Project

Grammatische Arealität in Nordeuropa und Norddeutschland | Grammatical Areality in the Nordic Countries and Northern Germany (GrammArNord)

Goal: GrammArNord analyses areal and contact linguistic relationships between Nordic and (North) German varieties from an areal and contact linguistic perspective. The aim is to develop an areal-linguistic database that includes languages and varieties in Northern Europe and Northern Germany with a focus on geotemporal referencing. This allows grammatical features to be analysed in their distribution in what is conceptualised as multidimensional communicative space and described in detail with regard to relevant contact linguistic scenarios.

Website: https://grammarnord.de

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Steffen Höder
added 2 research items
Georg Wenkers Sprachatlas des Deutschen Reiches är en klassiker bland äldre dialektologiska arbeten, och även modern tysk dialektforskning bygger i hög grad på Wenkers enkätmaterial från 1880-talet. Mindre känt är det faktum att materialet utöver tyska frågeformulär också innehåller data som dokumenterar minoritetsspråken som talades inom dåvarande Tyska rikets gränser (Wenker 2013). Till denna grupp hör de sydjylländska dialekter i f.d. hertigdömet Schleswig som i slutet av 1800-talet hörde till Preussen och i dag är uppdelat mellan Danmark och Tyskland. Sammanlagt finns det närmare 300 sydjylländska frågeformulär, som för närvarande håller på att transkriberas inom ett digitaliseringsprojekt vid Kiels universitet. Det sydjylländska Wenkermaterialet har traditionellt ansetts vara föga intressant. Materialet har knappast tagits på allvar av den danska dialektologin, och de få forskare som diskuterar det bedömer det som nästintill värdelöst (Ringgaard 1964, Bjerrum 1976): Eftersom materialet baserar sig på skriftliga översättningar från standardtyska är det rimligt att anta att olika typer av primingeffekter och översättningsproblem har påverkat och förvridit informanternas svar. Lägg därtill att det för det mesta var lärare som stod för transkriberingen och som var tvungna att använda den danska eller till och med den tyska ortografin för att nedteckna dialektala former. Mycket av denna kritik är och förblir relevant. Samtidigt har nyare forskning visat att det danska materialet är bättre än dess rykte. Några strukturella drag som tidigare avfärdats som metodologiska artefakter har kunnat valideras med hjälp av dialektalt korpusmaterial (Höder & Winter u.u.). Dessutom har framför allt en del morfosyntaktiska drag i materialet kunnat förklaras som autentiska dialektstrukturer snarare än individuella talares misstag, särskilt former som representerar språkkontaktfenomen, dvs. fenomen som kan härledas till kontakten mellan tyska och danska dialekter i ett traditionellt tvåspråkigt område (Fredsted 2009, Höder 2019). Wenkermaterialet framstår därmed som en värdefullare resurs för både dialektologin och kontaktlingvistiken än vad som tidigare antagits. Föredraget visar hur Wenkermaterialet kan nyttjas för att undersöka och kartlägga morfosyntaktiska strukturer i sydjylländska dialekter. Fokus ligger på särdrag som tycks vara relevanta ur ett areallingvistiskt och kontaktlingvistiskt perspektiv.
Language contact always implies variety contact, but not vice versa. As a consequence, the investigation of areal patterns in contact scenarios cannot be based on standard varieties alone, but has to take non-standard varieties into account as well. While, in theory, this might seem self-evident, actual practice is often different. In particular, dialectological studies seldom extend beyond individual languages, whereas areal typological studies usually rely on (easily accessible descriptions of) standard varieties. This has often been acknowledged and criticized as well (e.g. Auer 2004, Kortmann 2009, Seiler 2019). This is particularly relevant for languages with a long history of intense contact, such as the Continental Scandinavian languages and North German varieties, due to their immediate geographical closeness in the German-Danish border region, the economic contacts via the North Sea and Baltic Sea trade routes since the Late Middle Ages, Germany’s cultural role model function for northern Europe for centuries, and the long political affiliation of German-speaking territories with Denmark. While it is textbook knowledge that these languages have a wide range of structural features in common, less is known about their distribution in non-standard varieties and the resulting areal patterns. The project Grammatical Areality in the Nordic Countries and Northern Germany (GrammArNord) at Kiel University focuses on cross-linguistic areal patterns of morphological and syntactic features in non-standard varieties (including, but not restricted to, traditional dialects), as documented in dialect grammars and other linguistic resources. Following a variation-sensitive areal typological approach (Höder 2016), which conceptualizes areality in terms of contiguous regions in multilingual communicative space, the project aims to document, describe and map such areal features in a cross-linguistic digital language atlas. The aim of our talk is twofold: Firstly, we discuss the theoretical and methodological foundations of the project as well as the digital tools that we are developing and using for analysing and mapping non-standard areality. Secondly, we present an analysis of possessive constructions that exemplifies the value of a variation-sensitive approach, concentrating on structural phenomena that are also relevant from a more general areal typological point of view. This can be illustrated by different ways of expressing possession, such as various types of linking possessive constructions (Nesse 1998, Koptjevskaja-Tamm 2001) and dative external possessors (Haspelmath 1999).
Steffen Höder
added an update
The project now has a website: https://grammarnord.de
 
