Organisation committee

Dr. Franziska Buchmann

Suzanne Dekker

Andreas Hiemstra

Dr. Hanneke Loerts

Dr. Ankelien Schippers

Heike Schoormann  

Scientific committee

Prof. dr. Leonie Cornips (Maastricht University)

Prof. dr. Joana Da Silveira Duarte (NHL Stenden / University of Groningen / University of Amsterdam)

Dr. Chris De Wulf (University of Zurich)

Prof. dr. Jack Hoeksema (University of Groningen)

Prof dr. Jörg Peters (University of Oldenburg)

Prof. dr. Esther Ruigendijk (University of Oldenburg)

Prof. dr. Martijn Wieling (University of Groningen)

Small languages, big ideas (SLBI)


Small languages, big ideas: the smaller Germanic languages from a theoretical, general and comparative perspective

SLBI brings together researchers working on Germanic languages from a variety of linguistic subdisciplines, such as phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, microvariation, psycholinguistics, first and second language acquisition and didactics. Germanic languages hold a big research potential for broader language theoretical questions and offer a well-equipped, readily accessible linguistic laboratory because of their rich (micro)variation.

The previous (and first) edition of this conference was held in 2019 at the University of Zurich (SLBI 2019). The 2022 edition is jointly organized by the Universities of Oldenburg and Groningen. Both universities actively research and teach various smaller Germanic languages, in particular varieties that are spoken in the surrounding region. In Groningen, the Center for Language and Cognition (CLCG) has a special responsibility for the Dutch language and dialects spoken in the northern Netherlands (Frisian and Low Saxon, including Grunnings). In Oldenburg, the Dutch language is researched and taught within the Institute for Dutch Studies, whereas the Institute for German Studies hosts a research group for Low German and Saterland Frisian (Seeltersk), which is the only living remnant of Old East Frisian.

Confirmed keynotes:

  • PD dr. phil. Birte Arendt (Universität Greifswald): Small languages in the digital age - the example of Low German.
  • Prof. dr. Elma Blom (Universiteit Utrecht): How small language learners in Friesland and Limburg build big bilingual lexicons.
  • Prof. dr. Anne Breitbarth (Universiteit Gent): Parsing voices from the past: The Gesproken Corpus van de zuidelijk-Nederlandse Dialecten (GCND).
  • Dr. Mirjam Günther-van der Meij (NHL Stenden Hogeschool) & prof. dr. Joana Da Silveira Duarte (NHL Stenden Hogeschool/Rijksuniversiteit Groningen/Universiteit van Amsterdam): The multilingual and digital turns in Frisian and Low-Saxon applied educational research.
  • Prof. dr. Peter Gilles (Université du Luxembourg): An app-based language survey for Luxembourgish: regional variation and language contact.

In addition to oral presentations, the conference will also feature a poster session at the end of the first day. We particularly welcome students to take this as an opportunity to present their own work. Students who actively participate in the conference and give an oral or poster presentation will be able to receive a certificate for their participation, stating that their participation has a workload equivalent to 3 ECTS (please note you will have to clear with your own university whether you can get an official accreditation there – our certificate is not an official document!).

If the pandemic conditions allow it, this conference will be held live in Oldenburg.

This conference is co-financed by the Taalunie, the Förderprogramm Kooperationsprojekte Groningen – Oldenburg and the program PRO*Niedersachsen – Wissenschaftliche Veranstaltungen der Geistes-, Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften in Niedersachsen with funds from the Niedersächsisches Vorab. In addition, Small languages, big ideas 2022 is co-financed by the INTERREG V A program Deutschland-Nederland with funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by the provinces of Drenthe, Fryslân and Groningen as well as by the state of Lower Saxony.

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