(Virtual) Wednesday Seminar: New Speakers in Norway: Zooming in and zooming out on the use of Russian

Olga Solovova (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, MultiLing) will discuss preliminary findings of her MSCA project "New Speakers in Northern Norway."

Picture of Dr. Olga Solovova.


New Speakers in Northern Norway: zooming in and out on the use of Russian

This seminar will outline some preliminary findings of the MSCA research project “New Speakers in Northern Norway” (2018-2020) that looked into the use of Russian language in the tripartite borderland between Norway, Finland and Russia. Departing from the concept of “new speakers” (Robert 2009; O’Rourke and Ramallo 2011), the presentation will address the extent to which the different categories of new speakers have become reflected in the research project data. Used “as a lens through which to look specifically at speakers themselves, their trajectories and experiences” (Pujolar and O’Rourke 2018:13), the concept helps focus on how the use of written and spoken Russian gets inscribed into the landscape, history, geopolitics and political economy of the multilingual region. Language choices and educational opportunities, identity challenges and imaginations for the future, shared in research participants’ diaries, portraits and interviews, are all shaped by the symbolic or geographical proximity of the border. As we zoom in and out of the borderland map, we may begin to grasp how community belonging and repertoires can be experienced in more ‘liquid’ ways, in a Baumanian sense.



O’Rourke, B. & Ramallo, F., 2011. ’The native-non-native dichotomy in minority language contexts: Comparisons between Irish and Galician. Language Problems and Language Planning., 35 (2), pp.139–159.

Pujolar, J. & O’Rourke, B., 2018. Position paper: The debates on "new speakers" and “non-native” speakers as symptoms of late modern anxieties over linguistic ownership.

Robert, E., 2009. Accommodating “new” speakers? An attitudinal investigation of L2 speakers of Welsh in south-east Wales. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2009 (195), pp.93–115.

Published Oct. 14, 2020 1:34 PM - Last modified Oct. 14, 2020 1:34 PM