Steffen Höder
added 2 research items
German and Danish share a long, complex, and multifaceted history of language contact (Fredsted 2009, Winge 2009, Höder forthc.). Besides other contact scenarios, societal as well as widespread individual multilingualism (in parts also including North Frisian) has characterized the linguistic situation in the territory of the former Duchy of Schleswig (comprising the northern part of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany as well as the southernmost part of Jutland in Denmark) from the early Middle Ages until the present day. Among other things, this has led to a series of language shifts within what is now the Danish-German border region. In South Schleswig (south of today’s border), speakers usually shifted from dialectal Danish to dialectal Low German varieties until the mid-20th century, a process often accompanied or followed by an additional acquisition of regional High German varieties or even a complete shift to High German. Subsequently, members of the Danish national minority added an emerging regional variety of Danish to their repertoire, labelled South Schleswig Danish (Pedersen 2003, Kühl 2015). In North Schleswig (north of today’s border), Danish dialects coexist with Standard Danish and a variety of regional High German. In structural terms, this contact scenario has resulted in a range of innovative constructions that are shared by a number of the varieties spoken in the border region, while diverging markedly from other varieties of Danish and German, respectively (Höder 2016). Examples include a. a de-obligative future construction (‘shall future’): Ich soll morgen nach Hamburg fahren (regional High German) 1sg shall tomorrow to Hamburg drive ‘I’m going to drive to Hamburg tomorrow’ b. a de-additive infinitive construction (‘and infinitive’): Dat is nich licht un verstahn allens (Low German dialect) 3sg.n is not easy and understand everything ‘It isn’t easy to understand everything’ c. possessive linking pronouns: dæn ˈɡɑməɫ ˈmɑn̡ sid ˈhu.s (Danish dialect) def.sg.u old man his-sg.n house ‘the old man’s house’ d. an animacy-gender-sex distinction in the personal pronoun paradigm: Mann → he Fru → se Hund → en (Low German dialect) man(u) 3sg.anim.m woman(u) 3sg.anim.f dog(u) 3sg.inanim.u The talk presents a constructional analysis of these arealisms within the paradigm of Diasystematic Construction Grammar (DCxG; Höder 2018). DCxG is a usage-based construction grammar approach to language contact situations that offers a fresh, socio-cognitively realistic view of contact-related phenomena in multilingual communication and language change. The key idea of DCxG is, in line with current assumptions in contact linguistics (e.g. Matras 2009), that languages as such do not have an any priori status. Rather, constructions – representing both individual speakers’ linguistic knowledge and the conventionalized grammar shared by a multilingual community – can carry the type of pragmatic meaning that would restrict them to particular communicative settings, as multilingual communities tend to associate different languages with different contexts. However, many constructions (‘diaconstructions’) are not restricted to a particular set of communicative contexts, but occur in a multitude of settings in a given community. DCxG predicts that, all other things being equal, the amount of diaconstructions in the constructicon of a multilingual community will increase (‘pro-diasystematic change’): constructions that are restricted to a particular communicative context undergo a process of pragmatic bleaching resulting in their productive use in several or all of the community’s languages. The talk argues that the emergence of arealisms in the Danish-German border region can be explained as pro-diasystematic change.
While Georg Wenker’s questionnaire-based collection of dialect data in the 1880s has laid the foundation for pioneering work in German dialectology, most notably his Linguistic Atlas of the German Empire (regionalsprache.de), it is often overlooked that dialects of minority languages in then German territory were included in Wenker’s data as well (Wenker 2013). One example are the South Jutlandic dialects of Danish that were spoken in the region of Schleswig (then part of Prussia, today divided between Denmark and Germany), documented in almost 300 questionnaires that are being transcribed in an ongoing digitization project at Kiel University. This paper addresses the quality and validity of Wenker’s Danish data from a language contact perspective. In traditional Danish dialectology, the data scarcely received attention, and the few papers that discussed it at all were unanimously negative (Ringgaard 1964, Bjerrum 1976): The translating tasks employed by Wenker triggered unidiomatic utterances, the fact that instructions and stimuli were in German led to skewed results, and the inconsistent rendering of Danish utterances by lay transcribers, often using German orthography, made the data almost illegible, particularly regarding the phonological and morphological subtleties that traditional dialectology focuses on. While much of this criticism remains relevant, the Danish data has at the same time proven better than its reputation. Recent work has shown that some features that were discarded as artefacts of Wenker’s methodological approach in earlier work can actually be validated using corpus data from the same dialects (Höder & Winter forthc.). In addition, a range of morphosyntactic features could also be shown to reflect authentic language usage to a large extent, in particular features that result from convergence between German and Danish dialects in a region characterized by long-term language contact (Fredsted 2009, Höder 2016). Especially for the now extinct and under-documented southernmost dialects, Wenker’s material is thus a more valuable documentary resource than previously assumed. This contribution uses Wenker’s material to investigate and map the areal distribution of an exemplary set of eight (morpho-)syntactic features in Wenker’s Danish dialect data as compared to extant corpus data and dialect grammars, focusing on contact-related features.
