Task Cluster C: Contact

Task Cluster C is concerned with the contact of German in Austria with other languages, in particular with Slavic ones.

In this context, the impact of historical and recent Slavic-German multilingualism on German in Austria is of special interest. In our research, we aim to answer the following questions:

  • Which Slavic languages were/are spoken by which groups of persons in Austria?
  • Did this multilingualism have any effect or does it have any effect recently on the pronunciation, grammar or lexicon of German in Austria?
  • Did or do such peculiarities alter the German used by speakers of German in Austria as their first language?

In answering these questions, Task Cluster C draws from the rich collection of linguistic data by Task Cluster B. Additionally, we systematically examine historical texts. We aim to describe the usage of potentially “Slavic” linguistic phenomena in German in Austria and assess whether they were actually caused by contact with Slavic languages based on their diachronic usage and recent distribution.

For example, we are analysing the contact of the ‘Viennese’ variety of German with Czech that was strongest around 1900. We are especially focusing on how language myths concerning Slavic languages and ‘Viennese’ are propagated in the context of dictionary projects.

In addition, we are searching for answers to the following questions: In what way has the 19th century discourse on how society and policies should deal with multilingualism and language contact phenomena influenced and shaped the understanding of multilingualism and language contact phenomena in the Second Austrian Republic? What are the consequences of this discourse for self-understanding and the perception of German-speakers in Austria? Besides, what is the role of the post-war political and scientific discourse about language(s)?

In project phase II (2020–2024), Task Cluster C: German and other Languages in Austria – Perspectives of Language Contact consists of the following project part:

PP06: German and the Slavic languages in Austria: Aspects of language contact

For more information concerning the project part, please click on the link above.

In phase II (2016–2019) a second project part in Task Cluster C, PP05, analysed language policies in several fields of action and tension in administration, law and especially in education from a historical perspective. More information on this project can be retrieved on the following page:

PP05: German in the context of the other languages in the Habsburg State (19th century) and 2nd Austrian Republic


Collaboratively, the two project parts of Task Cluster C develop the Information system on (historical) multilingualism in Austria, short MiÖ, which will be a thematic part of the SFB’s Collaborative online research platform. It will not only provide for the publication of the data gathered in the project parts, but also aims at becoming a point of reference for the broader public with regard to questions on primarily historical multilingualism in Austria. Thus, it will make historical multilingualism visible and raise further research questions. For closer information on the overarching goal, the framework and the modules to be developed during project phase I, please refer to the following pages:

Framework of MiÖ



Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
DiÖ (2021): Task Cluster C: Contact.
In: DiÖ-Online.
URL: https://www.dioe.at/en/projects/task-cluster-c-contact
[Access: 24.07.2024]
Team: Stefan Newerkla (PP05: Projektleitung), Agnes Kim (PP06: Projektmitarbeiterin), Maria Schinko (PP06: Projektmitarbeiterin), Manfred Glauninger (PP05: kooptiert)