Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities - German in Multilingual Contexts

German in Multilingual Contexts

German Linguistics: Language acquisition and development in multilingual contexts

photo: Johanna Pott


We investigate the dynamics of German in a broad range of multilingual settings. We understand multilingualism as the normal condition of language use in human societies, and thus regard multilingual contexts as a key research domain for linguistics. We are particulary interested in the special dynamics of such contexts, which offer a privileged access to matters of language, cognition, and society.

Located in the middle of Berlin, our group takes an integrative perspective on multilingualism and urban language, combining questions of language acquisition, development, and structure with those of language perception, attitudes, and ideologies. Accordingly, our approach is interdisciplinary, and it methodologically brings together contact linguistics, grammatical analysis and developmental studies with corpus-linguistics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics.

In our research, teaching, and outreach/transfer activities, we cooperate with other working groups nationally and internationally, and with such educational institutions as schools and kindergartens, educational administrations, and museums.

Our current research foci include Kiezdeutsch, grammatical developments within heritage speakers’ repertoires, language in formal vs. informal settings, the dynamics of German in the multilingual context of Namibia, and urban contact dialects in Northwestern Europe and Subsaharan Africa.

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