CFP (Journal): Special Issue "Heritage Languages in Germany" (Deadline 15 June 2020)

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Call for Papers
Subject Fields: 
Languages, Linguistics

Dear Colleagues,

We are planning a Special Issue on Heritage Languages in Germany. Germany is amongst the most popular immigration destinations in the world and it has a long history of immigration. The proportion of migrants in Germany from the total of the population amounts to almost 15%; the most common countries of origin being Turkey, Poland, and Syria. Germany has only one official language, while Danish, Frisian, Romani, and Sorbian are recognized as minority languages. The linguistic diversity is abundant and lends itself to the study of minority language development and acquisition outcomes.

While research on heritage speakers has been on the increase with numerous studies focusing on Romance and Slavic languages (see Polinsky & Scontras, 2019 for the most recent overview), studies on smaller minorities and non-Indo-European languages are under-represented. Moreover, individual contributions typically have a narrow focus, as they are concerned with either syntax, phonology, or vocabulary, and either development or acquisition outcomes. The purpose of this Special Issue is to provide an overview of the state of the art in linguistically oriented research on heritage languages in Germany in order to identify missing links between different types of minorities, different age group studies, and different linguistic domains. We welcome contributions on immigrant minorities (e.g., Arabic), but also and especially on the indigenous (e.g., Frisian) and national (Danish) minorities. Contributions on languages that are well represented in the literature, such as Russian, Turkish, and Italian, should aim for comprehensive overviews (a focus on phonology, (morpho)syntax, or vocabulary if possible), while studies on lesser-studied languages can be exploratory and programmatic. Squib-like articles (no longer than 4000 words) are especially welcome. Individual contributions may take a formal or empirical approach. They should focus on one language and begin with some demographic information.

The tentative completion schedule is as follows:

-Abstract submission deadline: June 15

-Notification of abstract acceptance: June 30

-Full manuscript deadline:  August 15

If you have the intention to submit a paper, please send an abstract of 400 words maximum to the Guest Editor or Languages editorial office ( no later than June 15, 2020.

Prof. Tanja Kupisch
Guest Editor


  • syntax
  • morphology
  • phonology
  • national minorities
  • indigenous minorities
  • heritage languages
  • early bilingualism
  • simultaneous bilingualism
  • sequential language acquisition
  • language contact
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