Learning to live with “Languages”

Janus Spindler Møller 1
  • 1 University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Janus Spindler Møller
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  • Janus Spindler Møller is associate professor at the Department of Nordic Research at the University of Copenhagen. He is part of the LANCHART center (Language Change in Real Time) where he specialized in longitudinal studies combining different types of sociolinguistic methods. Currently he is co-leading the project “Everyday Languaging” where a cohort of informants is followed throughout their ten year long school career. His main fields of interests are languaging, polylingualism, enregisterment, reflexivity, and language ideology. He has published in, e.g., International Journal of Multilingualism, Acta Linguistica, Linguistics and Education, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Discourse, Context & Media, Diversities, and Language in Society.
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Abstract

In this paper I describe how a group of speakers participating in a longitudinal study develop patterns of linguistic practices as well as norms for their use over time. The group at issue consists of speakers with a Turkish minority background living in Denmark. Data were collected from this group during their nine years of compulsory school and again in their mid-twenties. From a very early age this group of speakers acquires linguistic repertoires which involve features associated with several “languages”, of which the most influential are Turkish and Danish. I will show how they develop ways of employing large parts of those repertoires in their languaging practices and how at the same time they increasingly express an awareness of the fact that they are living in languagised world. I will do so by analysing instances where the participants explicitly refer to languages in peer group interactions, discuss observations concerning patterns of languaging in the same types of interactions, and consider the development of both phenomena.

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  • Møller, Janus. 2001. Identitet og kodevekslen hos unge tosprogede med dansk-tyrkisk baggrund. Copenhagen: Danmarks Pædagogiske Universitet.

  • Møller, Janus Spindler. 2008. Polylingual performance among Turkish-Danes in late-modern Copenhagen. International Journal of Multilingualism 5(3). 217–236.

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  • Møller, Janus Spindler. 2009. Poly-lingual interaction across childhood, youth and adulthood. Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen dissertation.

  • Møller, Janus Spindler. 2010. “Two frankfurters” and a “shawarma” for “Yoshimitsu” – Membership categories involved in interactional play in a dinner conversation in Copenhagen. In Jens Normann Jørgensen (ed.), Love ya hate ya. The sociolinguistic study of youth language and youth identities, 123–150. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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