A brand new language has been quickly spreading, as noticed by linguist Nicholas Grenoble. The inflow of English has been noticeable, with latest immigrants and short-term employees primarily utilizing the language. Moreover, younger individuals are studying English by way of numerous mediums resembling films, video video games, social media, and YouTube. Grenoble’s analysis goals to grasp the dynamics of this example each linguistically and sociolinguistically. Particularly, he desires to know who speaks which language, when, and with whom. He’s additionally focused on how Greenlanders are studying English and the way it impacts their data and use of their mom tongue, Kalaallisut.
To assemble data and reply these questions, Grenoble and challenge postdoc Jessica Kantarovich performed observations in Nuuk, Greenland. One specific space of curiosity for them was the studies of Kalaallisut getting shorter. Kalaallisut is a polysynthetic language, the place suffixes tackle the function of phrases in languages like English. Grenoble supplies an instance, explaining that the phrase “qujanaq” means “thanks.” By including the suffix “-rsuaq,” that means “large,” the phrase turns into “qujanarsuaq,” which interprets to “large thanks” or “thanks very a lot.” The researchers performed interviews in Kalaallisut to find out if and the way phrases had been getting shorter. Additionally they studied the on a regular basis use of the language.
Of their analysis, Grenoble and Kantarovich additionally have interaction in participant-observation work. They spend time in public locations, resembling shops and eating places, to look at the language utilization. They take note of who’s utilizing which language in informal and transient interactions. One specific focus for the students is the idea of shifting audio system, which refers to younger folks of their homeland who cease studying their dad and mom’ minority language and shift to the bulk language. This phenomenon is of nice curiosity to Grenoble and his workforce.