Higher sem. Biling. Lasse Vuorsola: Speak your own language. On tensions regarding Finnish in Sweden


Date: Tuesday 21 February 2023

Time: 15.00 – 16.30

Location: D 480

Higher seminar in Bilingualism. Lasse Vuorsola, Ph.D. at Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch and German.

In this talk, I discuss the results of my compilation dissertation in which I examine social tensions that relate to the Sweden Finnish minority and the Finnish language in Sweden. The dissertation is based on critical applied linguistics and I employ various related theoretical notions in the four included articles. For the overarching analysis, I use a conceptualization of language consisting of two levels, namely language as a noun and language as a verb. I examine these levels with the help of Bakhtin’s notions of centrifugal and centripetal forces (1981).

On the level of language as a noun, I analyse language policy formulations and implementation that relate the Sweden Finnish minority and Finnish spoken in Sweden (article 1), and language activism in the Swedish linguistic landscape (article 2). On the language as a verb level, I analyse interaction in a bilingual classroom (article 3), and how a spoken Finnish feature from Helsinki is spreading to Stockholm (article 4). With the notion of centripetal and centrifugal forces I discuss how the analysed phenomena in articles cause social tensions. Finally, I will also discuss possible avenues for future research based on the findings of my thesis.

Lasse Vuorsola

About the Higher seminar in Research on Bilingualism