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Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Deutsch in multilingualen Kontexten

Kolloquium Mehrsprachigkeit, Sprachkontakt, Variation (WiSe 20/21)

 

Das Kolloquium "Mehrsprachigkeit, Sprachkontakt, Variation" findet donnerstags von 16:15h bis 17:45h statt. Alle Vorträge werden voraussichtlich als Videokonferenz über Zoom stattfinden. Gasthörer:innen sind herzlich willkommen; bitte schicken Sie eine kurze Email an Juliane Koerbel-Aslantürk <koerbeju@hu-berlin.de> für den Zugang zum Zoom-Meeting.

 

The colloquium "Multilingualism, language contact, Variation" will take place on Thursdays 4:15 pm - 5:45 pm. The talks will take place online via zoom and are open to a wider audience. Please write a short email to Juliane Koerbel-Aslantürk <koerbeju@hu-berlin.de>, if you would like to attend the talks.

 

12.11.2020
Einführung: Themen und Termine

 

03.12.2020
Joe Salmons (University of Wisconsin-Madison): North American Heritage German varieties as “new dialects”

 

10.12.2020
Michael T. Putnam (Penn State University): The limits of variation: Separable prefixes in Heritage German

 

14.01.2021
Gerald Stell (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University): Urban Namibia's emergent multilingual repertoires: Features and variation patterns

 

21.01.2021
Eva Wittenberg (UC San Diego): Using experimental dialect data to study conceptual composition in diminutive phrases (Joint work with Andreas Trotzke)

 

28.01.2021
Maria Piñango (Yale University): Cognitive markers of context sensitivity as a source of individual variability during language comprehension

 

11.02.2021
Concha Höfler (Nottingham Trent University): Identification and belonging in interaction

 

18.02.2021
Devyani Sharma (Queen Mary University of London): Layered selves: A socio-cognitive model of speech style

 

25.02.202
Louis Cotgrove (University of Nottingham): ^^😂🦄: The multifunctionality of emoji and emoticons in German youth language on YouTube

 


 

03.12.2020: Joe Salmons (University of Wisconsin-Madison): North American Heritage German varieties as “new dialects”

 

One of the great advances in understanding contemporary German has come from the researchers in this project, in the analysis of Kiezdeutsch as a "new dialect" of German, showing familiar features and paths of development. I make the simple argument here that the wide array of German varieties spoken in North America are similarly "new dialects" and also "Turbo-Dialekte" (Wiese 2012:231), that show these features and paths in particularly robust and systematic ways. I draw data from phonetic/phonology and inflectional morphology in a number of American varieties of German. These varieties have often been spoken for over a century and a half in diaspora and thus offer longitudinal depth for how these new dialects have developed over generations. While the very different sociolinguistic settings lead to some divergent developments, diasporic varieties are emphatically new dialects of German. I close with a few words about the socio-political context of heritage languages in the current US landscape (Bousquette et al. in preparation).

References
Bousquette, Joshua, Joshua R. Brown, Michael T. Putnam & Joseph Salmons. In preparation. The Linguistic Diversity of German: Sociolinguistic and Structural Variation in Europe and the Diaspora. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wiese, Heike. 2012. Kiezdeutsch: Ein neuer Dialekt entsteht. Munich: C.H. Beck.

 


10.12.2020: Michael T. Putnam (Penn State University): The limits of variation: Separable prefixes in Heritage German

 

Although aspects of syntax are generally held to be relatively sturdy in heritage grammars across the lifespan (Sorace, 2011; Polinsky, 2018; Polinsky & Scontras, 2020; Lohndal, 2021), instances of novel forms are easy to find in these vernaculars. In this presentation I address this apparent paradox, advancing the argument that instances of contact-induced and internal change are restricted in nature (Heine & Kuteva, 2005; Eboh, 2015). To illustrate this point, I examine the distributional properties of separable prefixes in Heritage German, with a particular focus on Gottscheerisch and Zarzerdeutsch - two moribund Bavarian heritage varieties spoken in the US and Slovenia. In spite of certain novel innovations, both varieties of Heritage German exhibit nuanced structures that do not violate core properties of German(ic) syntax. From a theoretical perspective, these findings make a strong case for Late Insertion approaches to the syntax-morphology interface (Salzmann, 2019; Putnam & Hoffman, to appear) and further illustrate that varieties Heritage German, even in moribund contexts, remain relatively intact throughout the lifespan (Bousquette & Putnam, 2020).

