Minority Languages in the Border Region

In multilingual contexts around the globe, there is a tendency for minority language speakers to shift to the local majority languages. At the micro level, not growing up with their heritage language can have negative consequences for individuals’ psychological well-being, identity development, and family relationships. At the macro level, this kind of language shift can lead to the endangerment and even loss of minority languages. By ratifying the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Denmark and Germany committed to the protection and promotion of the languages spoken by the four national minorities in the Danish-German border region: German on the Danish side of the border as well as Danish, North Frisian, and Romani on the German side of the border. The research in the Minority Languages in the Border Region strand broadly focuses on issues relating to minority language use, transmission, maintenance, and revitalisation. For example:

  • How frequently do members of the different national minorities use their languages, in what contexts, and with whom?
  • To what extent do they transmit their languages to the next generation?
  • What circumstances favour minority language use and transmission – and what conditions preclude it?
  • Are there differences in the language use and transmission patterns of the various national minorities in the border region?

Based on the results from this research strand, actionable science communication regarding the protection and promotion of the minority languages in the border region will be provided for policy makers and language planners.


Ongoing Projects:

ECMI Founders