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

German in Multilingual Contexts

German Linguistics: Language acquisition and development in multilingual contexts

At the chair of “German in Multilingual Contexts”, we investigate the dynamics of German in different 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 in Germany and abroad, 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.


RUEG-Korpus with comparable linguistic productions of monolingual and multilingual speakers in formal and informal, oral and written communicative situations.


Kiezdeutschkorpus (KiDKo; a corpus of spontaneous peer group conversations among young people in multi- and monolingually dominated Berlin neighbourhoods)


Deutsch ist vielseitig (anti-bias teaching materials on linguistic diversity)


Language Situations (method to elicit comparable, naturalistic data across registers and speaker groups)