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Last call - Greenlandic dialects as linguistic heritage


University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with Ilisimatusarfik, the National Museum & Archives of Greenland and the National Museum of Denmark, has received DKK 3.8 million from Augustinusfonden for a research project on the collection, analysis and dissemination of Greenlandic dialects.

The project aims to collect, analyze and disseminate Greenlandic dialects through interdisciplinary collaboration between Greenlandic and Danish institutions.

Greenlandic is an under-researched language and little research has been done on how Greenlandic is spoken in different parts of the country and by different age groups. At the same time, there are strong indications that Greenlandic dialects are disappearing as many young Greenlanders adapt their language to the standard Western Greenlandic language.

The project will produce a linguistic description of the variation in contemporary and traditional Greenlandic dialects and create a unique digitized corpus of systematically collected spoken Greenlandic with a geographical, gender and age spectrum not found in any other collection.

Through recordings and transcriptions of Greenlandic dialects, the project also hopes to contribute to strengthening the linguistic heritage in Greenland - and a collection of Greenlandic spoken language will be of great value both now and for posterity.

The project will be carried out through close cooperation between researchers, intermediaries and local people in the areas concerned. The aim is to disseminate information through podcasts and webdocs - but also through exhibitions at the National Museum of Greenland and the National Museum in Denmark.

Project members:

  • Head of project: associate professor Marie Maegaard, director of the Language Change Centre (NorS, KU)
  • Associate professor Naja Blytmann Trondhjem (Greenlandic and Arctic Studies, TORS, KU)
  • Research assistant: Tikaajaat Kristensen (Ilisimatusarfik)
  • Research assistant: Marie Møller Udvang (Greenlandic and Arctic Studies)
  • Research assistant: Otto Mørch Olsen (Studieskolen, Copenhagen)
  • Various student assistants

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