12 December 2019: Stefan Rabanus (Verona), “Possessive constructions in Cimbrian: contact-induced or autonomous morphosyntactic change?”


Cimbrian is a German-derived minority language in the Veneto area (northeast of Italy). Cimbrian is an, at least, endangered language, some of its varieties seem to be are already extinct. In any case, its speakers are always multilingual, and in the speaker’s repertoires Cimbrian is under the strong pressure from the dominant Italian varieties. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether and, if yes, to what extent this pressure triggers contact-induced language change in Cimbrian. For this purpose I will present a diachronic analysis of possessive-noun constructions such as ‘your garden’ and a representation of their morphosyntactic structure.



Stefan Rabanus is Professor of German Linguistics at the University of Verona and Director of the PhD programme in Foreign Literatures, Languages and Linguistics. He is specialized in the morphosyntax of German dialects and in language history, change and contact, especially in the German-Romance-Slavic contact area in the Alps. In this thematic area he recently (2018) edited a volume on theoretical and empirical views on contact-induced language change of German varieties in Italy.