Research activities pursuing predominantly cross-departmental objectives are pooled together in the organisational unit Central Research, which is subject to the IDS’s director. In the Department of Grammar, the grammatical structures of the German language are identified and described, also including grammatical comparisons between German and other European languages. The Department of Lexical Studies deals with lexicological, lexicographical and corpus-based research: Specific lexical fields are studied, enabling a comprehensive documentation of the German vocabulary. The Department of Pragmatics researches language use and language variation and thus analyses the form and development of linguistic diversity. In particular, spoken language usage is considered. The Department of Digital Linguistics conducts linguistic research on text collections in the area Corpus Linguistics and deals with the development and configuration of research infrastructures.
Each department’s scientific research is supported by the Information Technology unit that provides and maintains the required hardware and software. Public Relations and Press, Publishing and Documentation constitute another unit. The institute’s library is the world’s largest reference library on German linguistics and general linguistics and holds numerous linguistic publications from the neighboring philologies, in addition.
Within the framework of its services, the IDS maintains the Archive for Spoken German (AGD), which is the largest collection of audio recordings of spoken German. Interested parties can order audio documents and transcripts. Furthermore, the IDS operates the world’s largest collection of electronic corpora of German texts from the present and recent past, the German Reference Corpus (DEREKO), which encompasses over 43 billion words.