The research work from 2020 will be oriented towards specific research themes which will determine the work for at least four to six years in the medium term. In the ideal case, a research theme calls for the expertise of two or more research areas and thus strengthens cooperation across the research areas. Research topics are presented to the Scientific Advisory Board, evaluated by it and, if necessary, modified by ZAS staff.
For the period up to the end of 2023, the scientists at the ZAS are working on eight research topics, to which each of the four research areas contributes differently:
The research theme Meaning and Cognition explores the interface between cognition and linguistically encoded meaning.
The research theme Domains across Linguistic Modules investigates the role of structural, informational, or computational domains that play a central role in one or more linguistic subsystems.
The research theme Multimodality, Motion, Production and Perception involves the exploration of language use and its representations in human communication, which always draws on the perception of multiple modes.
The research theme Social Meaning deals with exploring the beliefs, stances and attitudes about language as they exist in the respective social worlds of speakers and hearers.
The research theme Language Documentation and Archiving deals with the state-of-the-art documentation of small languages and theory-driven, cross-linguistic research based on existing corpora.
The research theme Language Contact investigates contact phenomena on both an individual and a societal level.
The research theme Speech Acts and Perspective examines the role of speech acts in discourse, the social standards in use of speech acts, and the acquisition of the social rules for speech acts.
The research theme Speaker’s Choice and Language Use investigates which utterances speakers choose from a variety of possibilities and what consequences this has for listeners.