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The Research Unit investigates the linguistic systems and linguistic resources of bilingual speakers from families with an immigrant history, “heritage speakers”, in both of their languages across different language pairs, registers, and age groups. We investigate speakers of Russian, Turkish, and Greek as heritage languages in Germany and the U.S., in addition to German as a heritage language in the U.S., as well as monolingual controls for majority and heritage languages. We study noncanonical phenomena as indicators of new grammatical options in bilingual systems. All projects contribute to
three “Joint Ventures” targeting (1) the development of new dialects vs. incomplete acquisition or erosion (“Language Change Hypothesis”), (2) the relevance of internal vs. external grammatical interfaces (“Interface Hypothesis”), and (3) the distinction of contact-induced change vs. language-internal developments and variation (“Internal Dynamics Hypothesis”). As a result of our collaborative research, we expect new insights into the special dynamics of language variation, language change and linguistic repertoires in contact situations and the modelling of noncanonical structures in the grammatical system, and new impulses for the investigation of heritage speakers and of speakers’ resources.
The projects are supported by two Mercator Fellows:
The Research Unit is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – Project number: 39482131.
Summer School “Emerging Grammars in Language Contact Situations”
Date and Venue:
August 12th – 16th, 2019, Humboldt University Berlin
The Research Unit “Emerging Grammars in Language Contact Situations: A Comparative Approach” (RUEG) is organizing a Summer School for PhD students.
The summer school will bring together leading researchers and PhD students interested in language use and language structure in contact settings. Classes will address topics of language contact, language and migration, register variation, language acquisition and multilingualism. Each class will give an overview of milestones in the field and discuss current research topics. In addition, the school will include a seminar on corpus linguistics with a focus on multilingual corpora. The language of the summer school will be English.
Classes and teachers:
Register Variation: Douglas Biber, Northern Arizona University
Language and Migration: Cristina M.M. Flores, Universidade do Minho
Language Acquisition: Natalia Gagarina, Leibniz Centre for General Linguistics, Berlin, & Christoph Schroeder, University of Potsdam
Corpus Linguistics: Hagen Hirschmann, Humboldt University, Berlin
Language Contact: Yaron Matras, University of Manchester
Multilingualism: Ad Backus, Tilburg University (to be confirmed)
Each participant may attend 3 of the 6 offered classes.
For application, please send a letter of motivation, a short abstract of your PhD project (max. 500 words), and a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org In the letter of motivation, please indicate at least 4 classes which interest you.
Deadline for application is May 1st, 2019. A notification of acceptance will be sent by May 31st, 2019.
Costs: 100€ (The fee includes participation in 3 classes and coffee breaks.)
May 1st, 2019 - deadline for applications
May 31st, 2019 - notification of acceptance
August 12th-16th, 2019 - summer school