The conference is dedicated to the heterogeneous and dynamic nature of language(s) as seen from the perspective of variationist linguistics and contact linguistics. This conference will focus mainly on the linguistic contact between various varieties of German and other languages (such as English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian), but papers on other language contact constellations are appreciated as well.
Recent studies show several commonalities between both domains (language variation and contact) and their research paradigms (s. Britain 2010, Kerswill 2010, Léglise/Chamoreau 2013, Ravindranath 2015). Actual language use and its situational-functional cultural contexts as well as the dynamic, theoretical-empirical versions of central concepts (such as variation/variety, inner and outer multilingualism, switching/shifting/mixing) are just as much key focus areas of both disciplines as are methodological questions of data acquisition, corpus development and data processing. The conference would like to pursue the complex relationship between language-internal variation, the contact between varieties and languages as well as language-external factors. A particular emphasis is placed on contributions that explore contact-based or contact-supported variation phenomena – be they grammatical, lexical or phonological – and therefore connect perspectives of variationist and contact linguistics together. The main goal of the conference is to assemble researchers from the fields of variationist and contact linguistics and to create and support potential synergies to facilitate the theoretical and methodological convergence of the two fields.