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Language and Place. November 2016

Dear friends - advisory board, colleagues, and partners,

We hope that this newsletter with the latest LaPUR updates finds you well. 

Best regards,

The LaPUR-team

Barbara Johnstone is visiting LaPUR

I am delighted to be visiting the University of Copenhagen, and the LAPUR project, for three months this autumn. My job here is to consult with faculty, post-docs, and students on projects and publications. I am also part of a bi-weekly study group in which we’re reading and discussing challenging articles relevant to language and place, and I attend bi-weekly progress reports from members of the LAPUR group. In early November, I’ll be presenting a Master Class on language and place, together with Astrid Ravn Skovse. My own work for the time I’m here is a paper on “The Sociolinguistic City,” which I presented at a conference in Berlin earlier this month, and revisions of the chapter on language and media for the third edition of my discourse analysis textbook. I’m finding Copenhagen a very comfortable place to live. My dog, who is with me here, is enjoying walks around our center-city neighborhood, and I’m enjoying the city’s many museums and parks. 


Masterclass on Language and Place

Last week, the 3rd and the 4th of November, LaPUR hosted a masterclass on Language and Place with 10 PhD students coming from different parts of Europe to benefit from Barbara Johnstone’s and the other participants’ comments and recommendations regarding their research. Each participant presented a paper, followed by ample time for discussion. The focus of the masterclass was on the linguistic aspects of place and place-making, and on the importance of place to human beings. Through presentations and discussions, participants investigated both the processes through which people discursively construct places, and the ways in which places affect speakers and languages in everyday practices.


Language and Place Study Group

The group is discussing Massey's "Power geometry and a progressive sense of place". From left: Line, Tore, Henrik, Barbara, Ida, Jann, Janus, Pia, Anne, and Kristine

During Barbara’s stay we meet every second Tuesday to discuss a text relating to the topic of language and place. The study group is open to everybody with an interest in the topic, and so far 15 people are taking part in the meetings. We have been reading texts by Michael Silverstein, Doreen Massey, and Michel de Certeau, and we plan to continue with authors like Lefevre and Castells. It’s wonderful to have Barbara with us and force ourselves to spend time on reading and discussing the most interesting and important topic in the world – language and place ;-).


Status regarding coding of Vollsmose data

We are in the midst of the process of coding the interviews from Vollsmose quantitatively (focusing on four variables) and qualitatively. This process is both interesting and demanding, and we meet up regularly for data sessions to ensure as much inter-coder reliability as possible. We are so lucky as to have our intern, Line Sletten, and our student helper, Marianne Haugaard, assist us in the time-consuming coding process.


Presentation of Line Sletten

This semester we have an intern on the LaPUR-project. Line is about to write her Master in French and she has previously worked as a student assistant at the project. She is helping analyzing our data such as coding the interviews from Vollsmose and working with the place attachment index. After the internship, Line will write her thesis about palatalization and voiceless /r/ in Vollsmose and in a Parisian suburb as a sociolinguistic marker of place.

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Sendt d. 11 November 2016