Claudia Cathomas

Claudia Cathomas, Dr


Project: Code-mixing in Tuatschin

Tuatschin is a dialectal variety of Sursilvan, mostly spoken in the Val Tujetsch in the canton of Grisons. As the other Romansh dialect varieties, Tuatschin is strongly affected by an intensive and long-term language contact situation with both the Swiss German and Standard German. The German as well as the Sursilvan standard variety long ago became a stand part of the Tuatschin everyday language, whereat different language-mixing mechanisms seem to fulfil different socio- and psycholinguistic functions. This borrowing process provides a continuum of integrated, semi-integrated and spontaneous, not integrated switches into other languages.

In collaboration with the SNF project “The morphosyntax agreement of Tuatschin” and with further financial support from the Institut für Kulturforschung Graubünden (ikg), the aim of this project is to analyse and compare different forms and functions of code-mixing in a language acquisition corpus and in an adult corpus of Tuatschin. In order to do so, a key task in a first phase will be to find a statistical method to describe the speaker norm illustrating the possible degree of speaker-individual integration of different words in different contexts. As a result, the mixing patterns in different sociolinguistic and grammatical contexts can be found and compared, which provides new insights in Romansh language change.


March 2017 –

PostDoc researcher, URPP Language and Space, University of Zurich and Institut für Kulturforschung Graubünden (ikg) in collaboration with the SNSF project “The morphosyntax agreement of Tuatschin” (Prof. Dr. Sabine Stoll, Prof. Dr. Michele Loporcaro).


Internship at Schweizerisches Literaturarchiv, Berne


PhD student within the SNSF project "SMS communication in Switzerland: Facets of linguistic variation in a multilingual country“ (Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Stark)

Thesis: Von ‚I dont Know! zu „Kei problem chara!!’ – Eine korpuslinguistische Untersuchung zu rätoromanischen SMS unter besonderer Berücksichtigung verschiedener Formen und Funktionen von Code-Switching (Prof. Dr. Matthias Grünert, Prof. Dr. Bruno Moretti)


Studies in German Language and Literature, University of Berne and Romansh Language and Literature, University of Fribourg
Thesis: Pilotstudie zum zweisprachigen Wortschatz einer rätoromanischen Sprechergruppe im Bereich der Körperteilbenennung


Cathomas, Claudia (20016). Zensierte Sprache des Herzens. Der Bund (13-04-2017), Bündner Tagblatt (30-05-2017).

Cathomas, Claudia (2016). Salti, Sprünge e sigls da Lingua a Segl Maria. BABYLONIA. Zeitschrift für Sprachenunterricht und Sprachenlernen. 3 - 2016.

Cathomas, Claudia, Morel, Etienne, Ferretti, Nicola & Claudia Bucher (2015). Same same but different: Code-Switching in Schweizer SMS – ein Vergleich zwischen vier Sprachen. Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique, 63.

Cathomas, Claudia, Ferretti, Nicola & Anne-Danièle Gazin (2015). Alternance codique dans les SMS écrits en Suisse italophone et romanchophone. In: G. M. Schneider, M. C. Janner, & B. Élie (Eds.), Vox & Silentium. Études de linguistique et littérature romanes. Studi di linguistica e letteratura romanza. Estudios de lingüística y literatura románicas. Bern/Berlin/Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 147-163.