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Principal investigator: Simon Devylder

Project title: MAPS – A Multifactorial Analysis of Possessive Structures: Mapping the Interaction of Language, Culture, and Cognition

Summary of the project:

Cognitive Linguistics views language as embedded in its cognitive, social, and multimodal dimensions. We propose a novel methodology of linguistic analysis that integrates these interacting dimensions and provide new data on severely under-described languages (North Sámi and Paamese) that are both essential to move beyond the gridlock of polemics in ongoing scientific debates. The MAPS project will not only extend the current knowledge on the interaction of language, culture, and cognition but will also address the urgent issues of preserving the linguistic and cultural heritage of indigenous communities. We precisely measure the impact of three societal factors (assimilation policies, gender, and contact pressure) on language, culture, and cognition within two indigenous linguistic groups: the North Sámi people of Norway, and the Paamese people of Vanuatu. The project will determine whether the three societal factors affect patterns of linguistic change and impact the way of thinking of the two indigenous communities to the extent of potentially redefining their social structure. MAPS embodies the EU’s commitment and values in improving the intercultural integration of both ‘old’ European indigenous minority communities and ‘new’ linguistic group minorities by putting the spotlight on the key role of language policy making and its socio-cognitive-linguistic effects.

Project team:

Project duration: 2020 – 2022


MAPS is funded by the European Union, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (grant number 845163).

Key publications: forthcoming

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