About us

The centre investigates language and language variation in the context of migration, multilingualism, and across the lifespan – a central topic in modern societies. Its core is in the Philosophical Faculty, with cross-faculty links to cognitive science, and empirical educational science.

The centre supports a perspective on "language, variation, migration" that brings together different areas of linguistics and connects them with other disciplines.

The centre’s activities encompass a mentoring program for students who want to focus on the topics of language, variation, migration and who are interested in carrying out interdisciplinary research.

The centre is part of the German Network "Language, Variation and Migration" that brings together research clusters from linguistics and neighbouring disciplines.

In the working papers we publish theses (bachelor, master) as well as papers of highly qualified young researchers whose research focus on the field of "language, variation and migration".


By investigating language and language variation in the context of migration, the centre addresses a topic that continues to play an important role in modern societies. For instance in Germany, today, nearly a fifth of the population has a migration background, and because of the comparatively high proportion of young adults and children within this group, this figure will increase further in the future. At present, every second inhabitant with a migrant background is younger than 34 years, and in the under-five age group, a third has a migrant background, with a higher proportion in urban areas. Within the multiethnic populations that develop as a result of this, new linguistic practices emerge. People acquire new linguistic resources and might also face new linguistic challenges. At the same time, the spectrum of linguistic varieties changes through processes of convergence and divergence that are visible, for instance, in the growth and decline of substandard varieties and the emergence of regional standards, and that are linked to such extralinguistic developments as internal migration and suburbanisation.

The field of language, variation, and migration is thus an area of high social relevance. The investigation of phenomena of language change, language contact, and language acquisition in the context of multilingualism can, furthermore, significantly contribute to our understanding of different aspects of the linguistic system and to linguistic theory formation.


Research Unit: RUEG

"Emerging Grammars in Language Contact Situations”

We are happy to announce that the Research Unit: "Emerging Grammars in Language Contact Situations: A Comparative Approach" (speaker: Prof. Dr. Heike Wiese, Humboldt University) is granted by the DFG. The project is a joint venture between the University of Potsdam and five other research locations.

For more information go to Research or to the ...