Prof. Dr. Helmut Weiß


Melanie Hobich

Thomas Strobel

Scientific profile

The historical linguistics in Frankfurt deals with the history of the German language from the beginnings of written traditions until present times, i.e. the development of German in all its manifestations from Old High German (ca. 750-1050) to Middle High German (1050-1350) to Early New High German (1350-1650) to New High German (since 1650).

The core topic is the research and description of the principles and regularities of grammatical and structural language change, i.e. we are mainly interested in the changes in word forms (morphology) and changes in sentence structure (syntax) as well as the possible connections between them. But we also do research in more general questions such as the following: Why is there language change to begin with and how is it connected to other aspects (language acquisition, language use etc.)? This is a more theoretical issue which has the goal to explain language change and which is generally interesting for linguistic theory.

Another core topic of the historical linguistics in Frankfurt is the syntax of German dialects — a topic which is particularly interesting for language historians but also for general linguistics since most of the processes in language change happen in spoken language and it used to be the case that only dialects were spoken.


E-Mail: weiss AT

Office hours

During the semester: Wednesday, 1 – 2 pm

In the semester break, the office hours may vary.


Anke Stakemann


For information about our research topics click here.


News can be found here.