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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Linguistic Anthropology of Central Europe - ASEV00426
Title: Linguistic Anthropology of Central Europe
Guaranteed by: Department of Ethnology and Central European and Balkan Studies (21-UESEBS)
Faculty: Faculty of Arts
Actual: from 2023
Semester: winter
Points: 0
E-Credits: 5
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:2/0, Ex [HT]
Capacity: unlimited / unknown (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
Key competences:  
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: doc. PhDr. Jiří Nekvapil, CSc.
Marián Sloboda, Ph.D.
Mgr. Pavel Kubaník, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): Mgr. Pavel Kubaník, Ph.D.
doc. PhDr. Jiří Nekvapil, CSc.
Marián Sloboda, Ph.D.
Class: A - Mezioborová nabídka VP: Lingvistika
Exchange - 09.3 Linguistics
Exchange - 14.7 Anthropology
Incompatibility : ASEV00403
Is incompatible with: ASEV00403, ASEV00505, ASE500082
Last update: Marián Sloboda, Ph.D. (26.09.2018)
This course introduces students to major themes in linguistic anthropology, such as linguistic diversity, indexicality of language, language ideologies, language socialization, language(s) in late capitalism, and forms of communication in multilingual contexts. The selected themes are presented using data pertaining to various Central European phenomena: from socialization practices of Roma families to forms of communication in multinational companies operating in the region.
Course completion requirements
Last update: Marián Sloboda, Ph.D. (03.02.2017)

Minimum attendance: 70 percent (9 lessons).

Reading during the semester.

Last update: doc. PhDr. Jiří Nekvapil, CSc. (08.03.2022)

Basic readings in English and German*

*Recommendations on literature in other languages are available from the lecturers.


(i) General introduction

AHEARN, L. M. (2011). Living Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology. Wiley-Blackwell.

DURANTI, A. (1997). Linguistic Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

SALZMANN, Z., STANLAW, J., & ADACHI, N. (2015). Language, Culture, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology. (Sixth Edition.) Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 


(ii) Methodology

BLOMMAERT, J. & DONG J. (2009). Ethnographic Fieldwork: A Beginner's Guide. Buffalo: Multilingual Matters.

COPLAND, F., CREESE, A., ROCK, F., & SHAW, S. J. (2015). Linguistic Ethnography: Collecting, Analysing and Presenting Data. Los Angeles: SAGE.


(iii) Thematic literature

SAPIR, E. (1929). The status of linguistics as a science. Language 5, 207–214. (Reprinted in D. G. Mandelbaum (ed.) (1951), Selected Writings of Edward Sapir in Language, Culture and Personality. Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 160–166.)

- diversity

VERTOVEC, S. (2007). Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies 30 (6), 1024–1054.

SLOBODA, M. (2016). Transition to super-diversity in the Czech Republic: its emergence and resistance. In M. Sloboda, P. Laihonen & A. Zabrodskaja (eds), Sociolinguistic Transition in Former Eastern Bloc Countries: Two Decades after the Regime Change. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main, pp. 141–183.

- language ideologies

IRVINE, J. T. (2016). Language ideology. Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology. Available at: (A very useful overview with annotated references.)

KROSKRITY, P. V. (2016). Language ideologies and language attitudes. Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics. Available at: (A very useful overview with annotated references.)

GAL, S. (2002). A semiotics of the public/private distinction. differences 13 (1), 77–95. / GAL, S. (2005). Language ideologies compared: metaphors of public/private. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15(1), 23–37.

NEKVAPIL, J. & SHERMAN, T. (2013). Language ideologies and linguistic practices: The case of multinational companies in Central Europe. In E. Barát, P. Studer & J. Nekvapil (eds), Ideological Conceptualizations of Language: Discourses of Linguistic Diversity. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, pp. 85–117.

- multinational companies

NEKVAPIL, J. (1997). Die kommunikative Überwindung der tschechisch-deutschen ethnischen Polarisation: Deutsche, deutsche Kollegen, Expatriates und andere soziale Kategorien im Automobilwerk Škoda. In S. Höhne & M. Nekula (eds), Sprache, Wirtschaft, Kultur: Deutsche und Tschechen in Interaktion. München: Iudicum, 127–145.

