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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Conference Information



Full Title: 22nd Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference: Linguistic Varieties and Variation

      
Location: Berkeley, California, USA
Start Date: 01-Mar-2014 - 02-Mar-2014
Contact: Lindsay Preseau
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: 22nd Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference
Linguistic Varieties and Variation

Werner F. Leopold’s 1959 publication 'The Decline of German Dialects' foresaw a grim future for German dialect diversity, positing that 'the trend is toward a single colloquial standard over the whole territory.' Such claims of widespread dialect leveling in the face of linguistic globalization and standardization are not limited to German, and have persisted in modern literature. Despite this, there is a widening field of literature exploring new varieties of West Germanic, from dialects that mediate between standard and non-standard varieties such as the Dutch 'tussentaal' regiolect, to post-vernacular Yiddish and such emerging 'multiethnolects' as the German 'Kiezdeutsch.'

55 years after Leopold’s prediction, the aim of this conference is to survey the past, present, and future status of nonstandard varieties. This conference aims thus most broadly to explore the linguistic structure of German, Dutch, Yiddish, English, and other Germanic dialects, but also to investigate the status of Germanic dialects outside of their traditional political and geographic lines and in the face of the new language policy of multilingual Europe. Our inquiry thus includes, but is not limited to the following questions: Where is the boundary between standard and non-standard? In what ways do non-standard varieties deviate from standard language? What are the effects of standardization on regional dialects, sociolects, and ethnolects? How have changing (and disappearing) linguistic and political boundaries affected non-standard varieties? What characterizes the processes of dialect leveling and dialect emergence? How is variation represented in literature and multimedia?

Keynote speaker to be announced.

This conference will be held in Dwinelle Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, March 1-2, 2014.
Linguistic Subfield: Sociolinguistics; General Linguistics
Subject Language Family: West Germanic
LL Issue: 24.3259


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