Martha Sif Karrebæk

Martha Sif Karrebæk


Current research

In 2021 I received seed money to initiate a project which takes a cross-disciplinary but sociolinguistically anchored perspective on international doctors and nurses in Danish health care. I have worked with this area since - now in collaboration with a PhD student Solvej Helleshøj Sørensen. 

2019-2023 I ran a project on interpreting in the public sector, financed by the Danish Independent Research Council, with my colleagues Marta Kirilova and Paulina Bala. 

Another large project which I led was on mother tongue education, also financed by the Danish Independent Research Council. We looked at what really transpired in the classrooms, and we investigated what mother tongue education meant to the participants. 

I also continue to work with food (and language), in particular Bornholmian and Danish food, and the linguistic aspects of the invention of food culture, food practices and food understandings in commercial settings. 

Primary fields of research

I look at language, linguistic diversity and social meaning primarily from a linguistic ethnographic perspective. 

The areas I have published on include:

  • Language, play and language acquisition (Danish as a second language) in kindergarten (Karrebæk 2011a, b)
  • Popular culture in school (Madsen & Karrebæk 2015; Karrebæk 2013; Karrebæk & Madsen 2015)
  • Mother tongue education (Karrebæk & Ghandchi 2015, 2017a; Karrebæk & Nergiz 2019) 
  • Language socialization (Karrebæk 2011, 2013, 2019)
  • (In)Security and securitization (Karrebæk and Ghandchi 2017; Karrebæk & Charalambous 2018)
  • Food & language (Karrebæk 2012, 2013a, b, 2014, 2019; Karrebæk & Maegaard 2017; Maegaard & Karrebæk forthc.)
  • Language norms and polycentricity (Karrebæk 2013, 2016; Karrebæk et al, 2016)
  • Languaging (Jørgensen, Karrebæk, Madsen & Møller 2011; Karrebæk 2016)
  • Language and authenticity (Karrebæk & Maegaard 2017, Maegaard & Karrebæk forthc.; Karrebæk, Stæhr, Varis 2015)
  • Transscription as practice (Karrebæk 2012)
  • Linguistic ethnography (Karrebæk 2013; Madsen & Karrebæk 2015, Karrebæk & Madsen 2015; Arnaut, Karrebæk, Spotti 2016; Karrebæk & Charalambous 2017)


linguistic ethnography / anthropology, language usage, discourse analysis, language ideology, language and diversity, multilingualism, linguistic socialisation, language and play, food and language, mother tongue education, interpreting, languaging, language and schools, urbanity, standardization, linguistic norms, children and language, language acquisition, authenticity, (in)security

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Interpreting as creating a potential for understanding: Insights from a Danish courtroom.

    Karrebæk, Martha Sif & Sørensen, Solvej Helleshøj, 2021, In: International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law. 28, 1, p. 59-97

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    Pigs and pork in Denmark: Meaning change, ideology and traditional foods

    Karrebæk, Martha Sif, 2021, In: Signs and Society. 9, 1, p. 1-35

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    ”Hvad betyder wallah?”: Sociolingvistisk forandring, sprog-i-brug og arabisk i dansk

    Karrebæk, Martha Sif, 2020, In: NyS. 58, p. 113-142

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    "What's in your lunch-box today?": Health, ethnicity and respectability in the primary classroom.

    Karrebæk, Martha Sif, Jun 2012, In: Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. 22, 1, p. 1-22

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    At blive et børnehavebarn: En minoritetsdrengs sprog, interaktion og deltagelse i børnefællesskabet

    Karrebæk, Martha Sif, Sep 2011, København: Det Humanistiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet. 345 p. (Københavnerstudier i Tosprogethed, Vol. 62).

    Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

  6. Published

    ‘Don't speak like that to her!’: Linguistic minority children's socialization into an ideology of monolingualism

    Karrebæk, Martha Sif, 2013, In: Journal of Sociolinguistics. 17, 3, p. 355-375 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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