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P6: Noncanonical constituent linearisation in German across heritage speakers

Heike Wiese, U Potsdam

This project investigates noncanonical linearisations across a range of settings, targeting different age groups, registers, linguistic interfaces and linguistic constellations in majority-language German. Our main focus will be on speakers with Turkish, Russian, or Greek as a heritage language in comparison to German spoken by monolingual speakers in Germany. In addition, we will include comparisons to German as a heritage language in the U.S. and Namibia on the one hand, and as a majority language in multilingual urban settings in Germany on the other hand.
Two empirical domains will be central for our investigation: (a) the realisation of noncanonical word-order options in sentences, and (b) the syntactic and textual integration of new discourse markers and its contribution to new linearisations. In line with RUEG’s overarching approach, we will investigate the status of noncanonical linearisations through three Joint Ventures (short: “JV”) targeting the linguistic systematicity of new developments (JVI, “Language Change Hypothesis”), their linguistic locus at external versus internal interfaces (JVII, “Interface Hypothesis”), and their contact-linguistic source in contact-induced change vs. language-internal dynamics or general developments (JVIII, “Internal Dynamics Hypothesis”).

Cooperation partners

Hans Boas, University of Texas
John te Velde, Oklahoma State University
Yazgül Şimşek, University of Münster


PhD Student

Oliver Bunk