What has the LangAge initiative achieved so far?
The LangAge corpus has been the impetus for a considerable range of publications, edited volumes, as well as conference papers and outreach events.
Thanks to the cooperation between researchers on LangAge projects, numerous fruitful workshops, panels and conferences have been carried out. Not to mention, funding has been obtained for the interviews, conferences, and most recently to launch an the open access Journal of Language and Aging Research (JLAR).
Thanks to a Humboldt research prize, Prof Heidi E. Hamilton (Georgetown University Washington DC), a pioneer in language and dementia research (2020/1), was hosted at the University of Potsdam. The cooperation resulted in a seminal co-authored publication on retold narratives and the stability of kernel building blocks, revealed to be preserved until the conditions of cognitive impairment, as identified in the LangAge corpus and data from Carolina Conversations Corpus.
Further cooperations led to crosslinguistic publications on prosody, on pragmatic features such as memory markers, and on sociolinguistically relevant
syntactic variables. In an interdisciplinary approach, single and co-authored papers have been published in the field of oral history. The LangAge initiative is also used in the field of microdiachronic sociolinguistics, through past and present projects combining data samples with hexagonal French corpus project Etude sociolinguistique sur Orléans (ESLO, first wave since 1968, second wave since 2008).
Thanks to the LangAge initiative joining forces with other dedicated researchers, we co-founded the Corpora for Language and Aging Research (CLARe) network with Catherine Bolly (UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve), since 2019 with Camilla Lindholm (Helsinki) and David Bowie (University of Alaska, Anchorage, UAA). This network work to further enhance the multifaceted picture of language and aging research by launching exchanges between diverse linguistic realms.
Along with these predominantly research-oriented achievements, LangAge has been occasionally represented in newspapers, broadcast, public talks and in social media (e.g., Tagesspiegel, RBB, Urania; see here). Our long-term goal is to create a communication project that is systematically gathered and stored, openly accessible to all who wish to study it, and collected with such transparency that outside researchers can incorporate
their communication data with ease. In particular, we aim to systematically use LangAge data to enhance communication and mutual
understanding between generations, inspired by international initiatives like Changing the Narrative.