Portal Wissen = Borders

  • The new edition of the Potsdam Research Magazine “Portal Wissen” approaches the subject “Borders” from different perspectives. As a linguist, this headline makes me think of linguistic borders and the effects that might result from the contact of two languages at a particular border. There is, for instance, ample evidence of code-switching, i.e. the use of material from at least two languages in a single utterance. The reasons for code-switching can be manifold. On the one hand, code-switching may result from a limited language competence, for example if a speaker lacks a particular word in a nonnative language. On the other hand, code-switching may be a matter of prestige if the speaker wants to demonstrate his or her affiliation to a certain social group by switching languages. If code-switching does not only occur sporadically but involves whole language communities over a longer period of time, it can result in significant changes of the involved languages. Which language “gives” and which one “takes” is determined byThe new edition of the Potsdam Research Magazine “Portal Wissen” approaches the subject “Borders” from different perspectives. As a linguist, this headline makes me think of linguistic borders and the effects that might result from the contact of two languages at a particular border. There is, for instance, ample evidence of code-switching, i.e. the use of material from at least two languages in a single utterance. The reasons for code-switching can be manifold. On the one hand, code-switching may result from a limited language competence, for example if a speaker lacks a particular word in a nonnative language. On the other hand, code-switching may be a matter of prestige if the speaker wants to demonstrate his or her affiliation to a certain social group by switching languages. If code-switching does not only occur sporadically but involves whole language communities over a longer period of time, it can result in significant changes of the involved languages. Which language “gives” and which one “takes” is determined by sociolinguistic factors. It is, hence, quite easy to predict that German varieties spoken in language islands in South and Eastern Europe as well as in North and Latin America will absorb more and more language material from their neighbouring languages until they disappear unless political will strives to preserve these language varieties. Increasing mobility of modern societies has multiplied the extent and the intensity of language contact and certainly comprises a large number of different contact situations besides the one most commonly known, i.e. the contact between German and English. From a historic point of view, German witnesses a strong influence of various Romance languages such as Latin, French and Italian. In Potsdam, one cannot help being reminded of the French influence during the 18th century. Overcoming language borders becomes also apparent in the everyday life of an international research university. In March this year, the Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society took place in Potsdam, with more than 500 participants. Lingua franca of this conference was English. Compared to previous conferences, this further increased the number of international participants. The articles in this edition illustrate various approaches to the topic “Borders”: On the trail of “Boundary Surveys”, we follow the Australian explorer Ludwig Leichhardt. “Travellers Across Borders” is focussed on articles dealing with the literature of the colonial Caribbean or with the work of an Italian geologist deep beneath the earth’s surface, for example. Looking for the “Boundless”, our authors follow scientists who discuss questions like “Why love hurts?”. The present issue of “Portal Wissen” also takes into account “Drawing Up Borders” in an article that is concerned with the limits of workrelated stress. Instances of successful “Border Crossing” are provided by the “Handkerchief Lab” as well as by new biotechnological applications. I would like to wish you inspiring border experiences, hoping that you will get many impulses for crossing professional borders in your field of expertise. Prof. Ulrike Demske Professor of the History and the Varieties of the German Language Vice President International Affairs, Alumni and Fundraisingshow moreshow less

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Metadaten
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-441430
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-44143
ISSN:2194-4237
Subtitle (English):The Research Magazine of the University of Potsdam
Series (Serial Number):Portal Wissen: The research magazine of the University of Potsdam [Englische Ausgabe] (02/2013)
Translator:Susanne Voigt
Contributor(s):Birgit Mangelsdorf, Matthias Zimmermann, Barbara Eckardt, Petra Görlich, Antje Horn-Conrad
Document Type:Part of Periodical
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Creating Corporation:University of Potsdam, Press and Public Relations Department
Release Date:2019/12/19
Issue:02/2013
Pagenumber:55
RVK - Regensburg Classification:AL 57300
Organizational units:Universitätsleitung und Verwaltung / Referat für Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Dewey Decimal Classification:0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 07 Publizistische Medien, Journalismus, Verlagswesen / 070 Publizistische Medien, Journalismus, Verlagswesen
Peer Review:Nicht referiert
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht