The Arctic is a site of huge sociolinguistic changes. Historically, different types of migration have led to complex sociolinguistic situations with language ideologies and policies, implicitly or explicitly, supporting certain linguistic practices while suppressing others.

This is evident in the way colonial powers have sought to install certain languages as legitimate, e.g. through processes of standardization, while others have been constructed as inferior and perhaps even uncivilized and unfit for modern life.

In many Arctic regions indigenous languages are no longer the unmarked everyday language, but this does not mean that they have lost their importance as markers of identity and belonging, and at the same time, these languages and dialects can gain new meaning and value.

The linguistic situation in the Arctic is furthermore impacted by modern processes of globalization, mobility, and language contact, leading to new complex sociolinguistic situations. Long distance labor migration to e.g. Sápmi or Greenland leads to the presence of languages such as Arabic and Tagalog, whereas English is ubiquitous as the global lingua franca and as a prominent everyday language in many aspects of modern life, also in the Arctic.

The contemporary sociolinguistic situation in the Arctic calls for an engagement with language ideologies and inequality, examining the diverse and unpredictable ways in which language form part of everyday inequalities.

This conference invites papers examining and discussing issues within this context.

Research presented at the conference does not have to be directly based on work in the Arctic area, but it should be clear how it is relevant to these contexts.

Plenary speakers:

Important dates:

  • 1 December 2023: Deadline for abstract submission
  • 15 December 2023: Notification of paper acceptance
  • 1 January 2024: Registration opens
  • 1 April 2024: Registration closes
  • 23 - 24 May 2024: Conference

Paper presentations are 20 minutes.

There is no conference fee, and the conference language will be English.

Online presentations will not be possible, while online attendance as audience is possible.

For submission, please send an abstract of approx. 300 words to

For more information and to read the requirements for submissio, go to: Language ideologies and inequality with a perspective on the Arctic - Ilisimatusarfik (