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Towards a Verb Grammar of West Middle German

This project focused on a selected field of grammar in the varieties of dialects spoken in the Saarland. The hypothesis was that a dialect’s vocabulary and phonetic structures do not just shape space; dialects also differ in terms of the formations of their words. This project focused on the construction of verb forms. There are several proven forms in dialectology for documenting the variety of forms in individual varieties of a language. For this project, it was important to collect data from different sources to be able to balance out any possible methodological problems arising from specific forms of data collection. This is why two years’ worth of dialect competitions were evaluated (about 3,500 pieces of evidence), different versions of a survey were sent to 52 communities in the Saarland, while at the same time the survey was made available online, with local media support. The response to the online survey was especially strong, enabling the collection of 5,000 surveys, with 100,000 verb forms, and their subsequent importation into a database.

Project duration: 2005 - 2007


  • Demske, Ulrike (2008a). Mikrovariation in deutschen Dialekten: Zur Formenbildung des Partizip II. Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik 75, 61-71.
  • Demske, Ulrike (2008b). Von morphomischen Stämmen und morphologischen Paradigmen in der Verbalflexion des Deutschen. In: Albrecht Greule, Hans-Walter Herrmann, Klaus Ridder und Andreas Schorr (Hgg.): Studien zu Literatur, Sprache und Geschichte in Europa. Wolfgang Haubrichs zum 65. Geburtstag gewidmet. St. Ingbert: Röhrig, 135-148.
  • Demske, Ulrike & Christian Ramelli (2008c). Westmitteldeutsche Verbgrammatik: Bausteine zu einer Grammatik des Saarländischen. Saarbrücken: magazin forschung 2, 26-31.