Michael Westphal
Michael Westphal

Professur für Variationslinguistik (Prof. Deuber)

Johannisstraße 12-20, Room 322
48143 Münster

Phone: +49 251 83-24298


Consultation hours: Wednesdays 10-12 (there is a sign up list on my door)

External Profiles:
  • ResearchGate
  • academia.edu
  • Research Areas

    • Varieties of English
    • Creole languages
    • Sociolinguistics
    • Language in the media
    • Variational Pragmatics
    • Language attitudes
    • Linguistic Landscaping
  • Doctoral Thesis

    Linguistic variation in Jamaican radio


    In recent years interest in media texts as sources for sociolinguistic analysis has grown but the media domain remains underresearched for Creole using communities. A study taking into account the comprehensive range of varieties, from Creole to Standard with the often diffuse distribution, and their interaction is missing. For Jamaica and the wider Anglophone Caribbean, radio broadcasting is the mass media genre with the most diverse linguistic variation – various varieties come into conflict on the air but also complement each other. This complex variation proves radio broadcasting in Jamaica very worthwhile for linguistic research. The aim of this PhD project is to detect the varieties used on the air, analyze their interaction, and study how this linguistic variation is constrained. In order to establish a more comprehensive picture of the linguistic variation on the air, the project combines the analysis of different aspects of radio broadcasting: The radio texts themselves are analyzed, the production of radio texts is taken into account and the project also seeks to find out how the listeners perceive the linguistic variation in radio broadcasting in Jamaica.

  • CV


    Post-doc University of Münster
    Phd University of Münster
    M.A. University of Freiburg
    Exchange student at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica


    Research assistant, Chair of variation linguistics, University of Münster


    Graduate Award of the Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies (GAPS) - Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies (GAPS)
    Faculty award 2009 of the Philological Faculty of the University of Freiburg for the MA thesis A History of Jamaican Creole in the Jamican Broadcasting Media - Philologic Faculty of the University of Freiburg

    External functions

    ISLE The International Society for the Linguistics of English
    GAPS (Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies)
    Treasurer of GAPS (Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies)
  • Teaching

  • Projects

    • ICE-T&T - International Corpus of English - Trinidad and Tobago component (since )
      Own funding
  • Publications

    • Jansen Lisa, Westphal Michael. . ‘Rihanna works her multivocal pop persona: A morpho-syntactic and accent analysis of Rihanna's singing style.’ English Today 33, No. 2: 46-55. doi: 10.1017/S0266078416000651.
    • Westphal, Michael. . ‘Emancipation from and Re-Invention of the Linguistic Metropolis in a Postcolonial Speech Community.’ In Re-Inventing the Postcolonial (in the) Metropolis, edited by Sandten Cecile, Bauer Annika, 401-418. Leiden: Brill. doi: 10.1163/9789004328761_025.
    • Westphal, Michael. . ‘Attitudes toward Accents of Standard English in Jamaican Radio Newscasting.’ Journal of English Linguistics 43, No. 4: 311-333. doi: 10.1177/0075424215607327.
    • Westphal Michael. . ‘Linguistic Decolonization in Jamaican Radio.’ Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 63, No. 2: 179-197. doi: 10.1515/zaa-2015-0017.
    • Westphal Michael. . ‘Veronique, Lacoste. 2012. Phonological Variation in Rural Jamaican Schools.English World-Wide 35, No. 3: 358-362. doi: 10.1075/eww.35.3.06wes.
    • Westphal, Michael. . A History of Jamaican Creole in the Jamican Broadcasting Media.
  • Talks

    • Westphal, Michael (): "Pre-conference Workshop: Language attitude research". Dynamik – Variation – System: Interdisziplinäre Nachwuchstagung an der Graduate School Empirische und Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft an der WWU Münster, University of Münster, .
    • Westphal, Michael (): "The global spread of Jamaican Creole in reggae subculture". 4th International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE) conference, University of Poznań, Poland, .
    • Westphal, Michael (): "Linguistic and cultural appropriation of reggae and dancehall in Germany". 27th GAPS annual conference: The Postcolonial and the Material, University of Augsburg, Germany, .
    • Westphal, Michael (): "Linguistic variation in Jamaican radio newscasts". 6th International "Language in the Media" Conference, University of Hamburg, Germany, .
    • Westphal, Michael (): "Linguistic destandardization processes in Jamaican radio". 3rd International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE) Conference, University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland, .
    • Westphal, Michael (): "Linguistic decolonization processes in Jamaican radio". 15th Triennial Conference of The European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (EACLALS): Uncommon Wealths Riches and Realities , Universtiy of Innsbruck, Austria, .
    • Westphal, Michael (): "Perceptions of Standard Englishes in Jamaican radio newscasting". Englishes Today: Theoretical and methodological issues, University of Vigo, Spain, .
    • Westphal, Michael (): "Attitudes towards different accents of English in Jamaican radio newscasting". 5th International conference on the linguistics of contemporary English (ICLCE 5), University of Texas Austin, USA, .
    • Wilson, Guyanne; Westphal, Michael; Hartmann, Johanna; Deuber, Dagmar (): "The use of question tags in different registers of English in Trinidad". 5th International conference on the linguistics of contemporary English (ICLCE 5), University of Texas Austin, USA, .
    • Westphal, Michael (): "Emancipation from and reinvention of the linguistic metropolis in a post -colonial speech community". 24th GAPS annual conference: Reinventing the postcolonial (in the) metropolis, Technical Universtiy of Chemnitz, Germany, .