Danish and German as European neighbor languages 100 years after 'Genforeningen'

In 2020 Denmark and Germany will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the current Danish-German political border, which appeared on the European map as a result of a referendum held within the border region. This event is known as “Genforeningen” (“the reunification”) in Danish historiography. Other European regions, such as for instance Alsace and South Tyrol, were also affected by a shift of political borders in the aftermath of World War I. These borders have in common that they divided multilingual territories which are characterized by long-lasting language and dialect contact.

With our preseminar we wish to shed light on the effects of these borders on the language varieties used within these border zones around 100 years after their appearance, both in a structural and a sociolinguistic perspective. We aim to improve our understanding of possible common and unique features in different border zones.


  • Rahel Beyer (Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, French-German)
  • Silvia Dal Negro (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italian-German)
  • Elin Fredsted (University of Flensburg, Danish-German)
  • Anna Marbjerg (University of Copenhagen, Danish-German)


Research forum “Norm, Variation, Language Change” at the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies:

  • Anita Berit Hansen (lecturer in French)
  • Erling Strudsholm (lecturer in Italian)
  • Kim Ebensgaard Jensen (lecturer in English)
  • Lars Behnke (research assistant in German, contact person)


10:00  Welcome with coffee & tea

10:30  The language situation in the German-Danish border region today
           Elin Fredsted (Flensburg)

11:15  Study of covert language attitudes in the Danish minority in Germany
           Anna Marbjerg (Copenhagen)

12:00 – 13:00  Lunch break at the campus main canteen, building 23

13:00  Dialect or Language? German, French or Franconian? Reflections on the
            Status of the Varieties of East Lorraine (France)
           Rahel Beyer (Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim)

13:45  South Tyrol between de jure and de facto bilingualism
           Silvia Dal Negro (Bolzano/Bozen)

14:30 – 15:00  Conclusion with coffee & tea

Further information

The event is open to everyone, but registration is required. Please register with Erling Strudsholm.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.