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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 25, 2018

Who is the authority? The study of language registers and ideologies in two mother tongue classes in Copenhagen

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From the journal Multilingua


This article investigates encounters between the two overall language resources – standard vs. non-standard and regional varieties – in two linguistic minority communities in Denmark. Concentrating on Turkish and Farsi mother tongue classes, the study departs from two interviews with the parents of mother tongue students. Additional ethnographic evidence from the respective mother tongue classes show when and how the two overall varieties of the respective languages are reacted to and valorized among the study participants. Two main issues are explored in this context: first, language ideological paradigms of dominance – anonymity and authenticity – and, second, the extension and expansion of language users’ ideologies regarding registers of language. The article concludes that during the encounters and discussions concerning ideological views supporting either of the overall language resources, a form for authority exists and becomes oriented to in line with the history of language policy of the countries of origin.


I would like to express my gratitude to Vally Lytra, Lotte Thissen, Anne Holmen, Martha Sif Karrebæk, Cem Avus, and Hulya Baysal for all their valuable comments and discussions on earlier drafts of this paper. I would also like to thank the fieldworkers and participants involved in the SuperMOTE project at the University of Copenhagen.


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Published Online: 2018-01-25
Published in Print: 2018-10-25

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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