Wednesday Seminar: Can the notion of indexicality illuminate the analysis of multilingual practices?

Kristin Vold Lexander, postdoctoral fellow at MultiLing, and Rafael Lomeu, doctoral fellow at MultiLing, invite everyone to a roundtable discussion regarding the use of the notion of indexicality in analysing multilingual practices.

Kristin Vold Lexander and Rafael Lomeu

Kristin Vold Lexander and Rafael Lomeu (Photo: Nadia Frantsen / UiO)

The lecture is free and open to all!


Indexicality, "the property of linguistic elements to index certain non-linguistic entities" (Lacoste et al. 2014), involves the creation of semiotic links between linguistic forms and social meanings (Ochs 1992). It is based on Peirce’s index, and was introduced and developed by Silverstein in a number of papers (1976, 2003, 2017 and others, see also Ochs 1992). From this concept, indexical order has been developed as an analytical tool to "relate the micro-social to the macro-social frames of analysis of any sociolinguistic phenomenon" (Silverstein 2003). Different orders are thus distinguished, specifying and limiting the social signification of particular linguistic means. The tool has been applied in works on for instance style (Eckert 2008, Bucholtz 2009) and enregisterment of dialect (Johnstone et al. 2006), to analyse how the social meaning of specific language practices change over time. The concept of orders of indexicality proposed by Blommaert (2007) regards the social stratification of language practices and has been used to analyse, for instance, linguistic landscape (Lanza and Woldemariam 2014). This Wednesday seminar will consist of an introduction to the notion of indexicality followed by a roundtable discussion of examples of data from our current research projects. The aim is to gain more insight on the one hand into the utility of the indexicality notion and on the other into the multilingual practices that we study.


Ekaterina Kuzmina
Published Apr. 11, 2018 5:44 PM - Last modified Dec. 16, 2020 5:53 PM