality and conflict dynamics in the computer mediated communication of virtual social groups using the example of Wikipedia or the relation between language and democracy.

If you have reviews or suggestions about my research work, you are welcome to write me. I am pleased with every (inter) disciplinary exchange.

Key topics of my research and teaching

  • Professional communication and transfer of knowledge, text functions and empirical informed methods in judiciaries and justice
  • Computer-based, quantified approaches to analyse linguistic action and interaction patterns as complementary methods to qualitative hermeneutics and ethnography; methods/construction of infrastructure / Digital Humanities
  • Language and knowledge: Discourse linguistics and (contrastive) linguistic image analysis
  • Social semiotics, socio-grammar and privacy of computer-mediated communication
  • Misunderstanding and conflict resolution
  • Approaches of linguistic democracy and participation research

Current research projects

  • Language and Law in a World of Media, Globalisation and Social Conflicts. Refounding the International Law and Language Association (ILLA) to make law more transparent. Conference in September 7th – 9th, 2017, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • CAL2 - International Research Group Computer Assisted Legal Linguistics (Bundling and international networking of computer-based legal linguistics; EU-application in preparation)
  • Language and Semantics of the Employment Law in Germany and Great Britain (Case Law) – Towards an European Law Corpus (2015-2017, RISC-Project, funded by the University of Freiburg and the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, 50.000 €) / cf. also the monograph: Vogel et al. 2015.
  • "From the corpus iuris to the corpora iurum" – Conception and exploitation of a legal reference corpus (JuReko) (2014-2017, funded by the Heidelberger Academy of Sciences Baden-Württemberg, 180.000 €)
  • German-Chinese image report – Contrastive linguistic image analysis (KLIma) on the basis of mass data in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Jia Wenjian/Beijing Foreign Studies University (funded by the BMBF and the CSC, 55.000 €; request for extension submitted)
  • The conceptualisation of the 'Digital' and of the 'Computer' in linguistics, theology, medicine and the legal domain – A contrastive investigation about professional communication in selected domains
  • Conflict linguistics 2.0 – socio-grammar of computer-based communication using the example of Wikipedia
  • Computer-based methods and implements for a semiautomatic analysis of discursive semantics: Development of „LDA-Toolkit“ as well as „ExploDika“ for a semiautomatic contrasting of context and explorative discourse mapping
  • Virtual Privacy – Basics of digital self-defence in times of surveillance and cryptography (Homepage, a series of lectures in cooperation with the Chaos-Computer-Club, current survey study about the role of cryptography at universities and schools)
  • Animal stereotypes – About the cultural semantics of the ‚Animalistic‘ in proverbs and common collocations. A corpus-based Phrasem analysis

Completed research projects

  • Language and democracy (conference in 2014 in cooperation with Clemens Knobloch; theme issue at Linguistik-Online 2015; DFG- research group application in preparation) / Special issue at:
  • Life in a digitalized world – The communicative application of mobile phones (Teaching Fellowship; supra-regional reporting), 2014
  • Legal corpus pragmatics – corpus linguistic approaches to juridical dogmatics (FRIAS-Conference 2013, FRIAS-Band (Hg.) 2015; Monograph Vogel/Christensen/Pötters 2015), 2012 – 2014
  • Linguistic image analysis (LIma). Computer-based approaches to nation and ethno stereotypes in media on the basis of great-text-corpora using the example of Turkey and Hungary, 2010 – 2011
  • Linguistics of legal norm genesis. Theory of juridical norm discursivity using the example of online searching (monograph 2012), 2009 – 2011
  • Heidelberg Corpus (technical management of the project; conceptual project management in cooperation with E. Felder and M. Müller; anthology (co-editor) 2012), 2008 – 2011
  • Linguistic media discourse analysis about the occasions in the suburbs of Paris 2005 (published as a monograph 2009), 2008 – 2009


Short information about current and completed Projects

Study in Freiburg about the sensibility in the protection of data privacy in the computer mediated communication (FSDI)

The survey study, that is in process since October 2015, investigates about the risks in the protection of data privacy and practical precautions (especially the application of encryption) in the communication on the internet at important social multiplicators (educational establishments) and at sensible points of the communication network (lawyers and doctors).

Computer Assisted Legal Linguistics / Legal Reference Corpus (JuReko)

Since 2012 I have worked on computer-supported approaches for the investigation about legal language and semantics. Since then, two current third-party-funded-projects as well as the International Research Group Computer Assisted Legal Linguistics (CAL2) emanated from this. More details at:

Conflict linguistics 2.0 – Socio-grammar of computer mediated communication using the example of Wikipedia

The project attends to linguistic and multimodal models of conflicting interaction in the communication on the internet. The focus is on the self- and extrinsic-positioning of rivalling groups in Wikipedia and how they are constructed and debated in the frame of Mediawiki-software as well as with the recourse of media-written, pictographic, auditive and audiovisual forms.

Language and democracy

Is there a general aid to orientation for normative and linguistic statements, a kind of "compass" for linguistic assessment of social relations? What are democracy, human rights and language concerned with each other? What are the conditions of possibility of democratic speaking? The work project “Language and democracy” attends to these and similar questions. More details (only in German) at: / Special issue at:

Chinese-German image report (CDI)

Research object is the contrastive investigation of the ethno-stereotypes of Germany and China in Chinese respectively German-speaking print and online media on the basis of contrastive linguistic image analysis (KLIma) and huge text corpora. The purpose is to make the particular nation image transparent in a "Chinese and German image report" (CDI), which can serve as a base of empirical informed economic and political consulting. More details (in German and Chinese) at:

Virtual Privacy – E-Mail encryption

The homepage-project attends to the outcomes of current national surveillance for the everyday digital communication. It illuminates pre-emptively and conveys practical abilities for "Digital Self-defence", particularly technologies of encryption of communication. More details at:

Corpus linguistic tools for discourse analysis

With the so-called LDA-Toolkit, with ExploDika, corpus transformer and other tools I take part in the development of (general as freeware licensed) software programs for the use in the discourse analysis and corpus linguistics research. The tools should be applicable likewise in research and apprenticeship, which means without knowledge of programming. More details (only in German) at:

Linguistic of legal norm genesis (completed)

The legal work on texts in the context of the legislative process is so far a crude research field in the legal linguistic view. The completed and published study (Vogel 2012) is deposited here: Using the example of norm (text) genesis in the so-called "Onlinedurchsuchung" (online computer surveillance), the study empirically carves out the multifarious discursive assignments and the action-guiding concepts of various actors. More than 1000 texts of the communications of legislatute, executive, judiciary, jurisprudence and media are considered. Monograph published 2012. More details (only in German) at:

Linguistic image analysis (LIma) (completed)

A linguistic access to semi-automated analysis of media-mediated images and stereotypes on the base of huge text corpora. Published in several papers (Vogel 2010a, 2010b, 2012, 2014).

Linguistic media-discourse-analysis (completed)

How can global media-discourses be described appropriate with the tool of linguistics? The project pursues this question using the example of a detailed analysis about the media coverage of the so-called "Riots in the French Banlieue" of 2005 (published 2009).

Corpus of Heidelberg (HeiDeko) (completed)

The "Corpus of Heidelberg" is a thematic composed, database-driven and digital conditioned text corpus about the interdisciplinary investigation of social discourses, developed together with Ekkehard Felder and Marcus Müller.