Northern Multilingualism: Discourses, Practices and Experiences of Linguistic Diversity in North Calotte

Head of the project: Prof. Sari Pietikäinen, Department of Languages

Responsible researcher: Sirkka Laihiala-Kankainen, Senior researcher, Centre for Applied Language Studies (responsible for collecting and analyzing the data concerning Skolt and Kildin Sámi and Russia)

Duration: 2008–2011

Funding: Academy of Finland


The project examined multilingualism in the North Calotte. The area that surpasses the borders of four countries was studied as a contact zone where different cultures and languages meet, clash, and struggle with each other in various situations and operational environments. The project was linked with a previous study dealing with multilingualism, relationships between languages, and the tension between language and globalization. Research was carried out on the discourses, practices and experiences of linguistic diversity in eight locations in four countries. Data were analyzed using methods from discourse analysis, ethnography, and sociolinguistics with the goal of developing novel approaches to conceptualizing multilingualism.


Publications (involving the CALS)

Laihiala-Kankainen, S. & Potinkara, N. 2009. Kuolan saamelaiset Venäjän murroksessa. Idäntutkimus 2, 38-52.

Laihiala-Kankainen, S. & Pietikäinen, S. 2010. Contexts and consequences of language ideologies: the case of indigenous Sámi languages in Inari and Lovozero. In M. Lähteenmäki & M. Vanhala-Aniszewski (eds.) Language ideologies in transition. Multilingualism in Russia and Finland. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 57-78.

Pietikäinen, S., Huss, L. Laihiala-Kankainen, S., Aikio-Puoskari, U. & Lane, P. 2010. Regulating multilingualism in the Noth Calotte: the case of Kven, Meänkieli and Sámi languages. Acta Borealia 27 (1), 1-23.

Pietikäinen, S., Lane, P., Salo, H. & Laihiala-Kankainen, S. 2011. Frozen actions in Arctic linguistic landscape: a nexus analysis of language processes in visual space. International Journal of Multilingualism 8 (4), 277-298.

Photographic exhibitions

Potinkara, N. & Laihiala-Kankainen, S. (eds.) Northern festival in Lovozero. Inari Library 2008, Jyväskylä Town Library 2009.

Pietikäinen, S. & Laihiala-Kankainen, S. (eds.) Photographic exhibition of Sámi children. Lovozero Library 2010, Murmansk Regional Museum 2011.