Project

Back to overview

Processing of language variation: A psycholinguistic approach to Swiss German varieties

Applicant Hentschel Elke
Number 150156
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Sprachwissenschaft Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline German and English languages and literature
Start/End 01.02.2014 - 31.08.2017
Approved amount 348'150.00
Show all

All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
German and English languages and literature
Psychology

Keywords (11)

language variation; structural priming; dialect; language varieties; interactive alignment; visual-world paradigm (eye-tracking); social factors; Swiss German; psycholinguistics; diglossia; word recognition

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Variation ist eine fundamentale Eigenschaft von Sprache, welche sowohl in der Soziolinguistik - im Hinblick auf sozial bedeutungsvolle Variation - als auch in der Psycholinguistik - im Hinblick auf individuelle kognitive Mechanismen - untersucht wird. Das Projekt verbindet diese beiden Herangehensweisen und erforscht sozial bedeutungsvolle Variation im Hinblick auf individuelle Sprachverarbeitung und -repräsentation am Beispiel von Schweizerdeutschen Dialekten.
Lay summary
Die Verarbeitung von Sprachvariation: Ein psycholinguistischer Ansatz zu Schweizerdeutschen Varietäten

Le traitement de la variation du langage: Une approche psycholinguistique de variétés suisses allemandes

Processing of language variation: A psycholinguistic approach to Swiss German varieties

 

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

Übergeordnetes Ziel unseres Forschungsprojekts ist es, zur Entwicklung einer Psycholinguistik der systematischen Sprachvariation am Beispiel Schweizerdeutscher Varietäten beizutragen. Im Einzelnen untersuchen wir (a) die Verarbeitung auf der Wortebene, u.a. ob Wörter verschiedener Varietäten gleichzeitig aktiviert werden und ob diese mental einzeln oder gemeinsam gespeichert sind, (b) die Verarbeitung auf der Satzebene, beispielsweise ob dialektspezifische syntaktische Informationen separat gespeichert werden oder in einer Sprache integriert sind, und (c) die Mechanismen der sprachlichen Anpassung zwischen Gesprächspartnern als variationsbedingte und Variation schaffende Grundlage von Kommunikation und Sprachwandel, insbesondere das Zusammenspiel von automatischen Aktivierungen und sozialen Faktoren.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Unsere Forschungsarbeit wird Aufschluss darüber geben, inwiefern varietätenspezifische lexikalische und syntaktische Strukturen mental integriert oder separat sind. Damit trägt das Projekt dazu bei, die Lücke zwischen der sozio- und der psycholinguistischen Forschung zu schliessen und Variation berücksichtigende Sprachverarbeitungsmodelle zu entwickeln. Diese bilden eine Basis für Anwendungsfragen wie z.B. die Sprachdiagnostik.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 03.12.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Heike M. Buhl (University of Paderborn) Germany (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Dr. Martin Pickering (University of Edinburgh) Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Holly Branigan (University of Edinburgh) Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. David Britain (CSLS, University of Bern) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
24th AMLaP conference (Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing) Poster Cross-varietal lexical alignment 06.09.2018 Berlin, Germany Vorwerg Constanze; Morand Marie-Anne;
31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference Poster Language control and lexical access in diglossic speech production: evidence from variety switching in speakers of Swiss German 15.03.2018 Davis (Kalifornien), United States of America Morand Marie-Anne; Vorwerg Constanze;
23rd AMLaP conference (Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing) Poster A small social effect on a big automatic priming effect 07.09.2017 Lancaster, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Morand Marie-Anne; Vorwerg Constanze; Lüthi Janine;
19th ECEM (European Conference on Eye Movements) Poster Presentation parameters affecting effects in the visual world paradigm 20.08.2017 Wuppertal, Germany Vorwerg Constanze; Morand Marie-Anne;
29th Annual CUNY conference on Human Sentence Processing Poster The morphosyntactic representation of language varieties: bivarietal syntactic priming 03.03.2016 Gainesville (Florida), United States of America Vorwerg Constanze; Lüthi Janine;
29th Annual CUNY conference on Human Sentence Processing Poster Semantic effects in bivarietal picture naming 03.03.2016 Gainesville (Florida), United States of America Vorwerg Constanze; Morand Marie-Anne;
Colloquium Berner Linguistik Individual talk Lexical competition between Bernese and Standard German 08.12.2015 Bern, Switzerland Morand Marie-Anne;
Colloquium Berner Linguistik Individual talk “Das Schaf backt der Giraffe eine Torte” – Priming ditransitives in Bernese and Standard German 17.11.2015 Bern, Switzerland Lüthi Janine;
Language and Social Cognition Talk given at a conference Inhibition effects in linguistic processing in a sociolinguistically distant variety 10.09.2015 Bern, Switzerland Lüthi Janine; Morand Marie-Anne; Vorwerg Constanze;
21st AMLaP conference (Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing) Poster Status matters: Syntactic priming in Standard German depends on its sociolinguistic status 03.09.2015 Valetta, Malta Vorwerg Constanze; Lüthi Janine;
21st AMLaP conference (Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing) Poster Lexical selection in bivarietal speakers: V2 speech production 03.09.2015 Valetta, Malta Vorwerg Constanze; Morand Marie-Anne;
8th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe ICLaVE Talk given at a conference Swiss German at the lemma level - A psycholinguistic approach to language varieties 27.05.2015 Leipzig, Germany Lüthi Janine; Vorwerg Constanze;
8th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe ICLaVE Talk given at a conference Lexical selection in bivarietal speakers 27.05.2015 Leipzig, Germany Vorwerg Constanze; Morand Marie-Anne;
28th Annual CUNY conference on Human Sentence Processing Poster Lexical competition between linguistic varieties 19.03.2015 Los Angeles (Kalifornien), United States of America Morand Marie-Anne; Vorwerg Constanze;
International Convention of Psychological Science icps 2015 (Initiative for Integrative Psychological Science) Poster Cues for Subject Identification in a Swiss German Dialect: Integrating Socio- and Psycholinguistic Perspectives 12.03.2015 Amsterdam, Netherlands Vorwerg Constanze; Lüthi Janine;
Colloquium Berner Linguistik Individual talk Syntactic Priming in (Swiss) German varieties 04.11.2014 Bern, Switzerland Lüthi Janine;
Colloquium Berner Linguistik Individual talk Lexical Processing in Bernese German 04.11.2014 Bern, Switzerland Morand Marie-Anne;
20th AMLaP conference (Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing) Talk given at a conference Does sociolinguistic distance inhibit syntactic alignment? Evidence from syntactic priming between and within varieties of German 03.09.2014 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Lüthi Janine; Vorwerg Constanze;
27th Annual CUNY conference on Human Sentence Processing Poster Partial separation of syntactic representations in closely related varieties. Evidence from Swiss German and Standard German 13.03.2014 Columbus (Ohio), United States of America Vorwerg Constanze; Lüthi Janine;


