Seemingly free (morpho)phonetic variation

We will reuse and enhance existing spoken corpora of German, one focus still being on non-native addressee register. The corpora are pre-processed and reformatted in order to achieve a unified collection that can be queried and analyzed. We will develop common annotation guidelines on speech and morphophonetic phenomena across corpora. We will find out the relation between phenomena and the different register-related parameters. Regarding modeling, we aim to extend existing addressee-based models with situational-functional parameters. After the annotation, the data will be re-integrated into existing data publications.


Project leader


Doctoral fellows

Melissa Ebert

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Student assistant

Former members

Project in Phase I

Project Title for Phase I

Non-native addressee register

Project Description for Phase I

C06 will investigate different aspects of non-native addressee register. The focus is on the question of how native speakers shift to a different register when communicating with non-native speakers. The project will extend previous studies by (i) exploring non-native addressee register for non-native speakers with varying levels of proficiency, (ii) analyzing different linguistic levels and building a holistic model, (iii) applying an experimental approach that elicits natural conversations with balanced task roles, (iv) manipulating degrees of awareness and cognitive load in order to gain insights on how controlled and/or automatic various modifications are, and (v) evaluating whether the non-native addressee variants actually improve the comprehension of the targeted non-native speakers.

Project Leaders in Phase I

Publications & Presentations



  • Lüdeling, Anke; Lukassek, Julia; Akbari, Roodabeh  (2023) Guidelines for the Morphological Annotation of Nouns in the Falko Learner Corpus In:  REALIS: Register Aspects of Language in Situation [DOI] [ViVo]
    These guidelines describe the annotation of different types of nominal word forma-
    tion in German. We also report on the evaluation of these guidelines in the Falko
  • Pescuma, Valentina Nicole; Serova, Dina; Lukassek, Julia; Sauermann, Antje; Schäfer, Roland; Adli, Aria; Bildhauer, Felix; Egg, Markus; Hülk, Kristina; Ito, Aine; Jannedy, Stefanie; Kordoni, Valia; Kühnast, Milena; Kutscher, Silvia; Lange, Robert; Lehmann, Nico; Liu, Mingya; Lütke, Beate; Maquate, Katja; Mooshammer, Christine; Mortezapour, Vahid; Müller, Stefan; Norde, Muriel; Pankratz, Elizabeth; Patarroyo, Angela Giovanna; Plesca, Ana-Maria; Ronderos, Camilo R.; Rotter, Stephanie; Sauerland, Uli; Schulte, Britta; Schüppenhauer, Gediminas; Sell, Bianca Maria; Solt, Stephanie; Terada, Megumi; Tsiapou, Dimitra; Verhoeven, Elisabeth; Weirich, Melanie; Wiese, Heike; Zaruba, Kathy; Zeige, Lars Erik; Lüdeling, Anke; Knoeferle, Pia; Schnelle, Gohar  (2023) Situating language register across the ages, languages, modalities, and cultural aspects: Evidence from complementary methods In:  Frontiers in Psychology [DOI] [ViVo]
    In the present review paper by members of the collaborative research center ‘Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of SituationalFunctional Variation’ (CRC 1412), we assess the pervasiveness of register phenomena across different time periods, languages, modalities, and cultures. We define ‘register’ as recurring variation in language use depending on the function of language and on the social situation. Informed by rich data, we aim to better understand and model the knowledge involved in situation- and function-based use of language register. In order to achieve this goal, we are using complementary methods and measures. In the review, we start by clarifying the concept of ‘register’, by reviewing the state of the art, and by setting out our methods and modeling goals. Against this background, we discuss three key challenges, two at the methodological level and one at the theoretical level: 1. To better uncover registers in text and spoken corpora, we propose changes to established analytical approaches. 2. To tease apart between-subject variability from the linguistic variability at issue (intra-individual situation based register variability), we use within-subject designs and the modeling of individuals’ social, language, and educational background. 3. We highlight a gap in cognitive modeling, viz. modeling the mental representations of register (processing), and present our first attempts at filling this gap. We argue that the targeted use of multiple complementary methods and measures supports investigating the pervasiveness of register phenomena and yields comprehensive insights into the cross-methodological robustness of register-related language variability. These comprehensive insights in turn provide a solid foundation for associated cognitive modeling.
  • Lehmann, Nico; Serova, Dina; Lukassek, Julia; Döring, Sophia; Goymann, Frank; Lüdeling, Anke; Akbari, Roodabeh  (2023) Guidelines for the annotation of parameters of narration. In:  REALIS: Register Aspects of Language in Situation [DOI] [ViVo]
    The present guidelines describe the annotation of narrative phenomena on the clause level, using a combination of ideas and methods from linguistics and lit- erary studies. The main categories marking the discourse strategy “narration” in stretches of text have been narrowed down to mediacy, i. e. involving a narrator, and sequentiality of events. This document specifies how to define mediacy, and in turn determine whether a narrator is present, as well as how to identify events and their sequential ordering. Lastly, a functional layer annotation is proposed which allows researchers to compare different types of narrative instances. This offers a basis for investigating a potential narrative register which is said to be important for many kinds of register studies.