NEKVAPIL, J. & SHERMAN, T. (2018). Managing superdiversity in multinational companies. In A. Creese & A. Blackledge (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity. An Interdisciplinary Perspective. London and New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 329–344.

- commodification of language

HELLER, M. (2010). The commodification of language. Annual Review of Anthropology 39, 101–114.

PAVLENKO, A. (2017). Russian-friendly: how Russian became a commodity in Europe and beyond. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (no. 4), in press.

- sociolinguistic scales

BLOMMAERT, J. (2007). Sociolinguistic scales. Intercultural Pragmatics 4 (1), 1–19.

CARR, E. S. & LEMPERT, M. (eds) (2016). Scale: Discourse and Dimensions of Social Life. Oakland, California: University of California Press. (Also available online at

- language socialization, maintenance and shift

KUBANÍK, P., SADÍLKOVÁ, H. & ČERVENKA, J. (2013). The competence in and the intergenerational transmission of Romani in the Czech Republic. In B. Schrammel-Leber & B. Tiefenbacher (eds.), Romani V: Papers from the Annual Meeting of the Gypsy Lore Society. Graz: Grazer Linguistische Monographien, pp. 61–80.

OCHS, E. & SCHIEFFELIN, B. B. (1984). Language acquisition and socialization: three developmental stories and their implications. In Schweder, R. A. & LeVine, R. A. (eds.), Culture Theory: Essays on Mind, Self, and Emotion. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 276–322.

- slang

DALZELL, T. (2014). Hip-hop slang. In J. Coleman (ed.), Global English Slang: Methodologies and Perspectives. Routledge, pp. 15–24.

KLIMEŠ, L. (1972). An attempt at a quantitative analysis of social dialects. Prague Studies in Mathematical Linguistics 4, 77–93.

PÍRKOVÁ-JAKOBSON, S. (1957). Prague and the Purple Sage. Harvard Slavic Studies III. 's-Gravenhage: Mouton, 247–287.


Other recommended works

HYMES, D. (ed.) (1964). Language in Culture and Society: A Reader in Linguistics and Anthropology. New York: Harper & Row.

HYMES, D. (1989). Foundations in Sociolinguistics: An Ethnographic Approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

NAKASSIS, C. V. (2016). Linguistic anthropology in 2015: not the study of language. American Anthropologist 118 (2), 330–345.

BARTMIŃSKI, J. (2009). Aspects of Cognitive Ethnolinguistics. Sheffield: Equinox.

OCHS, E. & SCHIEFFELIN, B. S. (eds.) (1986). Language Socialization Across Cultures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

LANGMAN, J. (2003). Growing a bányavirág (rock crystal) on barren soil: Forming a Hungarian identity in eastern Slovakia through joint (inter)action. In Bayley, R. & Schecter, S. R. (eds.), Language Socialization in Bilingual and Multilingual Societies. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, s. 182-199.

RÉGER, Z. & BERKY-GLEASON, J. (1991). Romāni child-directed speech and children's language among Gypsies in Hungary. Language in Society 20 (4), s. 601–617.

CARL, J. & STEVENSON, P. (eds.) (2009). Language, Discourse and Identity in Central Europe: The German Language in a Multilingual Space. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

STEVENSON, P. & CARL, J. (2010). Language and Social Change in Central Europe: Discourses on Policy, Identity and the German Language. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

STEGER, M. B. (2017). Globalization: A Very Short Introduction. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

WALLERSTEIN, I. (2004). World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. Durham.



Journal of Linguistic Anthropology

Language in Society


Requirements to the exam
Last update: Marián Sloboda, Ph.D. (18.07.2019)

Questions based on the individual papers from the reading list that will be supplied at the beginning of the course. The formulation of one question per paper/week is expected.

An essay on one of the topics (see below) according to student's choice (approx. 8-10 normalized pages in length). The deadline is three weeks before the day the student needs their grade.



Last update: doc. PhDr. Jiří Nekvapil, CSc. (08.03.2022)
      • Linguistic diversity of East-Central Europe

      • Linguistic anthropology as a field of study

      • Language ideologies

      • Sociolinguistic scales

      • Language socialization

      • Slang as a sociocultural phenomenon

      • Commodification of language

      • Multinational companies

      • Concluding discussion
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