Institute of English Linguistics (IfLA)

Project P8 (RUEG)

Information about RUEG project

Dynamics of information structure in language contact



Funding Period

3 Years

Principal investigator

Prof. Dr. Sabine Zerbian, University of Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Shanley Allen, Technical University of Kaiserslautern

Dr. Oliver Bunk, Humboldt University of Berlin

Project team: University of Stuttgart

Yulia Zuban, M.A., PhD student

Student assistants: University of Stuttgart
External cooperation partner: University of Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Tamara Rathcke, University of Konstanz

Project team: Technical University of Kaiserslautern

Tatiana Pashkova, M.A., PhD student

Student assistants: Technical University of Kaiserslautern

Leah Doroski, BA; Fiona Wong, BA; Hanna Kim, BA; Mark Murphy; Chris Allison, BA; Janie Johnson, BA.

External cooperation partner: Technical University of Kaiserslautern

Prof. Dr. Johanne Paradis, University of Alberta

Project team: Humboldt University of Berlin

Dr. Oliver Bunk, Humboldt University of Berlin

Student assistants: Humboldt University of Berlin

Erica Conti, BA; Birte Bravemann, BA; Guendalina Reul, BA; Myrto Rompaki, BA.

External cooperation partner: Humboldt University of Berlin

Prof. Dr. Jana Gamper, University of Giessen

Visit of the RUEG Ph.D Day (University of Potsdam)

Seminar at the university of Potsdam

The project is part of the Research Unit "Emerging Grammars in Language Contact Situations: A Comparative Approach" (RUEG2). This project investigates the dynamics in the linguistic expression of information structure in the repertoires of heritage language speakers. Its research questions directly emerge from pertinent findings from the first phase of the Research Unit “Emerging Grammars” (RUEG1). The project will investigate three areas relevant for information structure: (i) introduction of new referents, (ii) topic constructions, and (iii) focus and prosody. We will investigate these phenomena in selected subcorpora of the RUEG corpus, which comprises mono- and bilingual speakers of German, English, Russian, Greek and Turkish. The intricate interplay of (morpho)syntax and intonation for the expression of information structure has been shown to be open to new developments in the language contact contexts in which we collected data in RUEG1. In this project, we will make information structure the central focus of our research, investigating the interplay of information structure with syntax and intonation in a comparative perspective, and relating our research questions to the new Joint Ventures (short: ‘JV”) of the Research Unit:

  • What linguistic developments characterise heritage speakers’ repertoires in the linguistic expression of information structure? (→ JV4)
  • What role do different communicative situations play for linguistic patterns or variation in this domain? (→ JV5)

(iii) What impact does language contact and bilingualism have for the emergence of new linguistic means and/or patterns in the linguistic expression of information structure? (→ JV6)

Further information

This picture showsYulia Zuban

Yulia Zuban

Research Associate (Project RUEG P8)

This picture showsSabine Zerbian
Prof. Dr.

Sabine Zerbian

Professor Phonology

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