The task of the Leibniz Centre for General Linguistics (ZAS) is the study of human linguistic ability in general and its expression in individual languages. The goal is to better understand this central human ability and its biological, cognitive, and social factors, thereby laying foundations for our understanding of the basic structures, acquisition, and processing of language and its disorders, as well as for language technology applications. The concentration of active research in many linguistic sub-disciplines in a single institution is unique in Germany and enables a lively exchange of current research results and methods.
The ZAS has its origins in the Zentralinstitut für Sprachwissenschaft (ZISW) at the Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR. In 1996, the association "Geisteswissenschaftlichen Zentren Berlin e.V." was founded, which unites under its sponsorship two other humanities institutes that emerged from the Academy. In 2017, the ZAS was accepted into the Leibniz Association. More about the history of the institute can be found on the History page.
About 60 researchers work at ZAS. The research infrastructure include four laboratories and a well equipped scientific library, which can also be used by external researchers from the Berlin area.
We publish press releases at irregular intervals to draw attention to important new research results, major project grants or events. If you are a journalist, sign up for our press distribution list, all others interested in news from the ZAS can subscribe to our ZAS News list.
An overview of the Institute's annual reports can be found on the ZAS Annual reports page.