MA, University of Hamburg, 2005 (Scandinavian Studies, German Linguistics, Phonetics); doctoral researcher, Collaborative Research Centre 538 Multilingualism, Hamburg, 2005-2009; PhD, University of Hamburg, 2009 (Scandinavian Studies); postdoctoral researcher (Collaborative Research Centre 538 Multilingualism, Hamburg, 2009-2011); senior lecturer, University of Münster, 2011-2013 (German Linguistics), junior professor, Kiel University, 2013-2019 (Scandinavian Linguistics); full professor, Kiel University, since 2019 (Scandinavian Linguistics).
A Constructionist View on Multilingual Words: Language as an Inflectional Category?
Famously, multilinguals are not multiple monolinguals in one person – nor do they have individual grammars for different languages. Diasystematic Construction Grammar, a usage-based constructionist approach to language contact phenomena, is built around the central insight that there are no language boundaries within the constructicon. It is a simple idea, but it has far-reaching consequences. Most importantly, there is a division of labour between language-specific and language-unspecific constructions that together form a multilingual speaker’s constructicon. Language-unspecific constructions are not restricted to syntax or morphology: With typologically similar and/or genetically related languages, even words and parts of words can be language-unspecific, and – for multilinguals – even monomorphemic words are often compositional in a quasi-inflectional way. This talk focuses on the constructional organization of multilingual knowledge at the word level and below.