RG 2537/1: Noncanonical Constituent Linearisation in German Across Heritage Speakers (SP P06)


P06 is part of the Research Unit “Emerging Grammars in Language Contact Situations: A Comparative Approach” (FOR 2537). P6 will comparatively investigate the status of noncanonical linearisations in German across across a range of settings, targeting different age groups, registers, linguistic interfaces, and linguistic constellations. As our main focus, we will compare the use of German as a majority language by speakers with different heritage languages, namely Turkish, Russian, and Greek, with each other and with the 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, targeting syntactic and lexical sources, will be central for our investigation: (a) noncanonical patterns realised by additional word-order options that deviate from standard German, and (b) the syntactic and textual integration of new discourse markers and its possible contribution to such noncanonical patterns.
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”), we will analyse possible patterns emerging from our data, and assess our findings for informal vs. formal and written vs. spoken registers and for different age groups. To study the linguistic locus of new developments (JVII, “Interface Hypothesis”), we will compare the different interfaces involved in noncanonical linearisations quantitatively and qualitatively, teasing apart the interaction of syntax with semantics on the one hand (internal interface) and with discourse and information structure on the other hand (external interface). In order to probe into the contact-linguistic source of noncanonical serialisations (JVIII, “Internal Dynamics Hypothesis”), distinguishing contact-induced change from language-internal dynamics and general developments, we will compare findings for informal vs. formal situations and different age groups, (a) across speakers of different heritage language backgrounds and (b) with analoguous data from monolingual German speakers.
Capitalising on the cross-linguistic network the group offers, we will further evaluate our results, in cooperation with other projects, against findings for another majority language (English) spoken by heritage speakers, and in the heritage language use (Turkish, Russian, and Greek) of the bilingual speakers we investigate. Taken together, our results will contribute to our understanding of the contact-linguistic status of noncanonical linearisations, the sources of their development, their integration into heritage speakers’ majority and heritage language grammars, and their position in broader repertoires of languages and registers.

Principal Investigators
Wiese, Heike Prof. Dr. (Details) (German as a Foreign Language / Didactics)

Duration of Project
Start date: 04/2018
End date: 03/2021

Research Areas
Applied Linguistics, Experimental Linguistics, Computational Linguistics, General and Comparative Linguistics, Typology, Non-European Languages, Individual Linguistics

Last updated on 2021-08-09 at 13:14