Dr Winifred V. Davies

Reader in German / Darllenydd mewn Almaeneg

bad language


Name: Dr Winifred Vaughan Davies.

1975-79: University of Manchester: First Class BA Hons degree in Mod. Langs (German/Spanish).

1979-82: Employed as a Lectorin at the Universities of Mannheim and Heidelberg, Germany.

1982-83: MA in History of the German Language at the University College of North Wales, Bangor.

1983-84: Teacher of English at Eloquia, Institut für Fremdsprachen, Mannheim.

1984-87: Lecturer in German at the University of Manchester.

1988 to present day: Lecturer in German at the University of Wales Aberystwyth. Promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2000, Reader in 2006.

1994: Awarded the degree of PhD by the University of Manchester for a thesis on 'Linguistic Variation and Language Attitudes in Mannheim-Neckarau'.

2005: Elected to international committee of International Association for Germanic Studies (IVG).

2007: Appointed member of Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College.

External grants

1985: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (DM 4,750)

1998: Grants from the British Academy (£1,000) and from the DAAD (DM 4,000)

2001: With Dr Nils Langer of Bristol University I received a major research grant from the AHRC (£105,000 over 3 years) for the project: The history and current status of  ‘bad  language’ as a concept in German folk linguistics. As part of  this project I supervised a PhD student who completed successfully in 2005.

2001: Grant from DAAD (DM 4,000)

2005: Grant from British Academy (£200)

2010: Grant of 3,980 euros from DAAD for the project: German at grammar schools: a comparative study of Germany, Luxembourg and German-speaking Switzerland.

Some recent conference papers

2000: (i) ‘An attempt at a critique of some common assumptions in German work on language and education’ at the Association for Language Awareness, Leicester; (ii) ‘Versuch einer Kritik einiger geläufiger Annahmen der deutschen Dialektdidaktik aus dem Blickwinkel der CLA (Critical Language Awareness)’ at Gesellschaft für angewandte Linguistik, Bremen; (iii) ‘Dialekt als Chance?’: Language Awareness amongst Teachers in a Pfälzisch Dialect Area’ at Sociolinguistics Symposium, Bristol.

2002: (i) ‘The promotion of Sprachkultur in Germany’ at Sociolinguistics Symposium, Ghent; (ii) The production and propagation of linguistic norms in Germany
at conference ‘Ich will anders sein’, Nottingham Trent University.

2004: (i) ‘Deutschlehrer und Deutschlehrerinnen (in Deutschland) als Geber und Vermittler von sprachlichen Normen’, Dresden (invited by DAAD);

2005: (with Nils Langer) ‘“Bad German”: Emergence, transmission and present status’at conference on Language History from Below, Bristol; (with Nils Langer): ‘Schlechtes Deutsch 1600- 2005’ at IVG conference, Paris; (with Nils Langer): ‘Bad German from 1700 to 2000: Origin, transmission and current status’, International Conference for Historical Linguistics, Madison, US.

2008: ‘Die Rolle (laien)linguistischer Mythen bei der Reproduktion von (sozio)linguistischen Normen’ at conference on ‘Alltagsdialektologie’, Kiel, Germany. 

2009: ‘The role of (lay) linguistic myths in the production of sociolinguistic norms in the German context’ at Workshop on Monolingual Multilingualism, Berlin, Germany.
WIGS (Nov 7).

2011: ‘A comparative study of German teachers in Germany, Luxembourg and German-speaking Switzerland: preliminary findings’ at Association for German Studies, London (April).



(with Nils Langer): The making of Bad Language: Lay linguistic stigmatisations in German, past and present. Peter Lang, 2006.

Essay-writing in German. A students' guide. Manchester University Press, 1997.

Linguistic Variation and Language Attitudes in Mannheim-Neckarau. Franz Steiner, 1995. (Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik. Beiheft 91.)

Edited books

Integrative Zugriffe auf Phänomene des Sprachwandels. Edited by W. V. Davies, R. Harnisch, M. Ono, O. Schneider-Mizony. Vol. 80 of Akten des XI. Internationalen Germanistenkongresses Paris 2005. Peter Lang, 2008.

Linguistic Purism in the Germanic Languages. Edited by N. Langer and W. V. Davies. Walter de Gruyter, 2005, viii, 374pp.

The Changing Voices of Europe. Edited by M.M. Parry, W.V. Davies and R.A.M. Temple. University of Wales Press, 1994, 335pp.

Edited special issue of journal (with Stephen Parker)

German Life and Letters 61/4 (2008), special issue on Standardization Issues, dedicated to Martin Durrell.

Articles in refereed journals

(with Melanie Wagner) ‘The role of World War II in the development of Luxembourgish as a national language,’ in Language Problems and Language Planning 33/2(2009), 112-31.
‘Sprachkultur in lay and academic discourse in modern Germany’, in German Life and Letters 61/4 (2008), 435-50.

