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


Project B6 within the Collaborative Research Area 632 ‘Information Structure’ of University of Potsdam and Humboldt University Berlin.
  • 2008-2014; funded by DFG
  • PI: H. Wiese
  • Postdoc: Ines Rehbein
  • PhDs: Sören Schalowski, Ulrike Freywald

In this project, we investigated Kiezdeutsch, an urban contact dialect that emerged in multilingual and multiethnic neighbourhoods of Germany. We developed a corpus of naturally occurring speech based on self-recordings of adolescents, available as audio files with transcriptions in EXMARaLDA, and several annotation layers. In addition to adolescents from a multilingual neighbourhood, Berlin-Kreuzberg (main corpus, approx. 228,000 tokens), we also included adolescents from a largely monolingual neighbourhood with comparable socio-economic indicators, namely Berlin-Hellersdorf (supplementary corpus, approx. 105,000 tokens). The corpus is made available via open access, and is searchable in ANNIS.

Based on this empirical basis, we investigated grammatical and pragmatic patterns in Kiezdeutsch. Findings indicated a systematic integration of Kiezdeutsch into the general grammatical frame of German, and a more direct mapping of information-structural preferences onto the linguistic plane due to the special contact-linguistic dynamics of the context for Kiezdeutsch.