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Slavisches Seminar

Cristiana Lucchetti

Cristiana Lucchetti, Dr.

  • PostDoc Sprachwissenschaft
  • PostDoc project: Language Practices of the post-Yugoslav diaspora in Switzerland
044 634 54 38
PLG C 205

I am a linguist with expertise in sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics and the sociology of language. I completed my PhD in Slavic Philology at LMU Munich.

With my research, I take on a society-oriented, interdisciplinary perspective on Slavic and other languages.

The question at the center of my research is: what does language – e.g. language behavior, language contact, language policy, language ideology – tell us about society – in terms of the societal organization of human knowledge, power and resources? To tackle this far-reaching question, I employ a variety of methods, including quantitative sociological surveys, corpus analysis, ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews.

Up to the conclusion of my PhD, I have been working on sociolinguistic questions regarding Russian, Hebrew, Tatar, German and Ukrainian, amongst others.

PostDoc project

The main research project I am currently working on is titled Language prestige in Switzerland. A case study on the Swiss post-Yugoslav diaspora.

This project focuses on the language practices of second generation heritage speakers of BCMS (Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian) and (mainly Kosovo) Albanian in Switzerland.

Migration from the Balkan peninsula, especially from the successor states of Yugoslavia, has been having a high relevance in Swiss society. However, the research landscape on these issues is comparatively scant. This is especially the case in linguistics, where a comprehensive project focusing on the post-Yugoslav diaspora is still missing. With this project, I intend to contribute my share to filling this research void. Next to an added value for the scientific community, this project aims to sensitize Swiss society for the questions of perceived relevance of speakers of BCMS and Albanian, who are often pigeonholed with the label "Jugo" regardless of their origin, not to mention self-perception.

In part of Swiss society, the label "Jugo" is also applied to the community’s language practices. Linguists have described and analyzed some of the characteristics of "Jugodeutsch", an ethnolectal variety of Swiss German. However, it remains unclear whether this variety is actually spoken by immigrants from former Yugoslavia and characterized by code-mixing between Swiss German and BCMS and Albanian or whether it is spoken by much broader speaker categories, thus leading to question the validity of this term.

Some of the central questions of this project are:

  • Which languages does the daily use repertoire of second generation post-Yugoslav immigrants to Switzerland include and which are their respective usage contexts?
  • Which function and degree of prestige do the speakers attribute to which language? What are the underlying language ideologies?
  • Which contact phenomena are present between which languages?
  • Can Jugodeutsch be described as an ethnolectal variety spoken by heritage speakers of BCMS and Albanian?
  • Are erosion processes to be noticed?
  • Do the speakers implement any measures for language maintenance?
  • Which sociological information on the post-Yugoslav diaspora in Switzerland do all of the above yield?

Next to this project, I am working on a case study based on fieldwork I carried out in Serbia in July 2023. This project focuses on the expression of national ideologies through language in public spaces in the city of Novi Sad. Its title is Urban linguistic landscape as ideological battlefield: the case of Novi Sad, Serbia and is based on my fieldwork study carried out in Serbia in July 2023.

A further project which I am developing focuses on language awareness amongst female multilingual speakers of Yiddish in Switzerland.

You can stay up-to-date on my research activities here or by checking my personal website.

Research interests

  • Language attitudes and ideologies
  • Language policy, especially in authoritarian societies
  • Language in space, ecolinguistics
  • Migration
  • Language and gender
  • Social identity construction
  • Mixed-method qualitative social research

Academic CV

Since 3/2023: Research Assistantship, Slavic Department University of Zurich

5/2023: PhD thesis defense

1/2023: Submission of PhD thesis Language Attitudes and Social Identity. A Study on Russian-Speaking Immigrant Communities in Israel and Germany

6-7/2022 Study trip to Kyrgyzstan, organized and financed by Hanns Seidel Foundation

9-12/2021 Visiting research stay at UC Berkeley, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues

10/2019-2/2020 Research exchange, Tel Aviv University

4/2019-5/2023 PhD in LMU Munich’s Graduate School Language and Literature – Class of Language. PhD scholarship provided by Hanns Seidel Foundation, Germany

12/2018 – 3/2019 Fieldwork in Germany

11/2018 Pilot study and fieldwork in Israel

9/2017 MA thesis fieldwork in Tatarstan

10/2016-9/2018 MA “Cultural and Cognitive Linguistics”, LMU Munich

2-6/2016 Overseas scholarship exchange at Moscow State University, Historical Faculty and Philological Faculty

9/2014-2/2015 Erasmus scholarship exchange at LMU Munich, Institute for German as a Foreign Language

9/2013-10/2016 BA “European Languages and Cultures”, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia


  • Lucchetti, Cristiana. (in preparation) Migration from (former) Yugoslavia to Switzerland and Germany. Historical overview and perspectives for research. To be submitted to: Südost-Forschungen 83, De Gruyter

  • Holzer, Johanna and Cristiana Lucchetti. (in preparation) An Entrenchment and Conventionalization approach to language mixing.

  • Tikhonov, Aleksej, Cristiana Lucchetti and Jelica Popović (eds.) (in preparation) Rap und die slawischen Sprachen. Bielefeld: Transcript

  • Tikhonov, Aleksej, Jelica Popović and Cristiana Lucchetti. (in preparation) BKMS-deutsche Mehrsprachigkeit und die Aushandlung hybrider Identitäten in den Texten von Rappern in Deutschland und der Schweiz. Erscheint in: Tikhonov, Aleksej, Cristiana Lucchetti and Jelica Popović (Hrsg.) Rap und die slawischen Sprachen. Bielefeld: Transcript

  • Lucchetti, Cristiana. (submitted) Rezension von Siebenhütter, Stefanie. 2022. Mehrsprachigkeit und Identität. Zur Identitätskonstruktion mehrsprachiger Minderheiten am Beispiel der Kui in Nordostthailand. Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovač. Zeitschrift für angewandte Linguistik, De Gruyter

  • Lucchetti, Cristiana. 2023. Language Attitudes and Social Identity. A Study on Russian-Speaking Immigrant Communities in Israel and Germany. Dissertation, University of Munich.
  • Lucchetti, Cristiana. (accepted) Language attitudes and the construction of group identity amongst post-Soviet immigrants in Israel and Germany. A comparative analysis. In: Migration and everyday life of (post-)Soviet diaspora nationalities in Journal for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe. Oldenbourg: De Gruyter
  • Lucchetti, Cristiana. 2021. Integration, self-perception and identity construction amongst young adults from the former Soviet Union in Germany. A qualitative case study. In: European Graduate Fellows Conference Journal, August 2021, pp. 96 – 99. New Haven: European Studies Council at the Whitney & Betty MacMillan Center for International & Area Studies at Yale University.
  • Lucchetti, Cristiana. 2021. Obscene language and the renegotiation of gender roles in post-Soviet contexts. Pragmatics and Cognition, Volume 28, Issue 1, Dec 2021, p. 57 – 86. John Benjamins Publishing.
  • Lucchetti, Cristiana. 2021. Book review of Postsowjetische Migration in Deutschland by Jannis Panagiotidis, 2021. In: May-June issue of Politische Studien. Magazin für Politik und Gesellschaft. Munich: Hanns Seidel Foundation Press.
  • Lucchetti, Cristiana. 2021. Book review of Der verspielte Frieden in Bosnien. Europas Versagen auf dem Balkan by Christian Schwarz-Schilling, 2021. In: September-October issue of Politische Studien. Magazin für Politik und Gesellschaft. Munich: Hanns Seidel Foundation Press.