MiÖ – A framework
MiÖ, the Information system on (historical) Multilingualism in Austria (‘Mehrsprachigkeit in Österreich’), aims to gather and connect historical and, in the long run, also present-day information and data on multilingualism in Austria. It will be integrated into the online research platform of the Special Research Programme “German in Austria. Variation – Contact – Perception” (DiÖ). MiÖ wants to visualise multilingualism in its individual and societal dimension as it has shaped and still shapes Austria from the Habsburg monarchy up to now. Furthermore, it will feature effects multilingualism had on today’s German in Austria. Finally, MiÖ wants to serve as a research platform that can generate new research questions.
MiÖ intends to record and link data on (historical) Multilingualism in Austria and, consequently, to present its connections on the following three dimensions:
- its development over time
- its distribution in space
- its representation in literature.
Accordingly, there will be three interacting ways of displaying, querying and connecting the data in MiÖ. The development over time will be displayed on a time axis, the distribution in space will be possible to show through the integration of the data into the geographical information system of the online research platform, and a major focus will be on a commented indexed bibliography. The three different ways of representation interact in such a way that – if possible – all information, data and tools within MiÖ will be tagged with regard to their temporal and spatial distribution, as well as indexed, and commented with regard to their content. In the MiÖ-database, which is developed in close cooperation with and implemented by PP11, the above-mentioned three dimensions also constitute the core.
Apart from the outlined framework, both project parts in Task Cluster C will use MiÖ to publish their aggregated data. However, MiÖ should not be considered a finished project. As shown on the graph, it is rather designed as an open and extendable system, into which modules can be added in the second project stage and, additionally, in the best-case scenario, through related ‘satellite’ projects or follow-up projects. Within the first project stage, we plan to implement two modules , each project part of Task Cluster C taking over the main responsibility for one of them.
- MiÖ-STAT gathers STATistical information on historical multilingualism in Austria in its broadest sense – this means data that stems from various sources and source types. MiÖ-STAT’s main purpose is to make the development of historical multilingualism in Austria visible throughout time and in space and thus serve as a research instrument for historical-sociolinguistic research questions.
- MiÖ-SAKON is the abbreviation for linguistic areal and contact phenomena (‘Sprachliche Areal- und KONtaktphänomene’). This module records various attested and alleged influences of other, in particular, Slavic languages, which are described as specific for different varieties of German in Austria – from the dialect to the standard register.
Both these modules reflect the complementarity of the two project parts within Task Cluster C: Similar to PP05, MiÖ-STAT chooses and supports a rather language sociological approach to the research object, i.e. historical multilingualism in Austria. Thus, it is mainly interested in language contact scenarios. The same research object is explored from a (socio-)linguistic perspective by PP06 and MiÖ-SAKON, which focus on linguistic (contact) phenomena and their variation.
 In an earlier conceptual framework of MiÖ, four modules were described as to be realised within project phase 1. However, for reasons of limited resources, we decided to primarily concentrate on two modules during this phase, of which MiÖ-STAT corresponds to the initial Module 2 and MiÖ-SAKON to Module 4.