LINGUIST List 13.894

Mon Apr 1 2002

Diss: Socioling: Hilgendorf "Language Contact..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. S.K.Hilgendorf, Socioling: Hilgendorf "Language Contact, Convergence, and Attitudes"

Message 1: Socioling: Hilgendorf "Language Contact, Convergence, and Attitudes"

Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2002 14:34:53 +0000
From: S.K.Hilgendorf <>
Subject: Socioling: Hilgendorf "Language Contact, Convergence, and Attitudes"

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Program: Department of Germanic Langs & Lits
Dissertation Status: In Progress 
Degree Date: 2001

Author: Suzanne Hilgendorf 

Dissertation Title: 
Language Contact, Convergence, and Attitudes: The Case of English in

Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics

Subject Language: English

Dissertation Director: Braj B. Kachru

Dissertation Abstract: 

Although there is extensive research on Anglicisms in German (cf. for
example Carstensen 1965; Carstensen et al 1993-96; Fink 1970, 1980,
1995), few studies look beyond the level of lexical borrowing to
consider other aspects and dimensions of English-German contact. In
summarizing past research on the influence of English, Clyne (1995:
202) underlines this fact by explicitly identifying the "need for
macrosociolinguistic studies on the use of functions of (spoken and
written) English in the German-language countries, both internally and
in communication with people from other countries."

This qualitative study addresses Clynes desideratum in part by
examining the role of English in the Federal Republic of
Germany. Using B. Kachrus world Englishes model as a theoretical
framework, the dissertation presents a macrosociolinguistic profile of
the English language, its users and uses within the German
context. Incorporating perspectives from the sociology of language,
language contact, language variation, and discourse analysis, the
study addresses the following aspects for an assessment of the impact
of English: 

a) the history of contact; 
b) the functional range and domains of use (e.g. business, politics,
the media, advertising, science and academic research); and 
c) the attitudes and identities associated with English as a
foreign/second language. 

The primary objectives of the dissertation are to examine the
nativization and acculturation of English to the German situation of
context, while also considering the simultaneous Englishization of
German as a result of language contact and convergence. Aside from
providing a more comprehensive assessment of the influence of English,
the study also has relevance for other research areas, such as
multilingualism in Germany and language use within the context of the
European Union.
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