Knowledge transfer events

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year

Abstract

The aim of this research project is to link two traditionally distinct lines of research related to the study of variation in language use, one being concerned with social factors and the other one dealing with individual cognitive mechanisms. Social factors are traditionally addressed within sociolinguistics, while cognitive mechanisms are at the heart of psycholinguistics - both of which deal with language from the perspective of the language user and can be described as the study of linguistic choices. However, the sociolinguistic approach focuses on socially meaningful variation and treats the language user as a member of a social group, while the psycholinguistic approach addresses the individual cognitive mechanisms and mental representations involved in linguistic choices and processing. In contrast, the role of systematic linguistic variability, such as language varieties, in cognitive processing is a psycholinguistic research desideratum.The envisaged research programme intends to bridge this gap and to study socially meaningful variation with respect to individual processing and representation, contributing to the development of processing models which can account for the interaction of cognitive and social factors. This research is conceived within the context of the newly founded Center for the Study of Language and Society at the University of Bern and intended to supplement its solid base in accumulated sociolinguistic experience with the incorporation of a new perspective. The main aim is to study psycholinguistic aspects of language variation, and to develop a psycholinguistics of (structured) variation, particularly dialects, using the example of Swiss German.The psycholinguistic research programme will proceed along two inter-related research lines studying Swiss German, partly in relation to Standard German. The first line of research explores language varieties in individual representation and processing with respect to lexical processing. It will address questions such as cross-varietal activation in lexical access, and lexical selection. The second line of research examines language varieties in individual representation and processing with respect to syntactic processing. It will investigate structural representations with respect to the extent of integrated vs. separate representations for the two varieties. Both lines of research will also explore the question of interactive adaptation effects, and specifically whether these are socially modulated, such as by sympathy relations or asymmetric communica-tion situations.Specifically, the following research questions will be addressed: Are lexical items from different language varieties activated simultaneously during lexical access? Are there distinct or common lexical representations, linked to variety-specific or unspecific lexical selection? Is there bivarietal structural priming suggesting single integrated syntactic representations? Is structural priming between varieties dependent on shared word order and grammatical categories? What effect does (optional) intra-variety variation have? Is the between-variety lexical boost effect comparable to the within-variety effect suggesting common lemma representation? What mechanisms contribute to interactive (lexical and syntactic) adaptation effects? What are the relative contributions of social factors and automatic-activation effects?
-