Professor Bettina Migge

Full Professor in Linguistics

After an undergraduate degree in English, History and Linguistics at Universität Hamburg and Freie Universität Berlin which included a one-year stay at the University in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 1988/89, Bettina completed first and MA and then her PhD at the Ohio State University in 1998 with a thesis on the role of African influences in the emergence of Creoles, with a focus on the Eastern Maroon Creoles/Businenge(e)/Nenge(e) spoken in the Republic of Suriname and the French overseas region of Guyane Française in South America.

Since that time, Bettina has been carrying out research on the makeup and sociolinguistics of these languages with members of the French research unit SeDyL, on Irish English and other Englishes as part of her PhD and MA supervisory work, and has conducted research on migration to Ireland and is currently involved in research on language technology. She is co-editor of the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, edited a 4 volume anthology about research on Pidgins and Creoles with Joseph Farquharson (University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica), and President of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Languages.

On this page

  1. Bettina’s modules
  2. Research
  3. PhD Students

1. Bettina’s modules

  • LING10010 Language use and Communication: A whirlwind tour of topics in the broad area of language and society and methods of research. For example, we discuss how social media affects our understanding of language use or how animal communication relates to human communication
  • LING20090 Sociolinguistics 2 / LING40090 Sociolinguistics: Modules on sociolinguistic theories, quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis
  • LING 20060 World or Global Englishes: Investigates the diversity of Englishes around the world, the reasons for and implication of this diversity of the teaching of English, and their relationship to Creoles.
  • Bettina also teaches a 3rd year module dealing with specific issues in sociolinguistics.

2. Research:

Below you find some of my research outputs that were published in book format or as electronic resources. For details on the full range of my publications most of which are found in journals and book collections, please refer to my RMS profile.

2.1 Creoles Genesis

Creole Formation as Language Contact: The case of the Suriname Creoles

The research on the formation of (radical) creoles has seen an unprecedented intensification and diversification in the last 20 years. This book discusses, illustrates, and evaluates current research on creole formation based on an in-depth investigation of the processes and mechanisms that contributed to the emergence of the morphosyntactic system of the creoles of Suriname. 

Cross-linguistic Influence in Language Creation: Assessing the Role of the Gbe Languages in the Formation of the Creoles of Suriname

2.2 Sociolinguistics

Exploring language in a multilingual context: Variation, interaction and ideology in language documentation

Proposing a new methodological approach to documenting languages spoken in multilingual societies, this book retraces the investigation of one unique linguistic space, the Creole varieties referred to as Takitaki in multilingual French Guiana

Politeness and Face in Caribbean Creoles

Politeness and Face in Caribbean Creoles is the first collection to focus on socio-pragmatic issues in the Caribbean context, including the socio-cultural rules and principles underlying strategic language use.

Pratiques et attitudes linguistiques en Guyane

La Guyane française, avec sa grande richesse culturelle et linguistique, offre un observatoire privilégié pour l’étude des relations entre langue et société. On y parle en effet une trentaine de langues d’origines multiples : langues créoles, amérindiennes, asiatiques, européennes.

Creoles in Education

This volume offers a first survey of projects from around the world that seek to implement Creole languages in education.

In and Out of Suriname

In and Out of Suriname: Language, Mobility and Identity offers a unique multidisciplinary perspective on a multilingual society in the Caribbean and Guianan sphere. 

Approaches to Variation in Creole Studies

Special issue of Journal of Pidgin and Creole Studies 36:1 (2021)

Social and structural aspects of language contact and change

This book brings together papers that discuss social and structural aspects of language contact and language change.

2.3 Language Description

Here is some of my descriptive work aimed at a general, lay audience:

Grammaire du nengee

This book offers the first detailed yet easily accessible description of the three main varieties of the Eastern Maroon Creole, Aluku, Ndyuka, Pamaka in French. This language, usually referred to as Nenge(e) by its roughly 60 000 native speakers, is spoken in Suriname, FrenchGuiana, metropolitan France and in the Netherlands.

Dictionnaire Nengee – Français – English

The first version of the Businenge(e) tongo – French – English trilingual dictionary was
launched in December 2019. Since then, we have updated it in all three
languages, adding new words, expressions and meanings and restructured certain
entries based on our own observations and comments from people who use the dictionary. This process is ongoing and we welcome your comments and input.

2.4 Language in Ireland

Bettina is also involved in promoting research on Language in Ireland through supervision of postgraduate students (Lonergan, O’Dwyer, Wischerhoff and Shannon (MA)) and conference co-organization. This has given rise to a conference series New Perspectives of Irish English and edited volumes.

New Perspectives on Irish English

This volume brings together current research by international scholars on the varieties of English spoken in Ireland. The papers apply contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches and frameworks to a range of topics.

Support, Transmission, Education and Target Varieties in the Celtic Languages

This book aims to shed light on some of the main issues facing the Celtic languages into the future and to showcase different approaches to studying such contexts. It presents contributions interested in explicating the modern condition of the Celtic languages.

Ireland in the European Eye

A comprehensive survey of Ireland’s place in Europe, providing a detailed narrative of a cultural relationship that began with Irish missionaries bringing Christianity and learning to the continent. 

2.5 Language Migration

Together with Mary Gilmartin (Maynooth University) I undertook an exciting long term research project on migration to Ireland which gave rise to a number of publications and we had also collaborated with researchers in sociology on a tender from Immigrant Council Ireland which led to:

Getting On – From Migration to Integration: Chinese, Indian, Lithuanian and Nigerian Migrants’ Experiences in Ireland

2.6 Language and Technology

Since 2020 I have been actively involved in research on Language Technology. Together with Britta Schneider (Viadrina Universität) I head the Working Group on Language Ideologies of the COST network Language in the Human Machine Era – take a look at a first summary of our work within the working group over the last two years – & supervised a PhD on conflict on Twitter.

3. PhD/MLitt Students

Leire Sarto-Zubiaurre

PhD | Thesis working title: The Acquisition of Spanish as a Foreign Language by Irish learners

Franziska Wischerhoff

PhD | Thesis working title: Recent changes to ADE (Advanced Dublin English): A Sociophonetic analysis of new features and people’s attitudes towards them

Rui Zhao

PhD | Thesis Working Title: A sociolinguistic study of place identity and language ideology in a Chinese linguistic landscape: the case of Xi’an

Xixiang Zhao (Graduated: 2022/23)

PhD | Thesis Title: Conflictual Interactions in CMC The case of Twitter contexts

Mohammad Alenezi (Graduated in: 2022/23)

PhD | Thesis Title: English in Kuwait: A Pattern-Driven Perspective

Rosemary Shannon (Graduated in 2019/20)

MLitt | Thesis Title: A Corpus Linguistic study of morpho-syntactic features in Irish-English

Fergus O’Dywer (Graduated in 2017/18)

PhD | Thesis Title: Language and identity in a Dublin suburb

Aileen Hanrahan (2017-2019) 

MLitt | Thesis Title: Understanding the Development of Academic Writing in Dyslexic Writers in Higher Education Contexts

Hema Kesevan (2012-2015)

PhD | Thesis Title: Discourse practices in the Malaysian L2 classroom (funded by Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia (MHEM)

John Lonergan (2009-2013) 

PhD | Thesis Title: An Acoustic and perceptual study of Dublin English Phonology (funded by IRCHSS, with Máire Ní Choisáin)

Owen McCarney (2006-2014)

PhD | Thesis Title: Neoliberalism, Irish polity, and the problem of the public sphere: A  critical analysis of Irish Government discourse in the boom years (1997- 2007) (funded by IRCHSS)