Research topic: Minority languages
Four of the languages spoken in Norway as considered to constitute national minority languages: Kven, Romany, Norwegian Traveller and Sami.
Sami is also an official language alongside Norwegian. Other more recently arrived minorities speak approximately a further 200 languages. We also consider sign language to constitute a minority language.
Current themes for research into minority languages are multilingualism, the situation of minority languages, the use of minority languages and the extent to which they are being kept alive. A good example is our research into Kven. Closely related to modern Finnish, this is one of Norway's oldest minority languages.
Another research theme is the Norwegian language in a contrastive perspective, i.e., how features of Norwegian grammar contrast with the grammar of several minority language.
The knowledge that results from this research is of direct use to teachers of Norwegian as a second language and to teachers who are teaching pupils from linguistic minorities in their mother tongues.
The right of pupils to be taught in their mother tongues and the practical arrangements in schools for doing so are key policy issues in relation to minority languages.