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Danish and German as European neighbour languages: An international conference on language contact in border zones and multilingual cities

Ultima modifica: 4 Lug 2021

In 2020 Denmark and Germany celebrated the 100th anniversary of the current Danish-German political border, which appeared on the European map as a result of a referendum held within the border region. This event is known as “Genforeningen” (“the reunification”) in Danish historiography. Other European regions were also affected by a shift of political borders in the aftermath of World War I. These borders have in common that they divided multilingual territories which are characterized by long-lasting language and dialect contact. At the same time many European cities have increased their multilingual character due to immigration, seeing the emergence of new neighbourhoods, sometimes definable within micro-geographical borders.

With our conference we wish to shed light on the significance of borders for the contact varieties used in multilingual territory, both in a structural and a sociolinguistic perspective. We aim to improve our understanding of possible common and unique features in different contact situations.


If you would like to take part in the conference, please register before 15 August. Max capacity 50 participants, participation is free, but enrollment is necessary. 

Register for the conference here.

Preliminary programme

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

12.00 – 13.00: Arrival and registration

13.00 – 14.00: Lunch

14.00 – 17.30:

Section A - The dynamics of neighbour languages in the Danish-German border zone (incl. coffee break)

  • Elin Fredsted (Flensburg): Hidden multilingualism in the regional spoken language of Slesvig
  • Malene Monka (Copenhagen): Danish in Nordslesvig 1864-1920 and what it means for Southern Jutlandic today
  • Nils Langer (Flensburg): And what about the Frisians? Reshaping Frisian identities in the aftermath of the 1920 referendum
  • Lars Behnke (Copenhagen/Oldenburg): Common mechanisms in border zone morphosyntax. Evidence from Northern Germany and Eastern Poland

 Wednesday, 25 August 2021

 9.00 – 12.30:

Section B - Contact between neighbour languages in a European perspective (incl. coffee break)

  • Silvia Dal Negro (Bozen/Bolzano): Code-mixing patterns at the Italian-German border
  • Rahel Beyer (Mannheim): Do the Germanophone varieties of East Lorraine (France) still belong to German? Evidence from autochthonous near-standard speech
  • Peter Auer (Freiburg): Linguistic divergence, conflicting language ideologies: Alemannic on both sides of the French/German state border in the Metropolregion Oberrhein

Section C - Language contact with new neighbours: Effects in urban areas, local borders?

  • Anita Berit Hansen (Copenhagen): Pronunciation in Parisian suburbs. Effects of language contact or reallocation of working-class variants?

12.30 – 13.30: Lunch

13.30 – 16.15:

Section C (continues) (incl. coffee break)

  • Stefanie Jannedy (Berlin): Diasporic German in Berlin?
  • Lian Malai Madsen (Copenhagen): Linguistic fixity and fluidity in urban Copenhagen speech (preliminary title)
  • Christina Casey / Line Sandst (Aalborg): TBA

 16.30: Farewell