Abstract ID: 329
Part of Session 169: Sociolinguistic perspectives on the internationalization of HE (Other abstracts in this session)
Authors: Hultgren, Anna Kristina
Submitted by: Hultgren, Anna Kristina (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
The rising demand of academics to publish internationally has raised considerably public and political concern in the Nordic countries (Kulturministeriet 2008, Statens Offentliga Utredningar 2002, Språkrådet 2005). One concern relates to the presumed failure of the national Nordic languages to develop adequate scientific terminology, particularly in the natural sciences where publication in English is particularly widespread. Little systematic knowledge exists about the empirical validity of such concerns. Using a novel, purpose-designed method, this paper empirically tests the validity of the purported (non-)existence of Nordic equivalents of English terms within cutting-edge research areas in physics, chemistry and computer science. It then relates the findings to recent constructionist approaches in sociolinguistics (Blommaert 2010, Pennycook 2010, Heller 2008). It concludes by proposing a unified theory of sociolinguistics and globalization which acknowledges both the empirical validity of constructionist approaches but also the pervasiveness of essentialist perceptions of ‘language’.