Franziska Thurnherr, M.A.
Doktorandin (Ph.D. candidate)
She received her MA in English linguistics and psychology from the University of Bern. Her MA thesis “Relational Work in Intercultural Conversations between Friends” focused on the transfer of relational work strategies from first to second languages in casual conversations between friends from different linguistic background.
In her PhD project, Franziska combines her interests in interpersonal pragmatics, computer-mediated communication and mental health discourse: her project centers around the relational aspect of language used in psychological email counseling. Special focus is given on how clients and counselors construct their identities and build up the therapeutic alliance (the relational bond between client and counselor) in their interaction that is solely based on email. The aim of the project is, on the one hand, to shed light on the link between relational work and identity construction and to contribute to the ongoing research in Interpersonal Pragmatics. On the other hand, the descriptive framework of the practice of email counseling is also established to contribute to new forms of online counseling by providing a linguistic perspective of the work both clients and counselors invest to improve clients’ well-being.
She was co-organizer of the international research conference “Language and Health Online: Typing yourself healthy”, which took place at the Englische Seminar of the University of Basel on April 15-16, 2016.
Franziska’s research interests include sociolinguistics, interpersonal pragmatics, (mental) health discourse, computer-mediated communication, and applied linguistics.