N° 1 Kathleen Schumann (2015): Verarbeitung von funktionalem versus lexikalischem so. Überlegungen zur empirischen Methodik. (GER)
"The present paper investigates the multifunctionality of the German particle so, and the variety of observable applications. The different usages of so emerge from different relations between lexical meaning and pragmatic function. After a discussion of several proposed part of speech classifications for so, the paper focuses on two usages, which differ the most concerning the aforementioned relationship of lexical meaning and pragmatic function. The particle so as a modal indexical with comparative and deictic meaning is compared to the semantically bleached focus marker so, which only acts pragmatically on the information structural level. In addition to semantic and pragmatic differences, the two usages of so also belong to different registers. This thesis aims to raise the question, whether these differences affect mental language processes and how these effects could be investigated. The underlying hypothesis claims that the two different usages of so in the context of minimal paired sentences induce different mental models and hence influence the processing differently. These processes could further also be affected by the different register affiliation of so as a focus marker vs. as a modal indexical. To develop a sound theoretical and methodological basis to investigate these hypotheses empirically, several psycho-and neuro-linguistic research methods will be discussed. In the final part of this thesis, an exemplary project design is going to be developed."
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N° 2 Heiko Stamer (2016): Frischer Wind-Mind in der deutschen Sprache. Gebrauchskontexte und Spracheinstellungen der m-Reduplikation nach türkischem Vorbild in jugendsprachlichen Varietäten des Deutschen. (GER)
"This paper deals with the emergence of m-initial reduplication in youth varieties of the German language. It is assumed that the German pattern (e.g. Stress-Mess, Schule-Mule) is based on the Turkish pattern of m-reduplication (e.g. kitap mitap, okul mokul) and has found its way into German through intensive language contact between speakers of the two languages mainly in urban Germany. The author conducted field research in German youth centers and interviewed teenagers regarding their knowledge and use of m-reduplication. Based on these data, the pattern is then analyzed on a morphophonological, semantic and pragmatic level as well as on the level of language attitudes. It is shown that the German pattern differs from the Turkish example on a basic level: It shows little of the semantics that define its Turkish counterpart. Instead, the study's adolescent participants associate it mainly with relaxed, fun situations and use it only in a joking manner. However, they distinguish between their ownjoking usage and what they assume to be serious usage by other, less educated young people –a distinction that is strongly questioned by the author and may not be reflected by reality."
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N° 3 Katharina Mayr (2016): "Ich hör', wie du sprichst und sag‘ dir, wer du bist!" Studie zu Einstellungen von Lehrer/inne/n zu (jugend-)sprachlichen Varietäten und zu ihrem Sprach(-kompetenz-)verständnis. (GER)
"This master thesis deals with teachers’ attitudes towards different linguistic varieties of adolescents in connection with their impact on unequal educational opportunities. The results from a pilot study in Berlin support that teachers show what I call a language concept barrier which determines the perception and evaluation of adolescents. This conclusion is based on a multi-sectional and standardised questionnaire which includes a comparative evaluation of three adolescent speakers (Berlin dialect, Kiezdeutsch, colloquial speech close-to-standard) using indirect methods and an investigation on attitudes (i.e. towards dialects, multilingualism, linguistic compe-tence) using direct methods of examination. The different linguistic varieties of adolescents evoke stereotyping as well as social allocations and expectations concerning cognitive skills and interpersonal behaviours. I discuss this attribution of stereotypes with regard to the fact that teachers’ attitudes towards language and linguistic diversity as well as their concepts of language should be a further focus in the debate about students’ language abilities. Diverse responses are needed, including teachers’ education and training, to support equal educational opportunities and to counteract teachers’ demotivation caused by misjudgements."
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N° 4 Laurentia Schreiber (2016): Assessing sociolinguistic vitality. An attitudinal study of Rumca (Romeyka). (EN)
"This thesis assesses the language vitality of Rumca, an endangered Greek variety spoken in the Black Sea region of Turkey. It seeks to identify the factors favouring language shift by means of a comprehensive sociolinguistic study. A language vitality model including eleven internal and external factors has been developed specially for the case of Rumca. As the first study of its kind, vitality of Rumca was assessed by means of an attitudinal study based on the sociolinguistic nature of most of the factors. It is argued that: (i) language vitality differs according to the speechcommunity, (ii) the language of data elicitation affects attitudinal judgements, (iii) language vitality corresponds to the identity function of the language, and (iv) language vitality is influenced by official language policies. The attitudinal study is based on a questionnaire in Turkish which was administered orally during two field trips in 2014. The questionnaire was presented to 22 Rumca speakers who migrated to Istanbul in the 1980s. Comparative data were collected in the village “Canlısu” in Trabzon province and compared to data collected nearby by Sitaridou (2013). The analysis was carried out both qualitatively and quantitatively whereby quantitative analysis controlled for the variables gender, age, education, and speech community. The results show that the vitality of Rumca is poorer than assumed by previous assessments (Moseley 2007, 2010; Lewis, Simons & Fennig 2014) due to economic mobility and language policies. Within the study, specific factors, namely Turkish language policy and the identity function of the language were found to be most decisive for the vitality of Rumca in interaction with language attitudes and language competence. Moreover, comparison of speech communities showed that contact with mainstream society and traditional ways of life also have an effect."
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N° 5 Oliver Bunk (2016): Adv-S-Vfin-Sätze als Form der mehrfachen Vorfeldbesetzung im Deutschen. Syntaktische Struktur und Verarbeitung. (GER)
"Generally German is knownas a verb-second language, placing the verb in the second position in matrix declaratives. Exceptions from this V2 constraint are analyzed in terms of left dislocation or free topic constructions. However, these phenomena are often considered to be special cases of V2. Apart from the second position, the last and the first position of the sentence are considered to be possible positions for placing the verb in standard German. In contrast, verb third is considered as an ungrammatical structure. Sentences displaying the sequence adverbial –subject –finite verb are interpreted as learner variety structures or as transfer phanomena (cf. Auer 2002, Bohnacker 2005, Roberts & Rousseau 2003). In the context of Kiezdeutsch, Wiese (2006) analyzes this sequence as a productive instrument to convey information structure in the left sentence periphery. The paper follows this account and investigates the processing of non-canonical V3 structures and V2 equivalents. The data elicited in two self-paced-reading experiments indicate that there is no significant difference in the average overall reading times between non-canonical Adv-S-Vfin and canonical Adv-Vfin-S as one V2 equivalent. However, significant differences appear between Adv-S-Vfin and S-Vfin-Adv in the overall reading times comparison. In a second analysis I show, that the semantic class of the adverbial does not effect the reading times in the different structures. Taking into account both, these data and existing analyses for the same V3 structure from a diachronic perspective, I argue for a syntactic structure based on Speyer (2008). Following the split CP account (cf. Rizzi 1997), I give evidence for a base generation of the adverbial in a functional projection FrameP preceding the subject in TopP."
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