Research projects at the Center for Iberoamerica address the factors and dynamics that determine the linguistic, cultural, and social plurality of Iberoamerica. The projects of the research area Languages in Contact, developed in conjunction with various national and international partners, study linguistic and cultural contact phenomena as well as different discourse traditions of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. Related research is undertaken by a work group at the Centro de Estudos Galegos that focuses on pragmatic and sociolinguistic aspects of Galician; one of these topics for example is contact between Galician and Spanish in doctor-patient interaction.
The complex interdependencies between languages and social phenomena are the focus of the research area Society and Languages. The projects of the work group Spanish language and social spaces investigate the Spanish-speaking communities in Europe and Germany from an interdisciplinary perspective. The project “Mapping the Spanish Language” analyzes the demolinguistic factors that explain the dynamics of social spaces of Spanish as a migration language, a heritage language, and a foreign language. The project “Varia-Idade in Rio de Janeiro – Communication and Generation” analyzes communicative behaviour and diatopic variation in the speech of elderly people along with the discourse these people have in relation to their perception of the changes taking place in the urban life of Rio de Janeiro.
Projects in the research area Language and Cognition focus mainly on the discourse structures of Romance languages, both in isolation and in comparison with contact languages such as English or German. The research here deals with the cognitive factors that guide linguistic processing and the acquisition of language. The project “Discourse particles and cognition” studies the functions of discourse particles in relation to the information structure of discourse from a contrastive point of view and at the interface of a variety of disciplines and linguistic approaches like text linguistics and pragmatics, psycholinguistics, cognitive linguistics, and applied mathematics and neurosciences. In the projects E-LENGUA and XCELING, new language teaching and learning methods are developed fostering individual and societal multilinguism and intercultural awareness as well as unrestricted access to language learning. The methods developed are based on results from research on language acquisition and foreign language teaching.
The research area of Literary Worlds studies the inter-American interconnections of modern literature studies in Latin America and the related knowledge-circulation networks in the “New World”. The aims of the projects within this area are the reconstruction of the processes and conditions of (non)reception and the identification of corresponding inter-American patterns. The research encompasses the study of thinking related to the concept of ingenium, picaresque literature and the “letras coloniales” of the Baroque literature in Spain and its colonies. This area is especially concerned with the reflection on methodology and theory of the relations between different administrative entities, historiography, and literature in the Spanish colonies, and with the analysis of colonial texts themselves.