Main Content

A3 - Linguistic representations and Standard oriented speech

When dialect speakers are asked to read a text out loud or to produce their individual “best Standard German” deliberately, they utilize a speaking style which is very similar to speaking styles of other dialect speakers of the same region. This way of speaking changes when these dialect speakers use Standard German talking to strangers. Such changes, however, do not cause communication problems. Interlocutors are still able to understand one another, suggesting that the perceived sounds can be related to their underlying representations (categorical perception). Why does this work? What are the characteristics of the respective dialectal features?

Dissertation projects in A3 seek to attract students with an interdisciplinary interest within phonetics, phonology, and language variation. Individual projects can either compare linguistic features of several dialect regions or they can focus on single phonological subsystems throughout the German language area. Studies of existing corpora of spoken language may result in hypotheses that can be tested in an additional project.

Possible topics are:

  • Comparison of dialectal features in speakers’ individual “best Standard German” and in communicative interaction
  • Detecting phonological features constituting the differentiation of Standard German and German regiolects
  • Phonetic flexibility of Standard German phonemes and language perception