• Dr Jannis Androutsopoulos (University of Hannover, Germany)

Jannis Androutsopoulos studied Germanic Linguistics and Translation Studies at the Universities of Athens (1985-1990) and Heidelberg (1991-1996), and obtained in 1997 a PhD in Germanic Linguistics and Translation Studies from the University of Heidelberg. After post-doctoral research funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG) from 1998-2000, and a research associate position at the Institute for the German Language in Mannheim from 2000-2003, he moved in early 2003 to his current post as Assistant Professor (Juniorprofessor) for mediated communication at the University of Hannover.

His research interests include media discourse, multilingualism in the media,
sociolinguistic aspects of computer-mediated communication, the sociolinguistics of
orthography, and language use in popular culture, especially film and music. He has
published extensively in these areas, in German, English, and Greek, including
publications in venues such as Journal of Sociolinguistics, Zeitschrift für
Germanistische Linguistik, and the HSK Series Handbook on Sociolinguistics. Jannis Androutsopoulos is currently particularly interested in processes of linguistic diversity in relationship to ethnicity, migration, and globalization, in both traditional mass
media and computer-mediated discourse. His recent publications include an edited
theme issue of Journal of Sociolinguistics on the sociolinguistics of
computer-mediated communication (110/4, September 2006), and a theme issue of
Germanistische Linguistik on recent advances in linguistic Internet research
(186-187, November 2006).

Ad Backus got his Ph.D from Tilburg University in 1996, on a thesis about Turkish-Dutch codeswitching. Tilburg is also where he is currently employed as an Assistant Professor, conducting research on contact-induced language change. The empirical basis of his work remains Turkish as spoken in Holland. Most analyses are done within a cognitive-linguistic theoretical framework. Within the Babylon research group, he is one of the most linguistically oriented researchers; the team as a whole focuses mostly on identity issues, policy aspects and the societal impact of multilingualism.

Jan Blommaert is a Professor and Chair of Languages in Education at the Institute of Education at the University of London. His disciplinary backgrounds are at ease in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, discourse analysis, with a predilection for ethnographic approaches to all of these. He has a background in African Studies, majoring in history, and historical issues in social theory have always been a focus of attention to him. A lot of his current work focuses on language in globalization, and more specifically the way globalization has an impact on (a) language hierarchies as well as on (b) patterns of distribution of crucial linguistic resources such as ‘standard ‘varieties and literacy, and (c) the way all of this creates new forms of difference-as-inequality, for instance when people, language forms or texts start ‘moving’ across the globe. 


He has devoted quite a bit of work on grassroots literacy in Africa as a relatively autonomous economy of literacy and he explores the relationship between language and space in an attempt to refine theoretical models of interaction, semiotics and meaning. He devotes also a lot of time on research in domains and sites where macro-level processes can be observed microscopically: ethnographic sites of encounters between people bearing the marks of very different positions in the world. Sites of work include asylum applications in Belgium, Dutch immersion classes for immigrants in Belgium and English classes in townships in South Africa. Apart from these active interests, he is interested in general issues of literacy, language standardization and policy, standard-vernacular dynamics, code-switching and other forms of ‘impurities’ in language, popular culture and the way it permeates the sociolinguistic and cultural landscape. Jan Blommaert has published widely both nationally and internationally.


List of the selected publications 


Martin Ehala is a Professor of General and Applied Linguistics at the Tallinn University. His main research interests are language contact, language maintenance and contact induced changes. He has published mainly on topics related to the development of the Estonian language.

Martin's research interests lie in the area of contact linguistics and more precisely in language maintenance studies. He is interested in general processes how linguistic identity is formed, how it changes and possibly gets lost in the course of time. In studying language attitudes of Estonian youth he has become to believe that language maintenance depends to a large extent on the subjective perceptions of the well-being of one’s ingroup. Following this insight he has been trying to elaborate a specific model of ethnolinguistic vitality that would outline the main factors that influence language users either to keep their identity or to seek for a new one.

Right now Martin is testing his theoretical model on a small minority group called võrokesed in Estonian. The empirical results of this study are keeping he busy in further elaborating the model both theoretically as well as methodologically.


Leena Huss works as a Research Director of the Center for Multiethnic Research at Uppsala University. She has worked before as a docent, associate professor and research fellow in the field of minority language research and Finno-Ugric languages. Her special field interests are: multilingualism, bilingual education, language maintenance and shift, linguistic revitalization, language planning and language policies, language contact and linguistic diversity.

She has worked in various research projects as a participant, expert member, evaluator and project manager. Among them are ENSAMBLE – Whole-School Language Profiles and Policies (2004-2007) and Nordic-Baltic-Russian network of Finnic regional and minority languages (2002-2007) -projects. She has published widely both nationally and internationally. 

List of the selected publications

Helen Kelly-Holmes is a research scholar in the Department of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick, Ireland, where she teaches on the MA in English Language Teaching and the MA in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies. She is also course director for the BA in New Media and English. Her main research interests concern economic aspects of multilingualism and she is particularly interested in: the interrelationship between new media (particularly commercially-driven new media), globalization and multilingualism; minority languages (primarily Irish) and commercialism; and the representation of and attitudes to minority langauges (primarily Irish) in the media.

Elizabeth Lanza  is a Professor of Linguistics at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. Her present research interests include bilingualism and multilingualism, with perspectives from sociolinguistics and discourse/conversation analysis, including identity in bilingual language socialization and language ideology. She is currently part of a collaborative research project on multilingual education and language diversity in Ethiopia, along with the Dept. of Linguistics, Addis Ababa University, funded by the Norwegian Council for Higher Education’s Programme for Development Research and Education (NUFU) (2002 – 2006). She is also part of another research team that has applied for funding for a project on language, culture and identity in migrant narratives.

Arja Piirainen-Marsh is a Professor of English in the Department of Languages. Her research has focused on language use and interaction in settings involving participants from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Her current interests include code-switching in multimodal environments and the relationship between linguistic choices, structures of interaction and other semiotic resources in social activity. 

Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Emerita, is a guest researcher at Department of Languages and Culture, University of Roskilde, Denmark and a "docent”  (visiting professor) at Åbo Akademi University (Dept. of Education), Vasa, Finland.  She is bilingual from birth in Finnish and Swedish. Her main research interests are: linguistic human rights, bilingualism and multilingual education,  linguistic imperialism and subtractive spread of English, support for endangered languages, the relationship between linguistic (and cultural) diversity and biodiversity (also in practice, on an ecological smallholding, with her husband Robert Phillipson).


She is recipient of the 2003 Linguapax award and the 2003 Carl Axel Gottlund award and has published around 50 authored or edited books/monographs; close to 400 book chapters and scientific articles, in (at least) 30 languages.  For CV and full list of publications, see  Email: skutnabbkangas(at)

List of the selected publications


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