  • Schnelle, Gohar; Lüdeling, Anke; Odebrecht, Carolin  (2023) Historische Korpora in sprachhistorisch orientierter germanistischer Hochschullehre In:  Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur [DOI] [ViVo]
    Abstract This paper argues for incorporating corpus data into the teaching of historical linguistics. While deeply annotated historical corpora are becoming available and corpus data is already widely used to answer various research questions, corpora are as yet rarely used in teaching. We believe they are ideally suited to make the variation in historical data transparent and help students to explore contexts and parameters. In our first study, we show how the KaJuK corpus and its more elaborated version, the GiesKaNe corpus, can be exploited to study adverbial sentences. Using the RIDGES corpus, the second study deals with phrasal and lexical development. Both studies focus on explaining the method and its extension to other corpora and research questions.
  • Belz, Malte; Ebert, Melissa; Müller, Miriam; Sun, Jianqi; Terada, Megumi; Xia, Qiang  (2023) Einfluss videobasierter Kommunikation (Zoom) auf die Vokalqualität In:  P&P 18. Universität Bielefeld [DOI] [ViVo]
    Phonetik und Phonologie im deutschsprachigen Raum, Phonetik und Phonologie im deutschsprachigen Raum
  • Belz, Malte  (2023) Reduced vowel space in video conferences via Zoom: Evidence from read speech In:  JASA Express Letters [DOI] [ViVo]
    This exploratory study compared vowel space area (VSA) in face-to-face situations and video conference situations using the software Zoom. Twenty native German participants read word lists recorded before and after spontaneous conversation. The overall VSA in Zoom was reduced significantly by 11.9%, with a more reduced VSA before and less reduction after the spontaneous conversation. Of nine peripheral vowels in German, /aː iː yː/ showed a significantly reduced Euclidean distance to the centroid of the vowel space. The observed hypoarticulation is discussed in light of the experimental setup, situational differences, and less involvement in Zoom than in face-to-face situations.
  • Terada, Megumi  (2023) Indirect effect of orthographic form on phonetic realisation in L2 German: A Corpus study of inflectional endings in spontaneous speech In:  EuroSLA 32. University of Birmingham [ViVo]
  • Xia, Qiang  (2023) Eine phonetische Analyse der Modalpartikel Ja in deutscher Alltagskommunikation In:  P&P 18. Universität Bielefeld [ViVo]
  • Lüdeling, Anke; Akbari, Roodabeh; Buchmüller, Olga; Chark, Jordan; Döring, Sophia; Golcher, Felix; Schmidt, Peter  (2023) Podcast: Was ist ein Register? [ViVo]
    Was ist damit gemeint, wenn wir in der Linguistik von "Registern" sprechen und warum ist das überhaupt interessant? Wir zeigen Beispiele dafür, wie Sprecher*innen zwischen Registern wechseln und was passiert, wenn das falsche Register gewählt wird. Anke Lüdeling erzählt uns in einem Interview, wie die Idee zu dem Sonderforschungsbereich entstanden ist.
    (Vielen Dank an Onur Özsoy, der uns das Telefon-Beispiel eingesprochen hat und an Andreas Nolda  für die Orgeleinspielungen!)
  • 2022

  • Sell, Bianca Maria; Belz, Malte  (2022) Picture materials of anthropomorphic animals for the use in speech production and perception experiments[DOI] [ViVo]
    These picture materials consist of 10 sets à 4 drawn similar yet slightly different pictures. The picture materials were designed as stimuli for the use in speech production and perception experiments and depict different anthropomorphic animals in curious situations. All pictures are available as JPEG and PNG files.
  • Sell, Bianca Maria; Oliviera, Maggie Bullock  (2022) PDF and PSD files of DiapixGEtv picture materials – German version adapted to elicit tense vowels[DOI] [ViVo]
    This zipped folder contains PDF and PSD files of our translation of the DiapixUK picture materials by Baker & Hazan (2011) - adapted to elicit tense vowels in German (DiapixGEtv). For our purpose we only modified the written information when making adjustments to the original DiapixUK versions of the files. Our aim was to include as many tense vowels [i:, e:, a:, o:, u:] as possible while remaining subtle enough so as not to alert the participants to our research focus . The additional documentation contains information on the translation process and an overview over the adapted text parts containing target vowels in stressed syllables including the target word with its target vowel and pronunciation as well as its meaning in English. In order to facilitate further adaptation/modification each item in the PSD files is in a separate layer. Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – SFB 1412, 416591334
  • Wisniewski, Katrin; Lüdeling, Anke; Czinglar, Christine  (2022) Zu Umgang mit Variation in der Lernersprachenanalyse. Perspektiven aus und für DaF/DaZ In:  Deutsch als Fremdsprache [DOI] [ViVo]
    In this article, we argue that learner language analysis in German as a Second / Foreign Language should give greater consideration to variation. Looking at three exemplary research topics (verb placement, complexity, and register in German as a Second / Foreign Language), we demonstrate where variation plays a role and how it can be integrated into acquisition models both theoretically and methodologically. The field of learner corpus linguistics provides excellent methods for analysing variability in learner data.
  • 2021

