Festschrift 89/2021 - Abstracts


Vom Tun nicht lassen können. Historische und rezente Perspektiven auf sprachliche Variation (in Österreich und darüber hinaus)

Festgabe für Alexandra N. Lenz zum runden Geburtstag

Hg. v. Agnes Kim, Katharina Korecky-Kröll, Ludwig Maximilian Breuer, Jan Höll und Wolfgang Koppensteiner

Die Ausgabe 90/2021 der WLG steht als vollständiges Heft (PDF) oder in Form der einzelnen Beiträge (s.u.) zur Verfügung.

Gelobpreist oder lobgepriesen? Sind Pseudokomposita eigentlich Verbkomposita? Korpus- und Experimentdaten zur Kopfflexionsthese bei immobilen Verben des Deutschen

Timo Ahlers

Finite immobile verbs cannot occur in V2 position in German main clauses but in V-final position in subordinate clauses. They are based on corresponding nominal compounds and usually consist of a nominal element and a verbal stem. However, as N+V composition has been considered invalid in German since Grimm (1878), a special word-formation process has often been assumed. It mimics the nominal compound by creating a verbal pseudo compound structure which causes syntactic immobility. Based on the head inflection hypothesis (Ahlers 2010), corpus data and an acceptability experiment, it will be argued that immobile verbs are,
however, genuine verb compounds.

Schlüsselwörter: pseudo compounds, immobility, verb composition


Über Geschenk-s-körbe und Schokolade-Ø-torten (zu runden Geburtstagen). Sneak Peek auf eine Abschlussarbeit über areal-horizontale Verfugungstendenzen bei NN-Komposita mit schwankenden Fugenelementen in der österreichischen Standard(schrift)sprache

Theresa Ziegler

This article investigates the variation of linking elements in German compounds of the pattern noun+noun (NN) – as GeschenkØ-korb vs. Geschenk-s-korb ‘gift basket’ or Schokolade-Ø-torte vs. Schokolade-n-torte ‘chocolate cake’ – and their areal-horizontal distribution in Austria. The Austrian Media Corpus (amc) – a text database which almost completely represents the print media landscape (and thus the standard [written] language) of Austria of the last decades – serves as its empirical data basis. For the analyses, NN compounds with variation in linking elements annotated in the Austrian Dictionary (ÖWB 2018) are considered. The topic, method, research design and selected results presented are part of a current master’s thesis (Ziegler in Vorb.) on variable linking elements (referred to as a ›linguistic case of doubt‹, cf. Klein 2018) in written Austrian Standard German.

Schlüsselwörter: linking elements, noun+noun compounds, standard (written) language, areal-horizontal variation


Was bleibt. Zur funktional motivierten Verwendung reduzierter Artikelformen im Kontinuum zwischen Dialekt und Standard

Elisabeth Scherr

This corpus-based study investigates a range of language-external and language-internal factors presumably responsible for the use of an apparent dialect feature alongside the dialect-standard axis in German. The focus is on definite articles used without the initial consonant (i.e. as, es, is, etc.). Those reduced articles are frequently used in the transitional area between Central and South Bavarian both in dialect as well as in communication settings that evoke intended standard language use. Whereas quantitative methods simply show a decay of frequency in the latter setting, a more detailed context analysis suggests that reduced articles are used systematically and functionally motivated: the investigation of noun phrases in ‘non-definite’ contexts show significantly higher shares of reduced article forms.

Schlüsselwörter: dialect-standard-axis, stability and variability, corpus linguistics, quantitative-qualitative methods


Complementizer Agreement in den Dialekten Österreichs. Eine variationslinguistische Perspektivierung

Philip C. Vergeiner/Lars Bülow

This paper investigates Complementizer Agreement (CA) in the dialects of Austria from a variationist perspective. Data are based on the corpus of the project »Variation and change of dialect varieties in Austria (in real and apparent time)«. Altogether, dialectal translations of 163 participants (recruited from two age-groups) from 40 locations are analysed in this apparent-time-study. Results show that the findings by Lenz et al. (2014) and Fingerhuth & Lenz (2020) on CA in Austrian dialects can be both confirmed and refined. It becomes apparent that CA is particularly widespread in Central and South-Central Bavarian dialects, while it is less frequent in South Bavarian and completely absent in Alemannic dialects. Furthermore, CA occurs more frequently with 2 PL than with 2 SG Austrian dialects. Also, the frequency of CA varies depending on the respective complementizer.Moreover, results yield a positive correlation between CA, clitization and pro-drop. We argue that this is due to the pronominal origin of CA. Furthermore, since these are mostly zero-clitics, pro-drop can be increasingly observed in the CA-area. Nonetheless, CA is not a precondition for pro-drop in subordinate clauses in the investigated dialects.

