The IDS Introduces Itself

The Leibniz Institute for the German Language (IDS) is the central scientific institution for the study and documentation of the contemporary usage and recent history of the German language. Together with more than 90 research and service institutions, it belongs to the Leibniz Association, one of the four major research organizations in Germany.

As a member of the Leibniz Association, the Institute is financed jointly by the Federal Government and the state of Baden-Württemberg. Various additional funding is provided by research-promotion organizations such as the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Community for the Promotion of Research) and the Volkswagen-Stiftung (Volkswagen Foundation). Support is also provided by the city of Mannheim and the Verein der Freunde des Instituts für Deutsche Sprache e.V. (Association of the Friends of the Institute for the German Language - registered association). At present, the IDS has 227 employees including 105 researchers.

With its lectures, conferences, and colloquia, the IDS is a meeting place and discussion forum for native and foreign Germanists and all others interested in language research.

For an overview of departments and main research areas see also: Flyer english (pdf).

The IDS does not offer German language courses! Information about German courses for foreigners is, however, available.

Entrance into the IDS

The Leibniz Institute for the German Language (IDS) was founded in Mannheim in 1964, and this is still its location. In the initial years, its main office was in the Friedrich-Karl-Straße.

In 1992, twenty-one researchers from the former Central Institute for Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR in East Berlin were successfully integrated into the research of the IDS. In the same year, the IDS was relocated to its new building in R5, 6-13.

The photograph shows a partial view of the entrance to the IDS (enlarge on click).

The history of the IDS building (pdf only in german).

Dictionary Research in the IDS

The dictionary "Der Teutschen Sprache Stammbaum und Fortwachs oder Teutscher Sprachschatz" from Kaspar von Stieler was published in Nuremberg in 1691. It is the oldest original publication in the IDS.

The IDS research system COSMAS facilitates current dictionary research. COSMAS (Corpus Search, Management and Analysis System) provides the text corpora of the IDS as the empirical basis for linguistic research and innovative methods for corpus development. It is integrated in a complex online system. With thousands of native and foreign users and the world-wide largest selection of German language text corpora of written language (more than 133 million book pages in 2019), COSMAS is one of the most important corpus reference systems available.

For information on additional research projects at the IDS, see our project site project site.