‘Die Geschichte vom “schlechten” Deutsch’, Der Deutschunterricht 59/3, (2007), 52-62. Special edition on Neue Sprachgeschichte(n) ed. by Stephan Elspass.
‘Standardisation and the school: Norm awareness and norm tolerance in the educational domain’, in Linguistische Berichte 188 (2001), 393-414.
‘Linguistic norms at school: a survey of secondary-school teachers and trainee teachers in a central German dialect area’, in Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik 67 (2000), 129-47.

‘Language awareness amongst teachers in a central German dialect area’, in Language Awareness 9 (2000), 119-34.

‘"Geregeltes Miteinander oder ungeregeltes Durcheinander?" Versuch einer Beschreibung der sogenannten  "Umgangssprache" in Mannheim-Neckarau’, in Linguistische Berichte 178 (1999), 205-29.

Chapters in books/conference proceedings

‘The Nineteenth Century’, in Landmarks in the History of German. Edited by Geraldine Horan, Nils Langer & Sheila Watts. Peter Lang, 2009, pp.189-210.

‘Die Rolle (laien)linguistischer Mythen bei der Reproduktion von (sozio)linguistischen Normen’, in proceedings of Kiel conference on ‘Alltagsdialektologie’. To be published by de Gruyter.

‘The German-speaking Area’, in Sociolinguistics around the World: A handbook. Edited by Nicole Müller & Martin J. Ball. Routledge, forthcoming 2009, 257-68.

(with Nils Langer) ‘Schlechtes Deutsch: Entstehung, Vermittlung und heutiger Status’, in Davies et al., eds, 2008.

‘Normbewusstsein, Normkenntnis und Normtoleranz von Deutschlehrkräften’, in Variation im heutigen Deutsch: Perspektiven für den Unterricht. Edited by Eva Neuland. Peter Lang, 2006, pp. 483-492.

‘Language Education:  Correctness and purism’, in Encyclopaedia of Language and Linguistics. 2nd ed. Edited by Keith Brown. Elsevier, 2006.

‘An introduction to linguistic purism’, in Linguistic Purism in the Germanic Languages. Edited by N. Langer and W.V. Davies. Walter de Gruyter, 2005, 1-17.

Deutschlehrer und Deutschlehrerinnen (in Deutschland) als Geber und Vermittler von sprachlichen Normen’, in Germanistentreffen: Deutschland - Großbritannien - Irland. Dresden 2004. Tagungsbeiträge. Bonn: DAAD, 2005, 323-39.  

‘Sociolinguistic approaches to the study of contemporary Germany’, in Approaches to the study of contemporary Germany: research methodologies in German Studies. Edited by J. Grix. Birmingham: University Press, 2002, pp. 113-29.

‘A critique of some common assumptions in German work on language and education’, in German Studies Towards the Millennium: Proceedings of the 62nd Conference of University Teachers of German 1999. Edited by C. Hall and D. Rock. Bern, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2000, pp.207-22.

‘Dialect and Standard in speakers' perceptions: delayed reactions to linguistic reality in a German city’, in The Changing Voices of Europe. Edited by M.M. Parry, W.V. Davies and R.A.M. Temple. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1994, pp. 295-309.

(with M. Durrell) 'Hessian', in The Dialects of Modern German. Edited by C.V.J. Russ. London: Routledge, 1990, pp. 210-40.

'Mannheimer Stadtsprache', in Sprache und Gesellschaft in deutschsprachigen Ländern. Edited by C.V.J. Russ and C. Volkmar. Munich: Goethe Institut, 1987, pp. 248-67.

Other publications

(with Nils Langer): ‘Gutes Deutsch – Schlechtes Deutsch von 1600 bis 2005’, Sprachreport 3/2006. Mannheim, IDS, 2006, 2-9. 

Contributions to H. Briel (ed.), German Culture and Society: The essential glossary (London: Arnold, 2002): ‘Low German’ and ‘Dialects’.

Reviews in MLR, Journal of Sociolinguistics and Zeitschrift für Rezensionen zur germanistischen Sprachwissenschaft.

External examining

2001-2005: Newcastle University (UG and MA)

2001-2006: Sheffield University (UG, Luxembourg Studies)

2001-2005: Cardiff University (UG, Continuing Education).

2002: MPhil at IGS, Birmingham

2004- 2008: Salford University (UG)

2005 + 2005: Two PhDs at Manchester University

2006: PhD at Liverpool University

2007 – onwards: Swansea University (Welsh-medium UG and MA)

2008: PhD at University of Essex; MPhil at Birmingham University.

2011: PhD at Manchester University.

2010 – onwards: Aston University and Sheffield University (UG)

Other indicators of esteem

2008, 2009: On judging panel for Schlegel-Tieck translation prize.
I am regularly asked to give guest lectures at other universities, at home and abroad, e.g. Cardiff University (2000), University of Wales Swansea (2002), Heidelberg (2002, 2006), Trinity College Dublin (2003), Manchester University (2004), Canterbury (2007), Zürich, Birmingham (2009), Basel (2010), Essen (2010) Sheffield (2011).
I have refereed articles for German as a Foreign Language, Language Awareness, Applied Linguistics, Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of Germanic Linguistics.
On scientific committee of Sociolinguistics Symposia, 2010 and 2012 and VALS 2010.