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Antje Menk


I was born in Germany in 1941 and grew up in Hamburg. After studying psychology, linguistics and oriental languages in Hamburg, Kiel and at UCLA and a thesis on Armenian minor clauses (strictly transformationalist) I became professor of linguistics at Bremen University in 1971.

My main task has been to train teachers for German as a foreign and second language but it is shifting now towards teaching German to native monolinguals and all kinds of immigrant multilinguals - usually in the same class.

I soon discovered that immigration led to a growing linguistic diversity in town, which opened up numerous linguistic questions about languages other than German and about problem areas beyond linguistics. Together with a midwife (Edith Reimers) and a Kurdish friend from Turkey I developed a Turkish course for midwives and doctors (Türkisch im Kreißsaal 1981) and worked on language questions in high school-mathematics and in the training of doctor's helpers. Together with some Kurdish and German teachers we made a primer for the Kurmanci language (Xwendin u nivisandin pir xwes e Bremen 1995)

Since 1990 I have done research on language policy, especially on the ideas of majority members about minority languages. (Equality of opportunity and assimilation Or: We German left-wing do gooders and minority language rights to appear in: Rights to language: Equity, Power and Education, Festschrift for Tove Skutnabb-Kangas July 2000)



  • Menk, Antje-Katrin., "Equality of Opportunity and Assimilation. Or: We German Left-wing Do-Gooders and Minority Language Rights," in Rights to Language: Equity Power, and Education, (ed) Robert Phillipson, Lawrence, Erlbaum Assocates, New Jersey, 2000., pp.122-126.
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