 


14.01.2021: Gerald Stell (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University): Urban Namibia's emergent multilingual repertoires: Features and variation patterns

 

Namibia is an ethnolinguistically diverse environment with a legacy of abrupt changes in language policy. Only an elite language before independence, English – as independent Namibia’s sole official language – has been spreading exponentially at the expense of Afrikaans, formerly dominant, yet without entirely displacing it as an urban lingua franca. Meanwhile, Namibia’s indigenous languages have largely remained confined to intra-ethnic interactions, as they already had before independence. In this presentation, I take a mixed variationist-ethnographic approach to language use in Windhoek, the capital city, where multilingual repertoires muster much potential for hybridization at the same time as Afrikaans and English display indigenizing trends. Using quantitative phonetic data, I first present trends in variation and change in English and Afrikaans across Windhoek’s main ethnolinguistic groups. I then situate these variation patterns in the context of informal language behaviors, specifically looking at code-mixing practices involving indigenous languages, as well as at emergent new vernaculars based on either Afrikaans or English. The overall picture that emerges from this account is one of enduring sociolinguistic contrasts between ethnoracial categories inherited from the Apartheid, although one can perceive changes resulting from the increasing demographic weight of the country’s Oshiwambo-speaking majority in Windhoek, as well as from accelerated rural-to-urban migration in general. I conclude this presentation with a discussion of how Namibian sociolinguistic dynamics compare with dynamics in South Africa, the ex-colonial power, and Subsaharan Africa in general.

 


21.01.2021: Eva Wittenberg (UC San Diego): Using experimental dialect data to study conceptual composition in diminutive phrases (Joint work with Andreas Trotzke)

 

Traditional dialects are decidedly not very hip, but they are fascinating. Using the example of syntactic variation within diminutive noun phrases in my native dialect of East Franconian, I will show how we can use dialect data to study linguistic phenomena that arise from dialectal variability to understand conceptual composition.
Upper German dialects make heavy use of diminutive strategies, but little is known about the actual conceptual effects of those devices. I present two large-scale psycholinguistic experiments that investigate this question in East Franconian. Franconian uses both the diminutive suffix -la and the quantifying construction a weng a (lit. 'a little bit a') to modify noun phrases. Our first experiment shows that diminutivation has no effect on conceptualization of magnitude; but the second experiment shows how diminutivation can affect the conceptualization of degree predicates in gradable noun phrases. Our conclusions are threefold: First, we show how semantic bleaching has seeped into conceptualization, erasing any trace of effects of magnitude modification; second, we uncover how East Franconian instead uses the quantifier a weng a to measure degrees; and third, we show a path towards active participation of a traditional speaker community in citizen science.

 


18.02.2021: Devyani Sharma (Queen Mary University of London): Layered selves: A socio-cognitive model of speech style

 

When sociolinguists study style-shifting today, the focus is often on audience, identity, and other social indexicality. This social constructivist approach is widely seen as having "very largely supplanted" (Coupland 2007) the earlier interest in attention-paid-to-speech (Labov 1972). In this talk I look at micro-fluctuations in style production and suggest that attentional effects are in fact pervasive in spoken interaction and give us clues to underlying psycholinguistic processes. To develop a 'socio-cognitive' model of style, I look at real-time fluctuations in the speech of bidialectal individuals—native speakers who have layers of speech styles due to migration or contact. Using experimental and conversational data, I show that attentional load and patterns of switching variants 'on and off' point to different degrees of control (Green 1998) and a distinction between effortful and routinized styles (Kahneman 2011), akin to bilingual L1/L2 control. I argue that these are not simply cognitive constraints on social action, they are central to how we construct credible selves in interaction. These tiny signals of ease and effort infused in speech can act as a scaffolding for interpreting social goals in interaction. For example, a simple group-oriented model of speech accommodation would predict that convergence builds rapport, but I show that the opposite can be true: diverging to one's perceived default style can convey credibility and trust. Game theoretic models (Burnett 2017) are well-placed to capture this expanded socio-cognitive model of style, integrating social indexicality with more cognitive elements such as processing costs, signalling, and real-time updates in interlocutors' inferences about each other.