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6th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE)

Wann 29.06.2011 um 09:00 bis
01.07.2011 um 18:00
Wo FRIAS, Albertstr. 19; Universität Freiburg
Teilnehmer nach Anmeldung
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The 6th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE) will be hosted by FRIAS and the University of Freiburg.

Plenary speakers: Prof. Joan Bresnan (Stanford)
Prof. Sjef Barbiers (Amsterdam)
Prof. Arnulf Deppermann (Mannheim)

Local Organising Committee: Peter Auer, Juliane Besters-Dilger, Göz Kaufmann, Bernd Kortmann, Christian Mair, Stefan Pfänder, Guido Seiler
Contact: Peter Auer (


Program as pdf-file

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Conference Resumee

Hosted by FRIAS School of Language & Literature and the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, the 6th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe took place in Freiburg from 29th June – 1st July. In total, 112 talks and 15 poster presentations were held. In the first plenary session, Joan Bresnan (Stanford & FRIAS) introduced a recurring theme of the conference: the acquisition of variation. She compared the English dative and genitive alternations for adults and children. Her findings suggest that the same predictors are effective across constructions and age, but that their relative importance may vary. Crucially, patterned variation seems to be acquired early on. The second keynote speaker, Sjefs Barbiers (Meertens Instituut & Utrecht University), discussed the phenomenon of syntactic doubling, whereby the same linguistic element may be mentioned more than once, e.g., in Dutch, Maar één boek ken ik maar, literally ‘Only one book I know only’. Barbiers showed that the variation in syntactic doubling depends on both language-internal and language-external factors, which interact in complex ways. Finally, Arnulf Deppermann (IDS Mannheim) proposed to replace the contested notion of Standard German with the more realistic concept of ‘standard usage’, i.e., an account of how the standard is actually used. He reported on a large study of spoken German (‘Deutsch heute’), which unsurprisingly reveals scarce agreement with the codified variants and a great deal of variation. Deppermann concluded that the definition of standard should include regional and register variation, at the risk of losing its relevance or showing regional biases in codification.