Language ecology seminar on Thursday, December 10th at 16.00 in Jakobi 2-428

Kristiina Praakli (visiting lecturer, University of Helsinki; senior researcher in sociolinguistics, University of Tartu)

The presentation will discuss multilingualism, code-switching and language choices in the virtual networks of Estonians residing in Finland.

Language ecology seminar on Thursday, October 1st at 16.00 in Jakobi 2-428

Kuldar Taveter, Visiting Professor, Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics, University of Tartu, and Professor, Department of Informatics, Tallinn University of Technology:

Will Refugees Change Everything? – Introduction to Agent-Based Simulation and its Planned Use for Studying Changes in Sociolinguistic Environments


In my presentation, I will provide insight to agent-based simulation and describe how it can be used in social sciences and linguistics for studying the emergent phenomena caused by behaviours of individuals, such as language choices in different sociolinguistic environments. I will also introduce a methodology for developing agent-based simulations – agent-oriented modelling – and will outline what kind of input would be required from social scientists and linguists for developing agent-based simulations according to this methodology. Finally, we will discuss together how such input could be provided by linguists and social scientists, and what kind of additional information might be required for coming up with informative agent-based simulations in linguistics and social sciences. Last but not least, we will discuss if we could predict by agent-based simulation if and how refugees could change the sociolinguistic environment in Estonia.

The next language ecology seminar will be held on 4 December 2014 at 16:00 p.m., room Jakobi 2-427.

Herbert Rostand Ngouo (University of Dschang) will talk about "Modernity, Globalisation, Urbanisation and the Ethnolinguistic Vitality and Sustainability of Minority Ethnic Communities in Cameroon: The case of the Ngomba, Ngiemboon and Ngombale communities in Cameroon".


This presentation discusses the impact of globalization, urbanization and modernity on minority ethnic groups in Cameroon. It examines how ethnic identity, language use choice and language attitude of community members is affected by the above phenomena.

The language ecology seminar was held on 23 October 2014 at 16:15 pm, room Jakobi 2-106. The speaker is Magdalena Hromadová.


Magdalena Hromadová studied Comparative Literature and Teaching Czech as a Foreign Language at Charles University in Prague. She is currently a PhD student at the Czech Language Institute, Charles University, where she studies Foreign Language Teaching, with a particular focus on Czech, German and English. Her chief research interests are the use of literary texts in foreign language teaching and bilingualism in families.

Plurilingualism and intergenerational language transmission in the Czech Republic

GLOBLINMED is an international project funded by the Spanish government aimed at exploring intergenerational language transmission processes in contact situations. It focuses on medium-sized linguistic communities and uses semi-structured interviews with adult members of ethnolinguistically mixed families. The countries involved in the project are Spain (several regions), Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. This talk will briefly describe the relevant parameters of the last of these countries, the Czech Republic, which is the Central European partner of the project, including its land area, population and, in particular, its ethnolinguistic structure. The Czech GLOBLINMED research team is supported by the Internal Grant Agency of the Faculty of Arts and has five members. Its work focuses on families consisting of a Czech mother and a father from abroad with at least one child aged 5–15. The mothers in these families are asked about their family, language behaviour and language ideologies using two semi-structured interviews. Some examples of the data collected thus far will be given and analysed. These examples can provide a basis for group discussion. Specific attention will be paid to declared language behaviour and to the language ideologies formulated in the individual interview examples.

Language ecology seminar

Language ecology seminar is a monthly interdisciplinary foorum where the members of the team and invited speakers present new research results, theoretical papers and analyses in language ecology and adjacent fields. The seminar is lead by prof. Martin Ehala. It is open to everybody; and students can also participate as a part of their studies.

Recent seminars:

8. May 2014
"Language and higher education: the context of Estonia" - Are we ready to accept Englishization in certain fields; Internationalisation as an objective in and of itself; who leads or should lead this process; and other topics covered. Josep Soler-Carbonell, Univeristy of Tartu

13. February 2014
"Identity, language and conflict in Moldova" Anastasia Mitrofanova,
Head of the Chair of Political Sciences at the Russian Orthodox University, Director of the Centre for Ethnic and Religious Studies at the Russian Orthodox University and Professor at the Russian State University of the Humanities.

23. January 2014
"The EKKAM project - vision, goals and plan", Martin Ehala
"When language becomes a power: Russian-speaking teachers in bilingual general education system in Estonia." Tatjana Kiilo, Ministry of Education and Research

26. November 2013
"Making space for local and non-dominant languages? Linguistic landscapes and schools." Kara Brown, Columbia University, South-Carolina, USA

15. October 2013
"(Re-)Negotiating Multilingualism on the Periphery: which languages are valued and which are not in south-eastern Estonia", Kadri Koreinik, Võru Insitute.

25 April 2013
"The (unbalanced) interplay between English and Estonian among Ph.D. graduates in Estonia: an overview", Josep Soler-Carbonell, Tallinna Ülikool, Tartu University.

20. märts 2013
"Sociocultural context of Sub-Saharan Africa and the need for a specific methodology in Ethnolinguistic Vitality Assessment of Minority communities", Rostand Ngouo, Dschang University, Cameroon.

"Fieldwork design for ethnolinguistic vitality research in Mari El", Elena Vedernikova, Tartu University.