  • Belz, Malte; Mooshammer, Christine; Zöllner, Alina; Adam, Lea-Sophie  (2021) Berlin Dialogue Corpus (BeDiaCo): Version 2[DOI] [ViVo]
    BeDiaCo contains topic-led and task-led spontaneous dialogues of 36 participants as well as read word lists. The main corpus BeDiaCom contains 16 subjects not known to each other in a co-present face-to-face situation. The subcorpus BeDiaCov contains 20 subjects known and familiar to each other in a co-present face-to-face situation and, additionally, in a spatially separated videoconference situation. The corpus contains audio and TextGrid files and is annotated by employing a multi-layer architecture. In addition to a diplomatic transliteration and its phonetic segmentation, further annotation levels contain, for example, annotation values for filler particles, intonation phrases, dialogue structure, word types, and the realization of inflection.
  • Belz, Malte; Zöllner, Alina; Terada, Megumi; Lange, Robert; Adam, Lea-Sophie; Sell, Bianca Maria  (2021) Dokumentation und Annotationsrichtlinien für das Korpus BeDiaCo[DOI] [ViVo]
    BeDiaCo contains topic-led and task-led spontaneous dialogues of 36 participants as well as two read word lists per subject. The main corpus BeDiaCom contains 16 subjects not known to each other in a co-present face-to-face situation. The subcorpus BeDiaCov contains 20 subjects known and familiar to each other in a co-present face-to-face situation and, additionally, in a spatially separated videoconference situation. The corpus contains audio and TextGrid files and is annotated by employing a multi-layer  architecture. In addition to a diplomatic transliteration and its phonetic segmentation, further annotation levels contain, for example, annotation values for filler particles, intonation phrases, dialogue structure, word types, and the realization of inflection.
  • Lüdeling, Anke; Hirschmann , Hagen; Shadrova, Anna; Wan, Shujun  (2021) Tiefe Analyse von Lernerkorpora In:   Deutsch in Europa [DOI] [ViVo]
    Die Sprache von Lerner/-innen einer Fremdsprache unterscheidet sich auf allen linguistischen Ebenen von der Sprache von Muttersprachler/-innen. Seit einigen Jahrzehnten werden Lernerkorpora gebaut, um Lernersprache quantitativ und qualitativ zu analysieren. Hier argumentieren wir anhand von drei Fallbeispielen (zu Modifikation, Koselektion und rhetorischen Strukturen) für eine linguistisch informierte, tiefe Phänomenmodellierung und Annotation sowie für eine auf das jeweilige Phänomen passende formale und quantitative Modellierung. Dabei diskutieren wir die Abwägung von tiefer, mehrschichtiger Analyse einerseits und notwendigen Datenmengen für bestimmte quantitative Verfahren andererseits und zeigen, dass mittelgroße Korpora (wie die meisten Lernerkorpora) interessante Erkenntnisse ermöglichen, die große, flacher annotierte Korpora so nicht erlauben würden.
  • Shadrova, Anna; Lindscheid, Pia; Lukassek, Julia; Lüdeling, Anke; Schneider, Sarah  (2021) A Challenge for Contrastive L1/L2 Corpus Studies: Large Inter- and Intra-Individual Variation Across Morphological, but Not Global Syntactic Categories in Task-Based Corpus Data of a Homogeneous L1 German Group In:  Frontiers in Psychology [DOI] [ViVo]
    In this paper, we present corpus data that questions the concept of native speaker homogeneity as it is presumed in many studies using native speakers (L1) as a control group for learner data (L2), especially in corpus contexts. Usage-based research on second and foreign language acquisition often investigates quantitative differences between learners, and usually a group of native speakers serves as a control group, but often without elaborating on differences within this group to the same extent. We examine inter-personal differences using data from two well-controlled German native speaker corpora collected as control groups in the context of second and foreign language research. Our results suggest that certain linguistic aspects vary to an extent in the native speaker data that undermines general statements about quantitative expectations in L1. However, we also find differences between phenomena: while morphological and syntactic sub-classes of verbs and nouns show great variability in their distribution in native speaker writing, other, coarser categories, like parts of speech, or types of syntactic dependencies, behave more predictably and homogeneously. Our results highlight the necessity of accounting for inter-individual variance in native speakers where L1 is used as a target ideal for L2. They also raise theoretical questions concerning a) explanations for the divergence between phenomena, b) the role of frequency distributions of morphosyntactic phenomena in usage-based linguistic frameworks, and c) the notion of the individual adult native speaker as a general representative of the target language in language acquisition studies or language in general.
  • Offrede, Tom; Fuchs, Susanne; Mooshammer, Christine  (2021) Multi‐speaker experimental designs: Methodological considerations In:  Language and Linguistics Compass [DOI] [ViVo]
  • 2020

