On everyone's mind and lips: German in Austria (IamDiÖ)

On everyone's mind and lips: German in Austria (IamDiÖ)

The citizen science project "On everyone's mind and lips - German in Austria" (FWF: TCS 40 and FWF: TCS 57G) addresses the use and perception of the German language in Austria and focuses on various language varieties, e.g. dialects in Austria. Language use, especially the use of dialects is an emotional and political topic and everybody can contribute with their opinion, experience, knowledge and concerns. As this topic is often discussed without any empirical basis we intend to bridge the gap between linguistics and folk linguistics.

The innovative aspect of the project is the fact that we support the general public in implementing (own) research projects addressing the use of German language and its varieties in Austria, i.e. we design the entire research process together with citizens who are actual speakers of German varieties and experts in language use. This includes the selection of (topical) research questions, methods, data analysis and communication of research results. So our research can keep pace with the general public's concerns regarding German language use in Austria and open a dialogue between researchers and the public.

IamDiÖ: First phase

From 2017 until 2019, we have worked together with participants who we see as experts as they are speakers of German varieties. Questions about German in Austria have been gathered and answered, the Austrian linguistic landscape has been explored, recorded and analysed together with citizens. Through various hands-on activities we have raised awareness for language and its use in different contexts (e.g. people talk differently to their boss or to their best friend). The exchange between academia and the general public enabled the incorporation of the interests and the knowledge of the citizens in language research on the one hand, and academia could give an insight into basic research, on the other. The numerous questions of the general public which we gathered do not only show the great interest in the topic of German language in Austria but also revealed research gaps. The answers to already investigated questions convey content knowledge and knowledge about academic methods on the one hand, and academics learn how to present their research results in a comprehensible way, on the other.

Everybody is invited to (continue to) participate to the project:

IamDiÖ: Second phase

Also, in our second project phase we will work together with the general public, address socially relevant topics and help advance basic research. While our already established ways of participating in research will be continued, we will also develop new methods to involve more people in research in different ways.

„On everyone’s mind and lips – German in Austria“ helps provide a comprehensive picture of the German (varieties) landscape in Austria and form a citizen science community. It raises awareness for the topic in various contexts, i.e. the use of German (language) varieties on the streets, lips and minds in Austria.


Further information: iam.dioe.at/en

IamDiÖ is a supplementary project of the DiÖ project.