What research proposal topics are there in sociolinguistics?

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Research priorities

In the grammar and subject didactics working group, we conduct joint research on the overarching subject areas of language structure, multilingualism and didactics. A connecting central topic are grammatical variation and language change in urban varieties of German and in language contact situations, especially in post-migrant contexts (e.g. in the Ruhr area, in multi-ethnic Berlin districts and in German-language islands in the USA and Latin America).

We combine grammatical and formal approaches with sociolinguistic perspectives and theories, which particularly cover the areas of language attitudes and beliefs in relation to German varieties, variations, linguistic repertoires and multilingualism.

In the context of school and teaching, we investigate how the results of specialist research can be incorporated into German lessons, especially grammar lessons. Further research topics are multilingualism in German and subject teaching as well as teaching / learning discourses and linguistic behavior patterns in institutional vs. non-institutional communication.

A combination of theory and empiricism is central to all research projects. All research projects are based on an empirical basis. It is important to have a supportive combination of methods that range from 'classic' field research, corpus analyzes, and sociolinguistic interviews to psycholinguistic experiments.


Research topics and projects
  • Grammatical phenomena in contemporary German, such as sentence syntax and sentence linking as well as special morphological procedures in the areas of composition and reduplication (Ulrike Freywald)
  • German and Icelandic as Heritage Languages ​​in language islands in the USA (Lara Schwarz)
  • Language contact in German language islands in Latin America (doctoral project Caroline Reher)
  • Influence of practical contact on the beliefs of teacher training students in the field of multilingualism (doctoral project Sandra Konitzer)
  • Case in Ruhr German (PhD project Philipp Cirkel)
  • Modeling in stochastic, constraint-based frameworks e.g. Gradient Symbolic Computation / Stochastic Harmonic Grammar (Lara Schwarz)