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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: Grammatical Gender in the German Multiethnolect
Author: Peter Auer
Author: Vanessa Siegel
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: German
Abstract: While major restructurings and simplifications have been reported for gender systems of other Germanic languages in multiethnolectal speech, this article demonstrates that the three-way gender distinction of German is relatively stable among young speakers from an immigrant background. We investigate gender in a German multiethnolect based on a corpus of approximately 17 hours of spontaneous speech produced by 28 young speakers in Stuttgart (mainly from Turkish and Balkan background). German is not their second language, but (one of) their first language(s), which they have fully acquired from childhood. We show that the gender system does not show signs of reduction in the direction of a two-gender system, nor of wholesale loss. We also argue that the position of gender in the grammar is weakened by independent innovations, such as the frequent use of bare nouns in grammatical contexts where German requires a determiner. Another phenomenon that weakens the position of gender is the simplification of adjective-noun agreement and the emergence of a generalized gender-neutral suffix for prenominal adjectives (that is, schwa). The disappearance of gender and case marking in the adjective means that the grammatical category of gender is lost in Adj + N phrases (without a determiner).


This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 33, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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