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Jaspers, Jürgen

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Jürgen Jaspers, born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1975. Ph.D. from the University of Antwerp. Assistant Professor of Dutch Linguistics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

Fellow (1 February 2014 – 30 April 2014)

BRUSSELING LANGUAGE, BUSTLING FRICTION. A SOCIOLINGUISTIC-ETHNOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF LINGUISTIC HYBRIDITY AND PURITY AT A BRUSSELS DUTCH-LANGUAGE SCHOOL

Research Question

How do teachers and pupils at a Brussels Dutch-language school reconcile prescriptions for linguistic purity with actual and acute linguistic hybridity, and how (much) do their reconciliatory practices interact with broader dynamics of social and linguistic change?

Project Description

Brussels may be relatively small in size, but it is greatly globalized and linguistically diverse. This diversity is difficult to square with the city’s monolingual schools. Especially Dutch-medium schools have attracted a considerable number of non-Dutch speaking pupils, in the wake of the growing economic importance of Dutch in Brussels. This gives rise to much concern: parents and politicians are afraid that Dutch is on the borderline, while teachers are frustrated that ever more pupils struggle with the instruction language. To estimate the immediate and long-term effects of the resulting friction between linguistic diversity and demands for purity, this project analyses linguistic practices and policies in one Brussels Dutch-medium school and asks how these processes interact with social and linguistic dynamics at a larger scale.

Selected Publications

1) Jaspers J. 2011. Strange bedfellows. Appropriations of a tainted urban dialect. Journal of Sociolinguistics 15:4, 493-524.

2) Jaspers J. 2011. Talking like a ‘zerolingual’. Ambiguous linguistic caricatures at an urban secondary school. Journal of Pragmatics 43:5, 1264-1278.

3) Jaspers J. & S. Van Hoof 2013. Hyperstandardisation in Flanders. Extreme enregisterment and its aftermath. Pragmatics 23:2, 331-359.

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