The center pursues the goal of exploring and adequately describing both micro- and macro-structural conditions in (literary) texts. This includes the linguistic foundations of formal sentence and discourse modeling as well as the literary theoretical foundations of narratology and fictionality theory.

The added value created by the Center lies in its highly interdisciplinary research orientation, which ultimately requires all participating core disciplines, such as linguistics, literary studies, psychology, philosophy, and computer science, to cross thematic and methodological boundaries. The research agenda at the center also includes the validation and (further) development of various psycholinguistic experimental online and offline methods (surveys, mouse tracking, self-paced reading, eye tracking, EEG, etc.) as well as the use of new quantitative and qualitative computational linguistic methods.

The center has the university focus "Language and Cognition". It is therefore dedicated to researching the cognitive language ability of humans and the procedural processing of language and text. It aims to analyze language and its use, and to model the mental processes that underlie language processing. The center continues to build seamlessly on the research achievements of the previous Courant Research Center "Text Structures", which has been positively evaluated several times. The range of topics is once again significantly expanded without abandoning the reference to the (literary) text as the object of investigation:

  • Firstly, questions at all levels of language, from morphosyntax to pragmatics, are explicitly addressed in a broader historical and typological dimension to ensure that all Göttingen linguists can connect. This enables the Center to also address central research questions in the field of grammatical interfaces and the grammar-pragmatics interface.

  • Secondly, empirical and analytical questions of language didactics and language promotion will be included as well as aspects of first and second language acquisition and language development

  • Thirdly, the previous cognitively oriented empirical-experimental research agenda will be expanded to include areas of text technology to be able to adequately address both computational linguistics and computational philology research topics related to text analysis.

  • Fourthly, it is a central concern to integrate text- and language-related research topics from other humanities and social science disciplines (such as classical studies or philosophy). Concrete thematic connections exist, for example, in the fields of edition philology, analysis of historical sources, text comprehensibility, theory of mind, language and thought, contextualism, etc.

  • There are obvious links to the cognitive sciences and primate research in the areas of decision psychology, information processing, communication, intentionality, gestures, etc.