James Puchowski

Project Title: Language leagues, platforms and societies: a descriptive analysis of contemporary language activism in modern Catalonia, Norway and Scotland

Following previous observational and ethnographic research on the Norwegian Nynorsk language activists, describing the activities, goals and operations of Norsk Målungdom (the Norwegian Language Youth), this doctoral project studies similar organisations in a western European context by an examining and analysing of language activism not only in Norway, but also Catalonia and Scotland. Nynorsk, as a classic case study in language policy and planning, continues to fight for its ground in Norwegian society. Catalan remains (despite current initiatives for independence in Catalonia) the most widely spoken standard European language without the full institutional backing of an EU member state. Finally, the position of non-standardised Scots in civil society and its role as a recognised language (and a potential official language of an independent Scotland) is a growing and understudied topic that continues to gather interest outside and inside of academic circles and popular conversation as well as media discourse. The research integrates social theory and critical approaches into linguistic research interested in all strata of linguistic behaviour and management, working in an interdisciplinary area of linguistics that integrates sociopolitical/popular discourse about language with ethnographic fieldwork and societal treatment studies.

Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship

Field: Linguistics

University: University of Edinburgh

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