Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Torben Juel Jensen

Torben Juel Jensen

Associate Professor, Head of Study Board

Fields of interest

Sociolinguistics, functional/cognitive grammar, corpus linguistics, language variation and change


Danish morphology, syntax and text linguistics

Language variation and change

Primary fields of research

Danish grammar, variation and change in 20th century Danish

Current research

My current research is part of the LANCHART Centre's project on variation and change in 20th century Danish - aiming at formulating and testing a model of language change. My part of the project concerns Danish grammar, and at present this includes studies of developments in the use of personal pronouns, participles and word order in dependent clauses in spoken Danish during the last four decades. The focus in these studies is diffusion of linguistic innovations in space and time,
intra-individual variation (in lifespan perspective as well within an
individual conversation), and the interplay between social/interactional and functional/semantic factors in explaining linguistic variation and change.

I also participate in the project Creativity and Dynamics in the Processes of Language Conventionalization. The aim of this project is to demonstrate the mechanisms behind language creativity and diversity and to develop theory and methods to investigate how language conventions are created, sustained and changed through concrete communication processes.


At the Faculty of Humanities my research is used as an example of the impact the humanities researchers have on society.
Read the case: Spoken language is a dynamic entity.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Word order variation and foregrounding of complement clauses: Exploring the meaning of sentence adverbials as signals of word order

    Christensen, T. K. & Jensen, T. J. 2015 Language variation - European Perspectives: Selected papers from the Seventh International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 7), Trondheim, June 2013. Thorgersen, E., Hårstad, S., Mæhlum, B. & Røyneland, U. (eds.). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, Vol. V, p. 69–86 18 p. (Studies in Language Variation).

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewArticle in proceedings

  2. Published

    Grammatik og sprogbrugsanalyse: Tilfældet refleksivt anvendte pronominer

    Jensen, T. J. 2013 Betydning & forståelse: Festskrift til Hanne Ruus. Duncker, D., Hansen, A. M. & Skovgaard-Petersen, K. (eds.). København: Selskab for Nordisk Filologi, p. 209-223 15 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

  3. Published
  4. Published

    Diffusion of Language Change: Accommodation to a Moving Target

    Maegaard, M., Jensen, T. J., Kristiansen, T. & Jørgensen, J. N. 2013 In : Journal of Sociolinguistics. 17, 1, p. 3-36 34 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  5. Published

    Past participles in Jutland Danish: A real time study of regionalization and standardization

    Jensen, T. J. & Maegaard, M. 2012 In : Nordic Journal of Linguistics. 35, 2, p. 169-195

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  6. Published

    From community to conversation - and back: Exploring the interpersonal potentials of two generic pronouns in Danish

    Fosgerau, C. F., Jensen, T. J. & Nielsen, S. B. 2009 In : Acta Linguistica Hafniensia. 41, p. 116-142 28 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  7. Published

    Generic variation?: Developments in use of generic pronouns in late 20th century spoken Danish

    Jensen, T. J. 2009 In : Acta Linguistica Hafniensia. 41, p. 83-115 23 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  8. Published

    Refleksivt anvendte pronominer i moderne dansk

    Jensen, T. J. 2009 In : Ny forskning i grammatik. 16, p. 131-151 21 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  9. Published

    Non-realitetsmarkører i dansk talesprog: - hvis man kunne sige det på den måde

    Jensen, T. J. 2009 In : Studier i nordisk. p. 75-101 27 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  10. Published

    Betingelse, generalisering og realitet: Hvis-konstruktioner i dansk talesprog

    Jensen, T. J. 2008 København: C. A. Reitzel. 280 p. (Traveaux du Cercle Linguistique de Copenhague; No. 33).

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook

  11. Published

Selected activities

  1. Speaker:

    New Ways of Analyzing Variation

    25 Oct 2015
  2. Speaker:

    SLE 2014

    11 Sep 2014
  3. Speaker:

    Methods in Dialectology XV

    12 Aug 2014
  4. Speaker:

    New Ways of Analyzing Variation

    25 Oct 2014
  5. Editor:

    NyS : Nydanske sprogstudier

    1 Jun 2005
  6. Member:

    group leader, Copenhagen

    1 Jan 2010 - 31 Dec 2012
  7. Speaker:

    Sociolinguistics Symposium

    23 Aug 2012
  8. Speaker:

    N'CLAV Grand Meeting

    15 Aug 2012

ID: 8315