General Description

The Special Research Programme (SFB) ‘German in Austria: Variation – Contact - Perception’ is a project financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF F60). Its nine project parts are collaboratively conducting research into the variation and change of the German language in Austria. The SFB is exploring the use and the subjective perception of the German language in Austria as well as its contact with other languages. The project is institutionally situated at four academic institutions in Austria: the University of Vienna, the University of Salzburg, the University of Graz and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The project’s findings will be analysed from the perspective of different – mostly linguistic – disciplines. Specifically, these analyses will look at the geographic distribution, the distinct regional and contact linguistic features, the change in language over time, and the social and situational factors that affect the use and spread of the different manifestations of German language in Austria.

With regard to this interdisciplinary approach, the project focuses its efforts around two central tasks:

On the one hand, comprehensive and detailed analyses of German in Austria are being prepared by research groups from the fields of sociolinguistics, dialect research, multilingualism research and computer linguistics, to name a few. This creates a broad spectrum of linguistic expertise which can do justice to the complexity of the key topics involved in language variation in Austria. On the other hand, the data which has been collected and prepared will be made available to researches as well as the interested public through an online research platform.

Project Parts of the SFB

The SFB is comprised of nine project parts (PP) that are assigned to different task clusters. The following table provides an overview of the project’s structure; more information about each of the task clusters and project parts can be found on the linked pages.

Overview of the SFB’s Project Parts
Task Cluster ACoordination
PP01Coordination projectVienna
Task Cluster BVariation and change of German in Austria
– Perspectives of variationist linguistics

PP02Variation and change of dialect varieties in Austria
(in real and apparent time)
Salzburg / Vienna
PP03Between dialects and standard varieties: Speech repertoires and varietal spectraVienna
PP04Vienna and Graz – Cities and their influential forceGraz
Task Cluster C German and other languages in Austria
– Perspectives of language contact
PP05German in the context of the other languages
in the Habsburg State (19th century) and the Second Austrian Republic
PP06German and the Slavic languages in Austria:
aspects of language contact
Task Cluster DGerman in the minds
– Language attitudes and perception
PP08Standard varieties from the perspective of perceptual variationist linguisticsVienna
PP10Perceptions of and attitudes towards varieties and languages at Austrian schools
Task Cluster ECollaborative online research platform
PP11Collaborative online research platform
‘German in Austria’
Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
DiÖ (2018): Overview. In: DiÖ-Online.
[Access: 28.09.2021]