Schlüsselwörter: complementizer agreement, pro-drop, clitics, German in Austria, variationist linguistics


Plosive in Zeiten von Corona. Zusammenhänge zwischen der Realisierung von Plosiven in verschiedenen Dialektregionen Österreichs und der Ausbreitung von COVID-19 durch Aerosole

Johanna Fanta-Jende/Florian Tavernier/Amelie Dorn/Katharina Korecky-Kröll

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, research has focused on correlations between phonetic properties of languages and aerosol transport. We investigate effects of plosive realization on the spread of COVID-19 in different dialect regions of Austria based on recent formal and informal conversations from six rural locations. The plosives /p/ and /t/ were classified into four variants (aspirated/unaspirated fortis, voiceless/voiced lenis). Results showed that higher fortis use correlates with higher COVID-19 incidence rates, particularly in the formal interviews. The data might not be crucial in preventing infections; however, our study supports the importance of methodological diversity for capturing linguistic variation.

Schlüsselwörter: phonetics, plosives, COVID-19, Austria


Annotation von Sprachdaten eines variationslinguistischen Großprojekts am Beispiel des Spezialforschungsbereichs ›Deutsch in Österreich‹

Markus Pluschkovits/Katharina Kranawetter

The present paper is concerned with the annotation of linguistic phenomena from a variationist linguistic perspective. The Special Research Programme ›German in Austria‹ serves as example for annotation in a large-scale variationist research project. After contextualizing both the corpus and the annotation logic used in
the project, we situate the annotation system in a linguistic philosophy of science, focusing on the epistemological status of the classification of spoken language. During this discussion, the multidimensional
annotation system used in the project is highlighted for its advantages. We conclude with a discussion of standardized annotation schemes in a variationist context, and stress the importance of publishing not just results, but annotation schemes as well in the spirit of open science.

Schlüsselwörter: annotation, tagging, variationist linguistics, corpus linguistics, data processing


Alex ist gerade am Geburtstagfeiern – Eine Pilotstudie zur Produktion und Wahrnehmung von Progressivausdrücken im Mittelbairischen in Österreich

Rita Stiglbauer/Anja Wittibschlager

This paper empirically investigates the syntactic phenomenon of periphrastic progressive constructions in three Austrian provinces in the Central Bavarian dialect region, with a focus on am-progressives and beim-progressives (Alex ist am/beim Feiern. ‘Alex is celebrating.’). Data on language production and attitudes regarding the areal-horizontal and the social-vertical dimension were collected via an online questionnaire. Data analysis yields a complex picture, indicating that both periphrases are produced only marginally by survey informants. However, on average, informants attribute stimuli with am- and beim-progressives rather to Austria than Germany. Whereas the beim-variant seems to constitute a dialect feature, the am-progressive is not clearly attributed vertically, so that it seemingly applies to the entire vertical axis. Our findings furthermore provide evidence for interindividual variation regarding both production as well as evaluation.

Schlüsselwörter: variationist linguistics, areal-horizontal and social-vertical syntactic variation, progressive
constructions, language production and attitudes


Spracheinstellungserhebung mit der ›Linguistic Landscape-Guise Technique‹. Zur Wirkung von Dialekt und Standard in der österreichischen Sprachlandschaft

Barbara Soukup

The Linguistic Landscape-Guise Technique (LLGT) is presented, serving the empirical analysis of meaning-making via language choice in the LL from the audience’s perspective. The LL (here: written language in public space) is considered a dialog in which sign producers and sign readers jointly construct meaning through reciprocal response and contextualized inferencing. Thus, the LLGT elicits the social meanings Austrian audiences associate with dialect vs. standard on public signage, to trace the effects of language choice on their situated interpretation of LL messages. The methodology is discussed in detail, as are results from its application in an online study, followed by a critical review of the tool and its implementation perspectives.

Schlüsselwörter: linguistic landscape, languge attitudes, matchedguise technique, Austrian German, Sociolinguistic variation


Die Universität und ihre Sprache(n) – eine sozio- und metalinguistische Perspektivierung

Lisa Krammer/Alina Cristea/Manfred Michael Glauninger

Against the meta-theoretical background of sociolinguistics as an – epistemologically and according to philosophy of science – operational constructivist sociology of linguistic knowledge, this paper investigates (within the field of exploring language politics and ideology) the extent to which language ideologies are reflected in official documents of the University of Vienna and are thus (re)produced or perpetuated in the context of society. Based on the still expandable state of research, an exemplary pilot study is conducted. The results of its findings encourage further relevant, large-scale investigations.

