Linguistic and Communicative Superdiversity - a Challenge for Europe

European societies are increasingly becoming diverse with respect to human capital. A continuously wider range of linguistic and cultural resources are available to the populations. The processes of globalization have turned European societies into superdiverse communicative environments. These developments raise important questions about our understanding of language and communication, both at the individual and societal level. There is a challenge to Europe in getting a grip on what resources are available.

The project aims at increasing our understanding of the processes that lead to the acquirement of linguistic and communicative competences, including an understanding of polylanguaging, i.e. the practice of using features associated with "different languages" in a conversation or interaction, including interaction via new media.

The aim of the project is to prepare an articulated and thoroughly argued proposal for specific content of Horizon 2020 – The Framework Program for Research and Innovation aiming at language and communication in superdiverse societies. In pursuing this goal the intention is to build on an existing, well-functioning group of European scholars and create an extended network of scholars who study the same issues from different angles.

The scientific background of the proposed project involves scholars who are currently working with superdiversity in metropolitan areas in Europe, in Tilburg, Birmingham, London, Jyväskylä, Germany, and Copenhagen. The group has extended experience in working among young people, and in schools and other educational surroundings. The scholarly challenge in the proposed project is to develop an outline of the theoretical and practical problems of working with language and communication in the superdiverse late modern metropolis, and to conceptualize these problems in a theoretical framework that can form the basis of the formulation of a Horizon 2020 challenge.

The projektet is part of the Max Planck Sociolinguistic Diversity Working Group and the International Consortium on Language and Superdiversity (InCoLaS).

The project has received funding from the Danish Council for Strategic Research