Project Kobalt-DaF

A scientific network for corpus-based analysis of texts written by learners of German as a foreign language


September 2011 - December 2014
Heike Zinsmeister
Short description

A scientific network for corpus-based analysis of texts written by learners of German as a foreign language.

Project homepage (in German):

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Long description

The network Kobalt-DaF is a scientific network that brings together linguists who analyse second language learning and text production of second language learners of German. Our members are experts in the fields of German as a foreign language or in corpus linguistics. They contribute to the network with there expertise in the creation and use of annotated corpora, quantitative analysis, language acquisition, and didactics of German as a foreign language.

The core of the network collaboration is the Kobalt Corpus, which consists of argumentative essays of Belarus, Chinese, and Swedish learners of German and a control set of German native speakers. The members of the network analyse different phenomena in the corpus in a way that their analyses will be combined and statistically evaluated to identify correlations and transfer effects due to their first languages. The results will be published in a common publication.

The network finances meetings of its members on a regular basis. Visit the project homepage for more details and news.

Indiviual research areas of the network are:

  • Complexity: Detmar Meurers (Tübingen)
  • Discourse structure: Dirk Skiba (Jena)
  • Vorfeld / Information structure: Christina Rosén (Växjö /Sweden)
  • Connectors: Eva Breindl (Erlangen), Maik Walter (Berlin)
  • Article selection: Heike Zinsmeister (Stuttgart)
  • Pronouns: Margit Breckle (Vasa / Finland)
  • Passive: Sigrid Dentler (Gothenburg / Sweden)
  • Modal particles: Hagen Hirschmann (Berlin)
  • Word order in the middle field: Anke Lüdeling (Berlin), Marc Reznicek (Bochum and Berlin)
  • Verb distribution: Ute Bohnacker (Uppsala / Sweden)
  • Quantitative analyses: Julia Ricart Brede (Heidelberg and Flensburg)

The Kobalt corpus is available online via the ANNIS search tool:

(Select the subcorpora: kobaltL1v1.2 and kobaltL2v1.2)



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