  • Lüdeling, Anke; Alexiadou, Artemis; Adli, Aria; Donhauser, Karin; Dreyer, Malte; Egg, Markus; Feulner, Anna Helene; Gagarina, Natalia; Hock, Wolfgang; Jannedy, Stefanie; Kammerzell, Frank; Knoeferle, Pia; Krause, Thomas; Krifka, Manfred; Kutscher, Silvia; Lütke, Beate; McFadden, Thomas; Meyer, Roland; Mooshammer, Christine; Müller, Stefan; Maquate, Katja; Norde, Muriel; Sauerland, Uli; Szucsich, Luka; Verhoeven, Elisabeth; Waltereit, Richard; Wolfsgruber, Anne; Zeige, Lars Erik  (2020) Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of Situational-Functional Variation In:  REALIS: Register Aspects of Language in Situation [DOI] [ViVo]
    The Collaborative Research Center 1412 “Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of Situational-Functional Variation” (CRC 1412) investigates the role of register in language, focusing in particular on what constitutes a language user’s register knowledge and which situational-functional factors determine a user’s choices. The following paper is an extract from the frame text of the proposal for the CRC 1412, which was submitted to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in 2019, followed by a successful onsite evaluation that took place in 2019. The CRC 1412 then started its work on January 1, 2020. The theoretical part of the frame text gives an extensive overview of the theoretical and empirical perspectives on register knowledge from the viewpoint of 2019. Due to the high collaborative effort of all PIs involved, the frame text is unique in its scope on register research, encompassing register-relevant aspects from variationist approaches, psycholinguistics, grammatical theory, acquisition theory, historical linguistics, phonology, phonetics, typology, corpus linguistics, and computational linguistics, as well as qualitative and quantitative modeling. Although our positions and hypotheses since its submission have developed further, the frame text is still a vital resource as a compilation of state-of-the-art register research and a documentation of the start of the CRC 1412. The theoretical part without administrative components therefore presents an ideal starter publication to kick off the CRC’s publication series REALIS. For an overview of the projects and more information on the CRC, see https://sfb1412.hu-berlin.de/.
  • Presentations


  • 2023

  • Lüdeling, Anke  (2023) Registers and Individual Differences in Heritage Data In:   Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas (WILA 14), Flensburg [ViVo]
  • Xia, Qiang  (2023) Qiang Xia – Turn-taking in face-to-face and Zoom conversations. In:  Kolloquium SFB1412 (2023) [ViVo]
  • Xia, Qiang  (2023) Temporal aspects of turn-taking in zoom conversations In:  International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS). Prague Congress Center [ViVo]
  • Xia, Qiang  (2023) How does turn-taking behavior affect conversational interactivity? In:  Language in Social Interaction—International Workshop. Bergische Universität Wuppertal [ViVo]
  • 2022

  • Lüdeling, Anke  (2022) Zum Umgang mit Variation in der Lernersprachenanalyse. Perspektiven aus und für DaF/DaZ In:  LCR2022 6th Learner Corpus Research Conference, Padua, September [ViVo]
  • Lüdeling, Anke  (2022) Variability in Grammatical Categories and Structures: The Case of Word Formation, Ghent, Belgium In:  Grammar and Corpora (GaC) [ViVo]
  • 2021

  • Lüdeling, Anke; Lukassek, Julia  (2021) Zum Erwerb von Registerwissen bei Lerner:innen des Deutschen als Fremdsprache. Registerstudien in Lernerkorpora In:  Colloquium Uni Gießen [ViVo]
  • Lüdeling, Anke; Lukassek, Julia  (2021) Registerwissen und morphologische Struktur. Eine Studie zu komplexen Wörtern bei Lerner:innen des Deutschen als Fremdsprache und Muttersprachler:innen In:  SPIGL [ViVo]



Featured Master's Theses


  • Terada, Megumi Realisation of inflectional endings in spontaneous speech in L2 German: Corpus study in conversational settings (Masterarbeit, Februar 2023)


  • Xia, Qiang Temporal aspects of turn-taking in video-based and co-present dialogues: A corpus-based study of German (Masterarbeit, November 2023)