Steffen Höder
added a research item
Höder, Steffen. 2017. „Variationssensitive Arealtypologie zwischen Elbe und Nordkap – Werkstatt­bericht zum Kieler Projekt GrammArNord“. Gastvortrag, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 24. 1. 2017.
Steffen Höder
added a research item
Nordeuropa und Norddeutschland sind historisch von jeher eng miteinander ver-bunden. Politische, wirtschaftliche, soziale und kulturelle Kontakte haben dabei immer auch Sprachkontakte mit sich gebracht, die heute vielfach in sprachlicher Arealbildung reflektiert werden. Das Projekt nähert sich arealen Gemeinsamkeiten innerhalb dieser Region aus dialektologischer und arealtypologischer Perspektive.
Steffen Höder
added 4 research items
Niederdeutsche Syntax aus nordeuropäischer Sicht 1. Dialektsyntax und Sprachgrenzen Während die Syntax in der dialektologischen Forschung traditionell eher am Rande vorkommt, hat das Interesse an dialektsyntaktischen Fragestellungen unterschiedlicher Art in den letzten Jahren spürbar zu-genommen. Dies zeigt sich etwa in den recht groß angelegten For-schungsprojekten zur Dialektsyntax 1 , aber auch in einer Zunahme von Publikationen zu entsprechenden Themen. Dabei bleibt der For-schungsstand zur Syntax des Niederdeutschen bislang weiter dürftig, wobei aber auch hier immerhin ein zunehmendes Interesse zu verzeich-nen ist (vgl. BERG/HÖDER/LANGHANKE in diesem Band). Einen bislang stark vernachlässigten Bereich stellt die Verbreitung dialektsyntaktischer Merkmale über Sprachgrenzen hinweg dar. Zwar bezieht die deutsche Dialektologie, historisch bedingt, zumindest gele-gentlich auch Dialekte anderer kontinentalwestgermanischer Sprachen mit ein, etwa des Niederländischen, Friesischen oder Luxemburgischen, und die (jüngeren) nordgermanischen Dialektologien sind durchaus an einer gesamtnordischen Perspektive interessiert. In diesen Fällen geht es aber immer um ererbte Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen den Dialekten der jeweiligen Sprachen. Eine areallinguistische Betrachtung dialektaler Merkmale darüber hinaus findet man nur vereinzelt. Dabei ist in Grenz-—————————— 1 Für die germanischen Sprachen sind hier vor allem der Syntaktische Atlas der Deutschen Schweiz (SADS), der Syntactische Atlas van de Nederlandse Dialecten (SAND), das DFG-Projekt Syntax hessischer Dialekte (SyHD) und das Netzwerk Scandinavian Dialect Syntax (ScanDiaSyn) zu nennen.
Recent studies in typology and historical linguistics have yielded new insights into the geographical distribution and diffusion of linguistic phenomena. Within Europe, several linguistic areas of different types and sizes have been proposed and discussed, including a European area (Standard Average European, henceforth SAE). Such claims are largely based on the grammars of the respective standard languages. In this contribution, I argue that we need (a) to focus also on intralingual variation in order to fully understand both the synchronic facts and the diachronic processes behind the formation of linguistic areas, and (b) to systematically include non-standard dialects or varieties in areal linguistic studies in order to gain a more representative empirical basis. Moreover, we have to take (c) dialect convergence across language boundaries into account, which I consider to be an important contact linguistic process in the emergence of areal phenomena. This view is supported by three case studies on areal phenomena in Northern European languages and dialects, investigating non-standard verbal constructions, dialectal phonological features, and medium-specific syntactic traits.
Steffen Höder
added an update
In diesem Artikel geht es vor allem um theoretische Aspekte der Untersuchung grammatischer Arealität in Nordeuropa und Norddeutschland. Zentral ist dabei der Begriff der variationssensitiven Arealtypologie (die in einem festgelegten geographischen Gebiet Standard- und Nonstandardvarietäten dort verwendeter Sprachen betrachtet). Damit einher geht das Konzept des kommunikativen Raums, d. h. eines mehrsprachigen Raums mit mehreren Variationsdimensionen, der eine soziolinguistisch realistische Lokalisierung einzelner Varietäten erlaubt. Vor diesem Hintergrund werden einzelne Fälle grammatischer Arealbildung diskutiert, die verschiedene räumliche Reichweiten und zeitliche Tiefen aufweisen.
 
Steffen Höder
added a project goal
GrammArNord analyses areal and contact linguistic relationships between Nordic and (North) German varieties from an areal and contact linguistic perspective. The aim is to develop an areal-linguistic database that includes languages and varieties in Northern Europe and Northern Germany with a focus on geotemporal referencing. This allows grammatical features to be analysed in their distribution in what is conceptualised as multidimensional communicative space and described in detail with regard to relevant contact linguistic scenarios.