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Posted on Sep 27, 2014

AABS Emerging Scholar Explores Linguistic Landscape


In his project “Multilingualism and the internationalisation of higher education in the Baltic states: A linguistic landscape approach,” Josep Soler-Carbonell focuses his analysis on languages displayed in universities’ public space, i.e. their linguistic landscape. In the context of the internationalization of higher education, the growing presence of English in higher education has become a widespread phenomenon and concern, especially in Europe. As a result of students’ and staff’s mobility, universities have adapted to this new era by offering a growing number of courses and degree programs (particularly at the masters and doctoral levels) partially or entirely in English. Soler-Carbonell explains,

I aim at offering a picture of the kinds of multilingual scenarios that we can detect in the linguistic landscape of universities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The data gathered in the frame of this project will provide both a quantitative and qualitative examination of (1) the languages displayed in the linguistic landscape of the three universities selected for this study and their relative weight; and (2) the characteristics of bilingual and multilingual signs in these settings.  The AABS Emerging Scholar Grant has been instrumental in providing the funding to cover the trips to Tartu, Riga and Vilnius and the expenses of buying the necessary equipment to gather and analyse the data.

J-Soler-webJosep Soler-Carbonell is a lecturer at the Centre for Academic English (Department of English) of Stockholm University, and a research fellow at the Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics of the University of Tartu. His main research interests lie in the fields of sociolinguistics, language policy and language planning, language ideologies and linguistic ethnography. In his dissertation (University of Barcelona, 2010), he compared the Estonian and the Catalan sociolinguistic contexts from the perspective of speakers’ language ideologies.