GrammArNord project launched

Grammatical Areality in the Nordic Countries and Northern Germany (GrammArNord)

Despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the project on Grammatical Areality in the Nordic Countries and Northern Germany (GrammArNord) was launched at the beginning of March. The project investigates grammatical similarities between Nordic and Northern German varieties from the perspective of areal and contact linguistics. Particular focus is placed on morphological and syntactic features in non-standard varieties such as dialects. The aim is to record, describe and map such areal features in a small cross-linguistic digital language atlas.

Sabrina Goll and Nina Sternitzke are part of the team as scientific assistants. Sarah Paetzke is involved as a student assistant.

The project is funded by the German Research Foundation until February 2023. Among the cooperation partners is the Specialist Information Service for Northern Europe at Kiel University Library.

Constructions in the Nordics 1 (CxGN 1)

The workshop Constructions in the Nordics 1 (CxGN 1) was held at Kiel University on the 24 25 October 2019. This workshop gathered both constructionist researchers in the Nordic countries, regardless of what languages they are studying, and linguists applying constructionist approaches to any of the Nordic languages, regardless of where they are.

Construction Grammar (CxG) is quite popular in the Nordic countries as well as in studies on Nordic languages. However, CxG events specifically related to the Nordics are rare. CxGN1, therefore, was the first in a series of CxG workshops, continuing in Gothenburg next year (CxGN 2, University of Gothenburg, 16–17 November 2020).

CxGN 1 was funded by Kiel University.

Job ad (2 Ph.D. positions, project GrammArNord)

The Institute of Scandinavian Studies, Frisian Studies and General Linguistics at Kiel University (Scandinavian Linguistics, Prof. Dr. Steffen Höder), invites applications for two

Ph.D. positions

starting 1 March 2020, for a fixed-term period of three years.

The positions are part-time (65 %, currently 25,155 hours/week) of level TV-L 13 of the federal wage agreement scheme (Tarifvertrag der Länder).

The positions are part of the research project Grammatical Areality in the Nordic Countries and Northern Germany (GrammArNord). The project investigates linguistic areality in North German and Scandinavian varieties from both a dialectological and an areal typological perspective, with a focus on dialects and other non-standard varieties. A central task is the development of a digital language atlas covering relevant areal features.

Required qualification: Eligible candidates hold an outstanding university degree (MA, MEd or equivalent) in Scandinavian Linguistics, German Linguistics, General Linguistics or a similar field. They are able to read linguistic literature in German, English, and Continental Scandinavian, and have strong English communication skills.

Working knowledge of additional Scandinavian languages as well as experience in dialectology, areal linguistics, or typology would be an asset.

Kiel University is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of female scientists in research and teaching, and strongly encourages female applicants. Women will be given preference in case of equal suitability, competence, and professional performance.

The University is also committed to the employment of disabled person, and such individuals will be accorded preference if suitable.

Applications by people with a migration background are particularly welcome.

Please address your application (cover letter, CV, certificates of academic degrees; if available: list of publications) to Prof. Dr. Steffen Höder(before 15 November 2019), both via e-mail and via mail. For additional information, please contact Prof. Höder.

Prof. Dr. Steffen Höder
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Institut für Skandinavistik, Frisistik und Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4
24098 Kiel

Phone +49 431 880-4587

New publication: Constructions in Contact

New publication: Constructions in ContactConstructions in Contact. Constructional perspectives on contact phenomena in Germanic languages (edited by Hans Boas and myself) is available as an e-book; the print version is expected in December 2018. This edited volume brings together contributions from scholars working on different language contact situations that involve Germanic languages. It also contains a new theoretical article on Diasystematic Construction Grammar.

Boas, Hans & Steffen Höder (Hgg.). 2018. Constructions in contact. Constructional perspectives on contact phenomena in Germanic languages (Constructional Approaches to Language 24). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.


The last three decades have seen the emergence of Construction Grammar as a major research paradigm in linguistics. At the same time, very few researchers have taken a constructionist perspective on language contact phenomena. This volume brings together, for the first time, a broad range of original contributions providing insights into language contact phenomena from a constructionist perspective. Focusing primarily on Germanic languages, the papers in this volume demonstrate how the notion of construction can be fruitfully applied to investigate how a range of different language contact phenomena can be systematically analyzed from the perspectives of both form and meaning.

Part I. Constructions in contact

Construction Grammar and language contact: An introduction (Hans C. Boas & Steffen Höder)

Grammar is community-specific: Background and basic concepts of Diasystematic Construction Grammar (Steffen Höder)

Part II. Constructional variation and change in contact

Towards a constructional analysis of the progressive aspect in Texas German (Margaret Blevins)

Tense and aspect marking in (Low) German perfect constructions based on variety contact (Kathrin Weber)

Distributional assimilation in constructional semantics: On contact-related semantic shifts in Afrikaans three-argument constructions (Timothy Colleman)

Part III. Item-based patterns and constructional generalizations in contact

Constructions as cross-linguistic generalizations over instances: Passive patterns in contact (Jan-Ola Östman)

Texas German and English word order constructions in contact (Ryan Dux)

Part IV. Semantic frames in contact

A constructional account of the modal particle ‘ja’ in Texas German (Hans C. Boas)

Frames change in language contact environments: A case study of schleichen (‘to sneak’) and kommen (‘to come’) (David Hünlich)