University of Oslo
She is a Professor of Multilingualism at the Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan (MultiLing), University of Oslo, Norway. Her research focuses on multilingualism, with a particular emphasis on language policy, language shift and language revitalisation of Indigenous and minoritised languages. She has served on the Norwegian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
From Silence to Silencing: Paradoxes of Language Revitalization
Historically, Norway implemented oppressive policies towards the Sámis, resulting language shift and devaluation of local culture. Today, new speakers of Sámi have a complex history of belonging, but also silence and shame, passed on by previous generations and now part of our historical bodies (Lane 2023; Scollon and Scollon 2004). Because of social control as to who may claim the role of an authentic speaker, emotional aspects of language learning are particularly salient in Indigenous contexts (King and Hermes 2014), and new speakers often silence themselves because of fear of speaking. I will explore on lived experiences of language reclamation, focusing on inherent tensions and emotions in revitalisation processes and look into how new speakers may attempt to resolve such tensions.