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The University of Fribourg is represented in the CLARIN-CH Consortium by Prof. Anita Thomas, from the Department of Multilingualism and Foreign Languages Education.

The community from the University of Fribourg provides CLARIN-CH language resources and expertise in language sciences, and it is actively involved in research projects involving language resources.

Language resources

1.The Swiss learner corpus SWIKO is a multilingual learner corpus describing learner language according to principles of corpus-linguistics. The corpus is an umbrella project developed during the 2016–2019 research period and being further developed in the 2021–2024 period. It incorporates data from other projects at the Research Centre on Multilingualism. During the first research period (2016–2019), a database consisting of task-based oral and written student texts was compiled. The texts were produced by lower-secondary students in the foreign languages German, French and English. In parallel, the same oral and written tasks were used to compile productions by their peers speaking German and French as the language of schooling. At the end of 2020, the corpus encompassed 1,803 written and 410 oral original texts. SWIKO enables searches and analyses of learners’ vocabulary and grammar competence, also when contrastive questions are asked, e.g. writing vs. speaking in a foreign language, foreign languages in comparison, foreign language vs. language of schooling. SWIKO can currently be accessed via a request to the Institute of Multilingualism.

2. The Corpora of DaF- and FLE learners is an inventory of existing corpora containing productions of learners of German and French as a foreign language; a further objective is defining gaps and needs in this area. To access, contact Prof. Anita Thomas.

Faculties and Departments involved in CLARIN-CH

Faculty of Humanities

1. Department of Multilingualism and Foreign Languages Education

Areas of expertise:

  • Cognitive linguistics
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Folk linguistics
  • Input and interaction
  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Multilingualism and norms
  • Multilingualism and intercomprehension, receptive skills, cross-linguistic influence
  • Multilingualism and migration
  • Psycholinguistics, cognitive processes, priming
  • Second language acquisition (L2 - SLA) and second language development
  • Teaching and learning French as a Foreign/Second Language
  • Teaching interaction
  • Variationist linguistics

2. French Department

Areas of expertise:

  • Acquisition of prosody in L2
  • Effect of nicotine withdrawal on speech
  • Derivational morphology
  • Hypothetical constructions
  • Inferential processes
  • Language variation
  • Lexical semantics
  • Lexical segmentation and foreign accent
  • Perception and production of temporal variables
  • Prosody and regional variation (in French and Spanish)
  • Relationship between syntax and pragmatics (macro-syntax)
  • Speech technology and computational linguistics
  • Spoken French
  • Syntax
  • Syntactic dependencies

3. German Department

Areas of expertise:

  • Argumentation
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Language acquisition
  • Language variation
  • Lexicography
  • Medical Humanities
  • Phraseology
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Text linguistics

4. English Department

Areas of expertise:

  • Argumentation
  • Argumentation theory
  • (Cognitive) pragmatics
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Connectives
  • Discourse analysis
  • Experimental Pragmatics
  • Fallacies
  • Linguistics
  • Straw Man

Current research projects

1. The project Swiss learner corpus SWIKO (professors Thomas Studer and Anita Thomas from the Institute of Multilingualism and Foreign Languages Education) develops a multilingual learner corpus describing learner language according to principles of corpus-linguistics. The SWIKO corpus is an umbrella project developed during the 2016–2019 research period and being further developed in the 2021–2024 period. In the current research period (2021–2024), SWIKO is being further developed in the scope of two projects: “Weiterentwicklung und Anwendungen (WETLAND)” (Further development and applications) and “Digitalisation et développement de la compétence d'interaction orale (DiCoi)” (Digitisation and development of oral competence).

2. The project Assessing profession-related language skills of language teachers (Center for Teachers’ Language Competences: PHSG, SUPSI, HEP VD, UNIL in cooperation with PH FHNW, PH Luzern and PH St Gallen) aims to assess profession-related language skills of language teachers of French, English and Italian as a foreign language in primary and secondary schools. The main starting points for the project are the “Profession-specific language proficiency profiles” ( as well as an inventory of the requirements and assessment practices at universities of teacher education regarding profession-specific language skills.

3. The project Comprehension and interaction in French as a foreign language (professor Anita Thomas from the Institute of Multilingualism and Foreign Languages Education) studies the ‟comprehension‟ aspect of oral interaction competence. More specifically, this involves studying the linguistic and cultural characteristics of comprehension in oral interactions as well as testing teaching sequences that target comprehension in oral interactions for an audience of advanced learners of French as a foreign language.

4. The project Grammatical Encyclopedia of French (EGF) (professor Gilles Corminboeuf from the French Department) is a European project that aims at gathering, in electronic format, the heritage of grammatical research in French linguistics, in the form of syntheses published in free access, easily consultable and regularly updated.

5. The project QuaTexD: Qualität von Deutschschweizer Lernertexten is an SNSF-funded project (professor Regula Schmidlin from the German Department), which investigates the quality and evaluation of texts written by Swiss-German students at upper secondary level. The texts of Swiss students are compared with texts of students at Bachelor level as well as with texts of students from other regions of the German-speaking area. Other extra-linguistic factors will also be taken into account in the analysis of the texts. A student text corpus with 600 texts from school classes at grammar schools (or cantonal schools) as well as technical and vocational secondary schools will be created. The comparison corpus consists of 600 texts of students in bachelor studies at universities and universities of applied sciences. The texts are collected by means of a discussion task that was used for an already existing text corpus of upper secondary school students from Austria, Germany and South Tyrol. The texts of Swiss-German students can thus for the first time be directly compared with the texts of students from other German-speaking regions and, across educational levels, with the texts of students. The project will run for four years from February 2023 to January 2027.

6. The project AMoRe - An Argumentative Model of Rephrase is an SNSF-funded project (Dr. Steve Oswald from the English Department), which aims to understand the multidimensional dynamics of rephrase as an argumentative device meant to influence an audience and to fulfil a variety of communicative tasks. This research goal is driven by the overarching question: How do speakers do things with rephrases?, or more specifically: How do speakers argue with rephrases? It addresses this problem by uncovering and exploring the dynamic patterns of rephrase on three dimensions associated with three disciplines: contemporary philosophy of argumentation, pragmatics and rhetorics.

7. The project IMAFUN - Implicit Meaning in Argumentation: Functions, Uses, Norms is an SNSF-funded project (Dr. Steve Oswald from the English Department), which seeks to (i) map types and functions of implicit meaning in argumentative discourse, and (ii) characterise types of rhetorical effects from a pragmatic vantage point. Through experimental designs, the project will furthermore investigate (iii) how different types of implicit meaning are conducive to different types of rhetorical effects and (iv) provide insights on how implicit meaning – and its problematic uses – can affect norms of public argument.

resources/unifr.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/23 18:01 by Cristina Grisot

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