Learning to live with “Languages”

Janus Spindler Møller 1
  • 1 University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Janus Spindler Møller
  • Corresponding author
  • Email
  • Further information
  • 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.
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar


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.

  • Agha, Asif. 2007. Language and social relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Blommaert, Jan & Ben Rampton. 2011. Language and superdiversity. Diversities 13(2). 1–20.

  • García, Ofelia & Li Wei. 2014. Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Goffman, Erving. 1974. Frame analysis: An essay on the organisation of experience. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

  • Gumperz, John Joseph. 1982. Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Heller, Monica. 2007. Bilingualism as ideology and practice. In Monica Heller (ed.), Bilingualism: a social approach, 1–22. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Hymes, Dell. 1972. On communicative competence. In J.B. Pride & Janet Holmes (eds.), Sociolinguistics. Selected readings, 269–293. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

  • Jaspers, Jürgen & Michael Meeuwis. 2013. Away with linguists!: Normativity, inequality and metascientific reflexivity in sociolinguistic fieldwork. Multilingua 32(6). 725–749.

  • Jørgensen, Jens Normann. 1998. Children’s acquisition of code-switching for power wielding. In Peter Auer (ed.), Code-switching in conversation, 237–261. London: Routledge.

  • Jørgensen, Jens Normann. 2010. Languaging. Nine years of poly-lingual development of young Turkish-Danish grade school students, vol. I–II. Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen

  • Jørgensen, Jens Normann, Martha Sif Karrebæk, Lian Malai Madsen & Janus Spindler Møller. 2011. Polylanguaging in superdiversity. Diversities 13(2). 23–38.

  • Jørgensen, Jens Normann & Janus Spindler Møller. 2014. Polylingualism and languaging. In Constant Leung & Brian Street (eds.), The Routledge companion to English studies, 67–83. London: Routledge.

  • Madsen, Lian Malai, Martha Sif Karrebæk & Janus Spindler Møller. 2016. Everyday languaging: Collaborative research on the language of children and youth. Berlin-New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

  • Maegaard, Marie. 1998. Sprogvalget i gruppesamtaler. In Møller, Janus, Pia Quist, Anne Holmen & J. N. Jørgensen (eds.), Tosproget udvikling. København: Danmarks Lærerhøjskole.

  • Makoni, Sinfree & Alastair Pennycook. 2007. Disinventing and reconstituting languages. In Sinfree Makoni & Alastair Pennycook (eds.), Disinventing and reconstituting languages, 1–41. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

  • Møller, Janus Spindler, Jens Normann Jørgensen & Anne Holmen. 2014. Polylingual development among Turkish speakers in a Danish primary school – a critical view on the 4th grade slump. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 17(1). 32–54.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • 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.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • 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.

  • Ng, Sik Hung & James J. Bradac. 1993. Power in language: Verbal communication and social influence. London: Sage.

  • Otsuji, Emi & Alastair Pennycook. 2014. Unremarkable hybridities and metrolingual practices. In Rani Rubdy & Lubna Alsagoff (eds.), The global-local interface and hybridity: Exploring language and identity, 83–99. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

  • Pennycook, Alastair & Emi Otsuji. 2015. Metrolingualism: Language in the city. London: Routledge.

  • Rampton, Ben. 2006. Language in late modernity: Interaction in an urban school. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.

Log in with your institution

Journal + Issues