On some colonial power structures in the field of linguistics

A central discipline within linguistics is language description, which in many cases is carried out by white, Western researchers doing fieldwork on languages that are not spoken in the West. It is no secret that this tradition has its roots partly in European colonization and partly in Christian missionary work. …

Your brain can learn languages your whole life…

– but it cannot learn languages attending language classes once a week

Back when I was a cheeky 14-or-so-year-old, I taught my mom how to say this English sentence: I am an old and ugly witch! She didn’t have a higher education, but at the age of almost 50, when …

When language becomes violence

Can language cause harm? Can a speech act be an act of violence? These are important questions – especially in times when citing the right to freedom of expression is used as a way to legitimize hate speech. This is a tactic employed by people like the Danish right-wing politician …

Aphasia in West Greenlandic affects syntax but leaves morphology intact

Many linguists are interested in linguistic deficits (i.e. aphasia) that arise after brain injury. By investigating them, we can potentially infer something about how language is organised in people without brain damage – both which components comprise language and where the different components are located in the brain. We hope …

African languages in the 1700s Danish West Indies

Most of the Danish West Indian population during the colonial era did not come from Denmark, but had African roots. Even though the African languages only survived as traces in the creoles of the islands, we know that they were used (recessively) in the Virgin Islands for centuries. Danish slave …