Varieties of German 1 (2014/2015)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Stefan Rabanus
Stefan Rabanus
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Feb 23, 2015 al May 30, 2015.

Lesson timetable

II semestre
Day Time Type Place Note
Tuesday 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM lesson Lecture Hall T.10  
Wednesday 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM lesson Lecture Hall 2.5  

Learning outcomes

Knowledge of basic notion of language variation, dialectology and regional-language study; command of methods: corpora, linguistic atlases, audio registrations; analytical and interpretational skills: generalizing and interpreting data; presentation skills


"Dialects and regional languages of German"
For language learners who are used to school grammars German may seem a homogeneous language. However, in reality German displays as much variation as any other language. The variation of German takes place in different "dia"-dimensions (diatopic, diastratic, diaphasic; diamesic; diachronic). The course focuses the diatopic variation, i.e., geographically marked speech in form of dialects and regional languages. The special relevance of this dimension becomes immediately clear when listening to native speakers because no native speakers uses geographically unmarked German. However, this fact does not mean that speakers always use 'dialects' (in the sense of the German notion "Dialekt"). On the contrary, nowadays geographically marked speech usually is not dialect speech but usage of regional forms which are sometimes rather widespread. Hence, the course is not only on 'dialects' but also on "Regionalsprachen" (in the sense of Schmidt and Herrgen 2011), what both the theoretical issues and the practical analyses are concerned. Additionally the concepts of 'national standards' (Ammon) and "Oralisierungsnormen" (Schmidt and Herrgen 2011), opposed to each other, will be discussed. The diatopic variation is also relevant for other dimensions of variation, e.g., when youngster use regional or dialect forms in social media or when these forms are used consciously or also not consciously in certain functional styles (diastratic/diaphasic variation).

Note 1: The course will be taught in German.
Note 2: For practical analyses during classes please bring a notebook with internet access.

Reference list
- Schmidt, Jürgen Erich/Herrgen, Joachim (2011): Sprachdynamik. Eine Einführung in die moderne Regionalsprachenforschung. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag.
- Löffler, Heinrich (2010): Germanistische Soziolinguistik. 4, neu bearb. Aufl. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag.
- A detailed reference list will be provided during the course.

Assessment methods and criteria

- students who regularly attend classes: oral presentation ("Referat") during classes, small written examination at the end of the course and discussion about the topic of the "Referat" after the end of the course
- students who do not regularly attend classes: oral examination, according to the indications which will be published at the professor's website

Required linguistic competence: C2 (CEFR).

Teaching aids