Our group has chosen to focus our project on the topic of multilingualism. We landed on this topic because it touches upon many key questions related to our common language theme, and because many of us have experience with negotiationg several languages in our lives.
Multilingualism is a dynamic and interesting field of inquiry, touching upon everything from neuroscience and psychology, to communication, to translation, both in everyday life and of literary and musical works, to concepts of identity, perception and knowledge construction, which are prominent in social anthropology and cultural studies.
Our languages are central to our everyday life, behaviour, and communication, but also to how we construct our own identity and understand ourselves (to a larger extent that monolingual people might realise and reflect upon).
Following a few group meetings, both with just the group and with our supervisor, we are coming closer to the questions we are interested in exploring. They include:
- How do languages reflect people’s construction of knowledge?
- How do people’s languages relate to their self-identity?
- How do people reflect upon their use of languages?
- How does being bi- or multilingual affect your perception and thinking?
In terms of research methodology, we want to conduct a pilot study consisting of both questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Complemented by a comprehensive literature review of the topic, we hope the questionnaires and interviews can help us understand how individuals subjectively relate to, negotiate and perceive of the role of the language(s) available to them, in their everyday lives, dreams and cognition. We are going to present our findings in the format of a short ‘documentary’.