About us

The CSLS focuses on academic research into the relation between, and interaction of, language and society. In doing so it subscribes to the idea that language is fait social: Language is acquired and constructed by people in interaction with others, in the same way that society is not predefined but created by the interactions between individuals and groups. This constructionist view of language has a long tradition, a tradition that one cannot mention without referencing names such as Ferdinand de Saussure. However, the constructionist view is also reflected in contemporary approaches e.g. construction grammar. The CSLS and the sociolinguistics study program that we offer, however, does not revolve around language as a system, but around its application and effects.

The following topics are the focus of the programs:

  • Sociolinguistic variation: characteristics, functions and status of varieties
  • Language, discourse and interaction as a factor in the construction of identities and cultures
  • Development and application of linguistic competences in both monolingual and multilingual contexts
  • Language as a cohesive factor in societies and nations
  • Language planning and language policy
  • Language norms and evaluation
  • Language and social inequality
  • Language contact and language change
  • Language and gender
  • Past and present languages in Europe
  • Sociolinguistic methods
  • Sociolinguistics in the media
  • Psycholinguistic aspects of variation
  • Historical pragmatics