My scholarly focus is on socio- and variationist linguistics. Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Special Research Program German in Austria, in particular in PP03: Speech Repertoires and Varietal Spectra. The project investigates the linguistic repertoires of speakers of German in rural Austria, and how the spectrum between standard language and dialect is structured. My focus is on grammatical variation.
My dissertation investigates the development of a number of grammatical features in Standard German. Using corpus linguistics methods, I contrast Standard German in Germany and Switzerland over the course of the 20th century. I found no uniform pattern, but a stronger tendency for the parallel use of variants in Switzerland, suggesting that there is a greater tolerance for grammatical variation in Swiss Standard German throughout this period.
The question of standardization leaves a thread through my research. I am interested in the intellectual debates and social frame that surrounded the emergence of Standard German as it is conceived today throughout the last millennium, but particularly in the 19th century. I am also part of the Texas German Dialect Project which documents and researches the current state of German as spoken in Texas.