Christian Zimmer

Christian Zimmer
Freie Universität Berlin | FUB · Institute of German and Dutch Languages and Literature

Professor

About

25
Publications
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76
Citations

Publications

Publications (25)
Preprint
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This paper provides an overview of the history and sociolinguistic setting of Germans and German in Namibia, which serves as a backdrop for our discussion on selected structural features of Namibian German. German has been actively spoken and used in Namibia since the 1880s, having been brought to the country through colonisation, and it remains ti...
Article
In diesem Beitrag wird der Sprachgebrauch der deutschsprachigen Minderheit in Namibia, die heute etwa 20.000 Personen umfasst und im Wesentlichen auf Migration im Zuge der Kolonialisierung des Gebietes (Deutsch-Südwestafrika; 1884 −1915) zurückgeht, mithilfe eines systematisch zusammengestellten Korpus beschrieben und analysiert. Neben einem breit...
Book
The book is available for download free of charge: https://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/305 **************************************** Synopsis: It is well-known that contact between speakers of different languages or varieties leads to dynamics in many respects. From a grammatical perspective, especially contact between closely related languages/...
Chapter
The chapter is available for download free of charge: https://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/305 *************************** Abstract: This chapter presents a study on the phonology of Namdeutsch, a variety of German spoken in Namibia. Previous literature has called its pronunciation either Standard German or Northern German and the aim of this pap...
Article
Full-text available
Our article is dedicated to the relation of a given name’s phonological structure and the gender of the referent. Phonology has been shown to play an important role with regard to gender marking on a name in some (Germanic) languages. For example, studies on English and on German have shown in detail that female and male names have significantly di...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper examines the role of dialect contact in the emergence of Namdeutsch (i.e. a variety of German spoken by about 20,000 Namibians today). In order to show that German speakers of different regional origins interacted with each other in the former colony of German South West Africa, a concrete setting is reconstructed on the basis of histori...
Article
Full-text available
This paper focusses on case marking in informal Namibian German (so called Namdeutsch ). Whilst the use of nominative and accusative case is stable and similar to Standard German, there is a considerable amount of variation with regard to the dative case. This phenomenon is analysed in detail using corpus and questionnaire data. Multifactorial anal...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper focusses on case marking in informal Namibian German (so called Namdeutsch). Whilst the use of nominative and accusative case is stable and similar to Standard German, there is a considerable amount of variation with regard to the dative case. This phenomenon is analysed in detail using corpus and questionnaire data. Multifactorial analy...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ausgehend von der Beobachtung, dass das Flexionsverhalten von Eigennamen in aller Regel nicht mit den üblicherweise für das Deutsche veranschlagten Deklinationsklassen kompatibel ist, widmet sich dieser Beitrag der Frage, wie bzw. ob Eigennamen sinnvollerweise in eine Beschreibung des deutschen Deklinationsklassensystems integriert werden können. D...
Preprint
Full-text available
In Namibia, German is spoken as a minority language in a speech community that has its roots in immigration from Europe in the context of colonialism. In contrast to what is happening in most varieties of German outside Europe, Namibian German is consistently passed on to the younger generations, thus offering a special opportunity to investigate t...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper describes the corpus Deutsch in Namibia (DNam, 'German in Namibia'), which will be openly accessible via the Datenbank für Gesprochenes Deutsch (DGD, 'Database for Spoken German'). This corpus is a new digital resource that comprehensively and systematically documents the language use of the German-speaking minority in Namibia and relate...
Chapter
Full-text available
In diesem Beitrag wird ein Phänomenbereich, dem zahlreiche sprachliche Zweifelsfälle zuzuordnen sind, aus unterschiedlichen, sich ergänzenden Perspektiven beleuchtet: die Flexion von substantivischen Fremdwörtern. In den Blick genommen werden Numerus- und Kasusflexion im Deutschen, und zwar die Variation zwischen gestaltschonenden Flexiven bzw. der...
Preprint
Full-text available
In Afrika gibt es deutschsprachige Minderheiten in Namibia und in der Republik Südafrika. Die multilinguale Situation in diesen Ländern wird in diesem Beitrag unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Deutschen beschrieben. Dabei werden historische und sprachpolitische Aspekte thematisiert und die Vitalität der Minderheitensprache wird erörert. Darüber...
Chapter
Full-text available
In Contemporary German, masculine and neuter nouns in genitive phrases either take a suffix ("-s" or "-es") or remain uninflected for case (e.g. "Nutzung d-es Internet-s" vs. "Nutzung d-es Internet-Ø", 'use of the-GEN.SG internet-GEN.SG/Ø'). This paper is concerned with a corpus-based description of this variation on the basis of which an explanati...
Book
The papers in this volume focus on the dynamics of one specific cell in morphological paradigms – the genitive. The high amount of diachronic and synchronic variation in all Germanic languages makes the genitive a particularly interesting phenomenon since it allows us, for example, to examine comparable but slightly different diachronic pathways, t...
Article
Full-text available
Among (post-)colonial varieties of German, Namibian German is a particularly interesting case. It has a unique status compared to the other extra-territorial varieties as well as to those in the German-speaking area in Europe. First, it is based on a speech community with German ancestry who still live in Namibia today, which distinguishes it from...
Article
Full-text available
In German, differences between the declension of words belonging to the peripheral nominal domain (mainly proper names, abbreviations, and loan words) and that of more prototypical nouns can be observed. This can be explained by the competition of two motivations, which are weighted differently depending on the nature of the noun in question: the o...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is concerned with the loss of the partitive genitive (e. g. ein Glas Weines > ein Glas Wein) in German, focusing on the early stage of the decline, i. e. the ENHG period, and on variation in present-day German (e. g. einem Glas gutem Wein vs. einem Glas guten Wein). On the basis of data collected in a questionnaire study and in corpora (...
Article
This paper is concerned with the loss of the partitive genitive (e. g. ein Glas Weines ein Glas Wein) in German, focusing on the early stage of the decline, i. e. The ENHG period, and on variation in present-day German (e. g. einem Glas gutem Wein vs. einem Glas guten Wein). On the basis of data collected in a questionnaire study and in corpora (bo...

Projects

Project (1)
Project
"Namdeutsch: The dynamics of German in the multilingual context of Namibia" is a German-Namibian cooperation project that records and analyses the German language in present-day Namibia. It targets all forms of German language use within the German-Namibian community that are not identical to that in Germany. An important empirical output of the cooperation will be a systematic corpus of informal and formal Namibian German and corresponding language ideologies and attitudes in the German-speaking community in Namibia that will be generally accessible for scientific investigations and useful for a large range of research questions on language structure, language contact, language variation, and change. The corpus will provide a useful resource for research on language variation both from a grammatical and a sociolinguistic perspective, and offers material for studies of language contact and language change. With Nam-German, it will capture German language use in a speech community that is particularly dynamic due to its active multilingualism (German, English, Afrikaans) and still actively cultivates German and uses it across older and younger generations in formal and informal contexts - this despite Nam-German's status as a minority language and in contrast to what we find in a lot of German-language islands abroad. In addition to the sustainable documentation of Nam-German, the project has two central theoretical goals that complement each other: (1) analysis of the grammatical characteristics of Nam-German, and (2) analysis of the language ideological and attitudinal positions in its speech community. The interpretation of our results is supported by a perspective on German in further multilingual contexts with partly different sociolinguistics parameters, which include language islands in Central/Eastern Europe and overseas as well as "Kiezdeutsch", a multiethnolect that is developing within Germany. http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/en/v/namdeutsch/