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

DAAD Guest Chair “The Multilingual Lexicon”

The guest chair "The Mulilingual Lexicon" was organized in cooperation with the Potsdam Centers "Language, Variation and Migration" (Heike Wiese) and "Research Institute for Multilingualism" (Harald Clahsen). It served as a focal point for three master's courses (International Master's / Doctoral Program Experimental and Clinical Linguistics; Linguistics: Communication - Variation - Multilingualism; Foreign Language Linguistics) and strengthened the linguistic focus of "Multilingualism" across faculties, which has received a special international profile through the chair.

The most detailed insights into the nature of multilingualism to date come from studies of the lexicon, for example from experiments on word recognition. Due to these studies we know, for example, that multilingualism can have advantages for other (non-linguistic) cognitive abilities, that multilingualism does not lead to speech impairments but – on the contrary – can possibly postpone the onset of dementia in old age. In addition, from a linguistic point of view, the lexicon is of central importance as a switching point between the various components of language, since phonological, semantic, morphological and syntactic features are brought together here, the interaction of which results in the essential properties of a language.

The guest chair was represented by two internationally renowned experts for two semesters each: Kira Gor (University of Maryland, USA; 2014-2015) and Ayşe Gürel (Boğaziçi University, Turkey; 2015-16).