Developing Grammars

The Acquisition of German Syntax by Foreign Workers

  • Wolfgang Klein
  • Norbert Dittmar

Part of the Springer Series in Language and Communication book series (SSLAN, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-X
  2. Variation in Language and Its Description

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Wolfgang Klein, Norbert Dittmar
      Pages 3-21
    3. Wolfgang Klein, Norbert Dittmar
      Pages 22-32
    4. Wolfgang Klein, Norbert Dittmar
      Pages 33-63
    5. Wolfgang Klein, Norbert Dittmar
      Pages 64-74
  3. Developing Grammars in the Acquisition of German in Social Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 75-75
    2. Wolfgang Klein, Norbert Dittmar
      Pages 97-112
    3. Wolfgang Klein, Norbert Dittmar
      Pages 113-197
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 213-222

About this book


This study deals with variation in grammar both from a theoretical and an empirical point of view. In Part I (Chaps. 1-4), an attempt is made to char­ acterize this phenomenon within the broader context of what might be called the "fluctuating character of natu'ral language", and to develop suitable and precise descriptive techniques that account for it. The method which is pro­ posed here is called "variety grammar" - roughly speaking, this is a formal grammar with probabilistic weighting for an ordered set of varieties, such as dialects, sociolects, registers, or developmental stages. In Part II (Chaps. 5-8), this technique is applied to an important area of grammatical variation - to the process of second language acquisition in social context, based on a large investigation of the language behavior of foreign migrant workers acquiring German through everyday contacts. We have tried to characterize their "developing grammars" and to relate this complex developmental process to social and individual factors that determine it.


Ausländischer Arbeitnehmer German Grammars Grammatik Register Second language acquisition Syntax Verb adverbial derivation grammar individual language second language syntactic

Authors and affiliations

  • Wolfgang Klein
    • 1
  • Norbert Dittmar
    • 2
  1. 1.Projektgruppe für PsycholinguistikMax-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V.NijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Germanistisches SeminarFreie Universität BerlinBerlinFed. Rep. of Germany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1979
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-67387-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-67385-6
  • Series Print ISSN 0172-620X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site