Schlüsselwörter: language ideology/politics research, metalinguistics, sociology of knowledge, language attitudes research


Vom Raunzen und Bellen. Wienerisch und Grazerisch aus Sicht urbaner Sprecher*innen

Ann Kathrin Fischer

This paper discusses the perception and conceptualisation of speech register(s) of Austria’s two biggest cities, Vienna and Graz, by non-linguists. It examines if and how the multidimensional influences on urban speech register(s) are reflected in the speakers’ perception. Interview parts of 16 speakers from Vienna and Graz
dealing with questions of characteristics, differences or specific terms describing Viennese (‘Wienerisch’) and the speech register(s) of Graz (‘Grazerisch’) were analysed. It reveals that most speakers recognise the impact of influencing factors and thus have a differentiated view on language(s) used in the cities. From an onomatopoetical point of view the results of the present study can be summarised as follows: speakers from Graz sound as if they are barking (‘Bellen’) and those from Vienna sound grouchy or whiny (‘Raunzen’).

Schlüsselwörter: perception, regional variation, sociolinguistics, Vienna, Graz, urban


Wenn die Frage »Zwetschken oder Pflaumen?« nicht powidl ist. Zur Diskussion von Austriazismen in Online-Foren

Jan Höll/Wolfgang Koppensteiner

This paper assesses the value of online comment-threads as a resource for the study of language attitudes and folk linguistics by analyzing user comments concerning an interview with the linguist Alexandra N. Lenz on the topic of language change in Austria, which was published by the Austrian newspaper DerStandard. The
analysis incorporates both a quantitative perspective, showing the distribution and interaction of certain topics within the comment threads, and a qualitative analysis, focusing on reader statements on definition(s) and usage of the term ›Austriacism‹ (i. e. linguistic items specific to Austria), the (perceived) influence of language
contact with Germany, as well as the acceptability and distribution of certain Austriacisms in different Austrian regions. Results show that barely any Austriacisms are accepted as such throughout the entire country. In addition, a range of Austriacisms seem to be highly emotionally loaded. Evaluations are often connected to
a perceived bias of focus on the eastern part of Austria (mostly Vienna) in the public debate on the German language in Austria.

Schlüsselwörter: Austriacisms, language attitudes, online comments, discourse


Laien-Konzepte von Umgangssprache in Österreich: Ergebnisse einer Perzeptionsstudie

Andrea Ender/Irmtraud Kaiser

In the Austrian sociolinguistic context, ›Umgangssprache‹ is a notoriously difficult because highly complex term and concept, both among linguists and laypersons. This article presents a questionnaire study that aims to provide insights into how laypeople use and conceptualize the term, and which terms they use alternatively for speech levels ranging ›in-between‹ the local dialects and Standard German. Results indicate that the term is actively used primarily in the sense of ›regional intermediate speech form‹, but also that the very concept of ›Umgangssprache‹ and its frequency of use differ between the two main Austrian dialect areas (Bavarian and Alemannic). Furthermore, the subjective naming of a speech form is related to the perceived degree of dialectality.

Schlüsselwörter: ›Umgangssprache‹, perception, lay linguistics, categorization, dialectality


»Böhmisch erwünscht«?! Das Tschechische und Slowakische im Gerichtsbezirk Stockerau um 1900

Maria Schinko

This paper investigates the role of the Czech and Slovak language in the Stockerau judicial district around 1900, based on census data, surveys for the German language atlas, and job advertisements in German and Czech newspapers. The aim is to provide a comprehensive picture of the relationship and contact between the different language groups at the time, beyond mere quantitative assessments. The results indicate a clear spatial and social segregation of the Czech workforce in rural areas. By contrast, in the city of Stockerau, multilingualism, viz. Czech, gained some ground in several social domains.

Schlüsselwörter: Stockerau, Weinviertel, Czech, Slovak, German, multilingualism


Sprach- und Kulturkontakte im österreichischen Teil des Weitraer Gebiets (Vitorazsko)

Stefan Michael Newerkla

The Weitra region (Vitorazsko) is an area on the border between the southern Bohemian region of Nové Hrady (Gratzen) and Třeboň (Wittingau) and the Lower Austrian Waldviertel. The original centre of the area was the town of Weitra (Vitoraz). Settled in the wake of the more recent wave of Slavic colonisation during the 8th century, it has been an area influenced by Slavs (Czechs) and Bavarians alike over the centuries. Our study traces language and cultural contacts in today’s Austrian part of this area, investigating patron saints of churches (such as Wenceslaus), toponyms, as well as Czech interferences and loanwords in the region’s East-Central Bavarian dialect.

