The Multilingualism Laboratory
The northern provinces carry a long tradition of research into multilingualism and especially the province of Fryslân does so. These regions have been a multilingual area for centuries, in which closely related endogenous languages and language varieties co-exist with exogenous varieties like English and German. Since the 1960s many immigrant languages, mainly belonging to different language families, were added to this repertoire. The standardisation and official recognition of Frisian as a national language have resulted in a rather extensive infrastructure of linguistic research, for instance on the fields of education and language policy. Thus, Fryslân and the other northern provinces of the Netherlands offer an excellent natural setting for conducting ground-breaking multidisciplinary research on multilingualism.
We believe that a multidisciplinary approach is the only answer to the many questions multilingualism confronts us with. That is why our research groups are encouraged to closely collaborate and inspire each other, fueling innovative solutions, recommendations, and policy advice. By combining approaches from different backgrounds, (fundamental) research on multilingualism becomes truly innovative, able to combine societal needs with scientific questions.
The research on multilingualism is grouped around three areas, thereby innovatively combining cognitive, sociological and technological approaches to language in a natural setting:
Language, Culture and Society
Investigating the complex relationships of globalization, migration and expressions of linguistic and cultural identity in multilingual contexts to ensure an open, democratic and fair society.
Language, Cognition, and Variation
Investigation language processing in the individual’s mind in combination with language variation in a multilingual society, and its consequences for language change and language learning, with the intention to develop new techniques to facilitate language learning.
Language and Speech Technology
Developing language and speech technologies to support a diversity of natural, multilingual interactions between people and the devices that surround them. The aim is to be involved in R&D on projects relating to multilingual text analysis, multilingual language recognition/disambiguation, and more.
All the linguistic research carried out within the faculty is part of the Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) and The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG).