LINGUIST List 10.748

Sun May 16 1999

Support: Research Center/Multilingualism

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Settekorn, Research Center on Multilingualism

Message 1: Research Center on Multilingualism

Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 07:58:22 +0200
From: Settekorn <>
Subject: Research Center on Multilingualism

A new research center will be established at the Univeristy of
Hamburg. Please find below a short description of the Center and a
job announcement for one of its research projects.

Jurgen M. Meisel

(Sonderforschungsbereich Mehrsprachigkeit)

University of Hamburg

A research center for the study of multilingualism, funded by the
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Science Foundation) has been
established at the University of Hamburg (Germany) as of July
1999. The Center currently comprises 13 research projects
investigating linguistic aspects of bi- and multilingualism. The focus
of this research lies in microanalyses of oral and written
communication in multilingual settings and in language development in
the bilingual individual. This work starts from the assumptions that
human cognition predisposes the individual to become multilingual,
that the knowledge of more than one language increases communicative
possibilities rather than decreasing them, and that diachronic studies
of multilingualism can lead to a better under-standing of contemporary
situations and to solutions for emerging problems. In order to put
these claims to the test, cognitive as well as cultural studies have
been designed by which specific hypotheses, based on these
assumptions, are examined empirically. The multilingual settings
studied include social as well as family bilingualism, postcolonial
situations as well as ones resulting from labor migration, and also
contexts where more than one language is used in education or at the
workplace, at home or during extended or short-term stays in a foreign
country. The languages studied include Aymara, Basque, Danish,
English, French, German, Greek, Guarani, Italian, Japanese, Latin,
Luganda, Lwo, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish,
Turkish, and several diachronic and regional varieties of some of
these. By comparing an array of linguistically, culturally, and
socially diverse settings, the aim is to identify more general as well
as situation-specific factors favoring multilingualism or rendering it
more difficult for the indvidual and for society.

The 13 research projects carried out during the three year period
1999-2002 are listed below. The Center is organized into two
groups. Group A, entitled Oral and Written Texts and Types of
Discourse in Multilingual communication, investigates the production
and comprehension of multilingual language use in various social,
cultural and institutional contexts, contemporary as well as previous
ones. Group B, The Development of Multilingualism, is concerned with
diachronic change as well as with the ontogenesis of multilingualism,
investigating the simultaneous acquisition of more than one first
language and the successive acquisition of several languages, and
contrasting both to monolingual first language development.

 (Sonderforschungsbereich Mehrsprachigkeit)

			Chair: 	Prof.Dr. J\252rgen M. Meisel
					Universit\228t Hamburg
					Romanisches Seminar
					von Melle-Park 6
					D-20146 Hamburg

			Co-chair and coordinator of group A:
					Prof.Dr. Jochen Rehbein

			Co-chair and coordinator of group B:
					Prof.Dr. Conxita Lle\243

Group A: Oral and Written Texts and Types of Discourse in
 Multilingual Communication

A1: Japanese and German expert discourse in mono- and multilingual settings
 (Principal investigator: Jochen Rehbein)
A2: Interpreting in the hospital
	(PI: Kristin B\252hrig)
A3: Processing of spoken language in the process of interpreting
	(PI: Walther von Hahn)
A4: Covert translation
	(PI: Juliane House)
A5: Literacy practices in cross-cultural perspective
	(PI: Mechthild Reh)
A6: Semicommunication and receptive multilingualism in contemporary
 (PI: Kurt Braunm\252ller)
A7: Disticha Catonis: Didactic forms of discourse between Latin
	and the vernacular
 (PI: Nikolaus Henkel)
A8: Stylistic levels and diglossia in the modern Hellenic world
 (PI: Hans Eideneier)

Group B: The Development of Multilingualism

B1: Multilingualism as cause and effect of language change:
 Historical syntax of Romance languages
 (PI: J\252rgen M. Meisel)
B2: Simultaneous and successive acquisition of bilingualism
	(PI: J\252rgen M. Meisel)
B3: Prosodic constraints on phonological and morphological development
 in bilingual first language acquisition
	(PI: Conxita Lle\243)
B4: Bilingualism in early childhood: Comparing Italian/German and
 (PI: Natascha M\252ller)
B5: Linguistic connectivity in bilingual Turkish-German children
 (PI: Jochen Rehbein)


1 Post-graduate researcher (half position)

in THE research project on "Simultaneous and Successive Acquisition of
Bilingualism". This project will investigate similarities and
differences in grammatical development between bilingual first
language acquisition, monolingual first language acquisition, and
adult second language acquisition. It is one of 13 projects of the
Collaborative Research Center on Multilingualism funded by the
Deutsche Forschungsge-meinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) to
be established at the University of Hamburg as of July 1st, 1999.

Pending final decision by the DFG, this position will begin on this
date and will extend for a period of three years. The post-graduate
researcher must hold an M.A. (or equivalent). He or she will receive
half of the BAT IIa salary for a work load of appr. 19 hours per week
and will be expected to complete a doctoral dissertation on a topic
related to the topic of the research project.

Requirements sought are: good knowledge of syntactic theory
(Principles and Parameters Theory and possibly of the Minimalist
Program), experience with language acquisition research, and good
knowledge of at least two of the following languages: German, French,
Spanish, Portuguese, Basque. Also desirable would be familiarity with
speech processing research and/or experience with corpus analysis
and/or com-puter skills.

Send application (CV, list of publications, names of two referees) by
May 15, 1999 to Prof. J. M. Meisel, University of Hamburg, Romanisches
Seminar, von Melle-Park 6, D 20146 Hamburg; for further inquiries
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