Schlüsselwörter: Weitra region, Vitorazsko, Czech, Central Bavarian, language contact, loanwords, toponyms, patron saints


Merkwürdige Ortsnamen. Beispiele aus dem oberösterreichischen nördlichen Traunviertel und dem oberen Mühlviertel

Peter Wiesinger

When place names developed in medieval times, their meaning was typically clearly comprehensible, whether they were compounds with certain head elements, simplex or derived words. However, due to language evolution, modifying elements or simplex words may become obsolete and hence lose their semantic transparency. In place names, they may be semantically re-motivated by synchronic folk etymology that identifies them with similar sounding words of current language. In combination with the remaining head elements, this often leads to odd compounds without comprehensible meaning. If the odd compound, however, remains comprehensible, the new meaning and its folk etymology are often reflected in tales or coats of arms. Place names with offensive and supposedly sexual meaning are consciously distorted to odd, meaningless forms.

Schlüsselwörter: synchronic re-motivation of place names, obscure and odd new name forms, folk etymology, explanatory tales, epitomizing coats of arms


Zur Periodisierungsproblematik in der deutschen Sprachgeschichte am Beispiel des Frühneuhochdeutschen

Peter Ernst/Martina Werner

In the light of different proposals of a phonologically based periodization of German, this article proposes – in analogy to areal linguistics – the introduction of »transition zones« for the history of German, in order to account for the »double-faced« issue of continuity (i.e., gradual transition) and discontinuity (i.e., »sharp boundaries«) in the description of linguistic phenomena. The case of Early New High German is used for explication of the proposal.

Schlüsselwörter: history of German, history of German linguistics, phonological change of German, language
change, linguistic theory


MIR KEHREN ZAM! – Die Entwicklung der germanischen Velare im Anlaut in den bairischen Dialekten Österreichs und Südtirols Eine Untersuchung anhand der Datenbank des »Wörterbuchs der bairischen Mundarten in Österreich«

David Gschösser/Patrick Zeitlhuber

The High German consonant shift affected all Old High German dialects to varying degrees; and Bavarian dialects partook in this sound change extensively. In this article, we first describe the phonetic and phonological properties aswell as the diachronic development of the Germanic velar plosives from the Germanic consonant shift up to Old High German. Then, we showcase the possibilities for phonological research via the lexicographical online database of the Dictionary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria by analyzing the typological and phonotactic synchronic distribution of velar onset clusters in the Bavarian dialects of Austria and South Tyrol.

Schlüsselwörter: Bavarian, dialectology, variationist linguistics, Austria, South Tyrol, Grimm’s law, High German consonant shift, onset, velars, plosives, aspirates, affricates, ge-prefix


Die WBÖ-Belegdatenbank als Quelle für syntaktische Analysen – Möglichkeiten, Grenzen, Perspektiven

Philipp Stöckle/Christina Hemetsberger/Manuela Stütz

The topic of this contribution is the analysis of three dialectsyntactic phenomena (complementizer agreement, article doubling, negative concord) based on the data of the Dictionary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria. As the results show, descriptions from recent studies can largely be validated on the basis of our data. However, our analyses also provide new insights that partially relativize the received state of knowledge and encourage further
examination of the phenomena concerned. Thus, our material, which was actually created for lexicographical purposes, proves to be a unique and extremely profitable resource which – with the necessary method-critical caution – should be used for studies beyond dictionary work in the future.

Schlüsselwörter: dialect syntax, lexicography, dialect geography


Von ›geben‹ zu ›legen‹ Alttschechisch dáti ‘geben’ als PUT-Verb

Agnes Kim

Although standard varieties of German are generally described as PUT-less, recent research has yielded evidence for the fact that the GIVE-verb geben may fill this gap in the cognitive-semantic network of German motion verbs in standard Austrian German. This usage is most probably a transfer from Czech. To substantiate this claim, the present article sheds light on the diachronic development of the phenomenon in Old Czech, finding that Czech dáti ‘give’ was already a fully established basic put-verb by 1500. I also identify a possible pivot construction in the grammaticalization process, namely the specification of a certain body part of the RECIPIENT as the GOAL of the transfer. Such examples are probably the first attestations of dáti in put-like contexts.

Schlüsselwörter: Old Czech, object movement constructions, basic verbs, PUT, GIVE