Research at LANCHART
The LANCHART Centre examines how and why the Danish language changes and focuses on the period since the 1970s. We offer anybody who is interested the chance to enhance their knowledge of the many and varied forms of Danish and how it has always been influenced by other languages. See below for details of the various areas in which we conduct research.
Our grammar research deals with variation and change in recent Danish grammar, both in Denmark and in Danish spoken outside the country (for more about the latter, see the project “Danish Voices in the Americas”). The studies focus on the temporal and geographical spread of linguistic changes, intra-individual variation (changes throughout the individual’s life and between different situations) and the interplay between social and functional/semantic factors as a background for linguistic variation and change. The theoretical framework underpinning the research combines Danish functional linguistics and variationist sociolinguistics.
We all have attitudes towards language, including to which regional variations (e.g. from West Jutland, Copenhagen or Bornholm) are appropriate in certain situations, how we perceive people who use different dialects, what is considered attractive or ugly language, or attitudes to individual features within the language (e.g. the pronunciation of / s / or the use of a certain word or specific grammatical form).
This research deals with variation and change in recent Danish pronunciation. The studies focus on the spread of linguistic changes over time and place, as well as intra-individual variation (changes throughout the individual’s life and between different situations). Another important area of study is the connection between pronunciation, attitudes to languages and norms.
LANCHART has documented a sharp decline in the use of dialects in Denmark. Our research focuses on current dialect features compared to past usage, as well as the regionalisation and standardisation of spoken language. We also examine mobility and place orientation in relation to language use, as well as the role of dialect in a globalised world. The use of dialect is becoming increasingly rare, rather than a part of everyday speech (this is explored in relation to, e.g., dialect in the context of the tourism industry).
New platforms are a potential source of language change and altered patterns of communication. This is particularly true of new digital media, especially social media. Our research focuses on the use of social media, including internally in families with teenagers, young people’s multimodal communication, the use of dialect features in specific digital contexts and, especially, the norms and expectations attached to online behaviour, on different platforms and in different groups.
This research area deals with how children and young people use language and reflect on their own and others’ usage. The data consists of ethnographic observations, media use, and recordings of conversations with and between children and young people, including recordings made by the participants themselves. We follow the participants in school, at home, in their after-school clubs, at work, in their spare time and on social media. The focus is on how language use and attitudes towards it reflect and influence how the participants perceive their surroundings. We ask what the participants mean when they differentiate between “school Danish” and “street lingo”, what linguistic features the participants use to signal friendships and closeness, and what prompts young people to describe some ways of speaking as “integrated Danish”.