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Description

"Namdeutsch: The dynamics of German in the multilingual context of Namibia" is a German-Namibian cooperation project that records and analyses the German language in present-day Namibia. It targets all forms of German language use within the German-Namibian community that are not identical to that in Germany. An important empirical output of the cooperation will be a systematic corpus of informal and formal Namibian German and corresponding language ideologies and attitudes in the German-speaking community in Namibia that will be generally accessible for scientific investigations and useful for a large range of research questions on language structure, language contact, language variation, and change. The corpus will provide a useful resource for research on language variation both from a grammatical and a sociolinguistic perspective, and offers material for studies of language contact and language change. With Nam-German, it will capture German language use in a speech community that is particularly dynamic due to its active multilingualism (German, English, Afrikaans) and still actively cultivates German and uses it across older and younger generations in formal and informal contexts - this despite Nam-German's status as a minority language and in contrast to what we find in a lot of German-language islands abroad. In addition to the sustainable documentation of Nam-German, the project has two central theoretical goals that complement each other: (1) analysis of the grammatical characteristics of Nam-German, and (2) analysis of the language ideological and attitudinal positions in its speech community. The interpretation of our results is supported by a perspective on German in further multilingual contexts with partly different sociolinguistics parameters, which include language islands in Central/Eastern Europe and overseas as well as "Kiezdeutsch", a multiethnolect that is developing within Germany.