Minority languages in multilingual Switzerland, languages in contact, diachronic and synchronic description of Rhaeto-romance

This research group, led by Prof. Matthias Grünert, explores the following issues :

  • Individual, social and institutional multilingualism in the Canton of Grison with a specific focus on the position of Rhaeto-romance and Italian as minority languages
  • Rhaeto-romance and Italian as languages of instruction in the Canton of Grison (language acquisition, language policy and institutional issues)
  • Rhaeto-romance in new media
  • Language contact between German and Rhaeto-romance as well as Italian and Rhaeto-romance
  • A structural description of the diachronic and synchronic aspects of Rhaeto-romance
  • Corpus-based documentation of Rhaeto-romance

In collaboration with the Institute of Multilingualism in Fribourg and the University of Teacher Education in Chur, the research group is engaged in various sociolinguistic projects as well as language acquisition projects within the Canton of Grison, with a particular focus on the two autochtonous minority languages: Rhaeto-romance and Italian. Furthermore, research is being conducted on synchronic and diachronic descriptions, especially as pertains to language contact with the two neighboring languages. New media constitutes a relevant field in order to examine the influence of German. The influence of Italian, which has nearly vanished in recent times, is examined through historical studies. A final point of interest lies in the corpus-based analysis of (morpho)-syntactic structures and their transformation over time.


  • Cooperation

    Prof. Rico Cathomas (PH Graubünden)
    Dr. Cordula Seger (Institut für Kulturforschung Graubünden ikg, Chur)
    Dr. Claudia Cathomas (Institut für Kulturforschung Graubünden ikg, Chur)
    Prof. Rico Valär (Universität Zürich)
    Prof. Sabine Stoll (Universität Zürich)
    Prof. Michele Loporcaro (Universität Zürich)
    Prof. Stephan Schmid (Universität Zürich)
    Prof. Jürgen Rolshoven (Universität zu Köln)
    Dr. Florentin Lutz (Bern)