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

Center "Language in Urban Diversity"

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Cities are full of language. We all have diverse linguistic repertoires and these repertoires are impressively adaptive. We apply our linguistic knowledge flexibly from context to context. And we constantly expand and adjust it. This flexibility enables us to accommodate our ways of speaking with the needs and configurations of every single new encounter. Within seconds after meeting someone new, we can read and categorize these requirements. And when we interact often enough with the same (group of) people, new styles, registers or group-specific varieties can emerge – as for instance new youth languages, urban dialect levelling, or new multilingual practices.

The Center Language in Urban Diversity (LUD) connects researchers from different academic disciplines who share an interest in the linguistic diversity of the urban space. We focus on Berlin with its specific linguistic dynamics – and thereby look at both sociolinguistic and structural aspects of language. We see language as encompassing diverse speaker repertoires, and we understand different kinds of variation as part of such repertoires that naturally emerge through social interaction. LUD aims at creating and strengthening an awareness for the linguistic diversity in urban spaces. This way we hope to also contribute to enhancing the appreciation of social diversity in general.



Prof. Heike Wiese & Prof. Ferdinand von Mengden
Speakers of the Center "Language in Urban Diversity"




Oliver Bunk, Coordinator

E-Mail: oliver.bunk@hu-berlin.de

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RUEG-Corpus with compararable language data of mono- and multilingual speakers in formal and informal, oral and written communications


Kiezdeutschkorpus (KiDKo; Corpus of spontaneous interactions of Berlin youth in monolingual and multilingual areas of the city)


Deutsch ist vielseitig (The Many Sides of German - Antibias-training materials for education)