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Tove Rosendal

Researcher

Tove Rosendal
Researcher
African languages
tove.rosendal@sprak.gu.se
+46 31 786 1814

Room number: F425
Postal Address: Box 200, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Lundgrensgatan 1B , 41256 Göteborg


Department of Languages & Literatures (More Information)
Box 200
405 30 Göteborg
www.sprak.gu.se
spl@sprak.gu.se
Visiting Address: Lundgrensgatan 1B , 412 56 Göteborg

About Tove Rosendal

  • Office hour: by appointment

Background

I defended my thesis “Linguistic Landshapes. A comparison of official and non-official language management in Rwanda and Uganda, focusing on the position of African languages” in June 2010. This is a macro-sociolinguistic work where I compare and analyze language policy and language use in Rwanda and Uganda within formal domains. The work included model and method development.

Before starting my doctoral studies in 2005 at the then Department of Oriental and African Languages at the University of Gothenburg, I worked as a teacher and with non-formal adult education - in Sweden and also in African countries.

Research

In the spring of 2018, I embarked on a new 3-year project titled Signs of Change – Social Identity and Power Reflected in the Linguistic Landscape of Rwanda and financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ), an independent foundation with the goal of promoting and supporting research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The aim of this project is to understand how languages and images on signs in the public space in Rwanda interact in the linguistic landscape (LL) and how power relations and identity are constructed in this space. In Africa, language policy decisions definitely affect the LL. The African state of Rwanda has a quadrilingual language policy that favours English, especially after 2008, although English has no colonial background in Rwanda. This Rwandan polity entails power differences and unequal access to European status languages.

The project has two parts. (1) A quantitative analysis comparing unique LL data (shop signs) I collected a decade ago, before the 2008 change, with new data. As a diachronic study it will fill a gap in the field, especially in an African context, and show effects of LP changes. (2) A qualitative, in-depth part (multimodal analysis of signs, interviews and walk-along interviews) focusing on instrumental and symbolic functions of languages and the relationships between text/language(s), images and the roles of senders and receivers. These vital issues are understudied in an African context. The African perspective is very important, as existing LL studies mostly target urban and immigrant communities in the West. The conditions of the African LL pose new and different questions such as the role of literacy. Thus, the study contributes to research in what is often regarded as the periphery, simultaneously broadening the field of LL research.

I am also a researcher within a project entitled “The role of language in segregation and gentrification processes: linguistic landscapes in Gothenburg” together with colleagues at our department and other institutions. A pilot project funded by the Anna Ahrenberg fund was the starting point of a three-year project supported by the Swedish Research Council (VR), which started in January 2019. The project targets how social upgrading and gentrification processes, followed by mobility in and out of neighbourhoods, are reflected in and also affect how languages are used.

Since 1 August 2014, I have been involved in a project titled Linguistic Marginalization – Understanding the Process and Effects on Development Capacities, which is a 3.5-year project funded by the Swedish Research Council (U-forsk). The project consists of a sociolinguistic study that studies language use from a development perspective, with a central aim of identifying the reasons behind code-switching, i.e. the alternation between Ngoni and Swahili, in the Ruvuma Region in southwestern Tanzania. Swahili, which is used in formal contexts and since Independence has been promoted as a lingua franca, is used all over Tanzania, including in rural areas and within families. Today, an estimated 95 per cent of the population speak Swahili.

Language use may form an important identity marker when cultures meet. Thus, how languages are used has symbolic value, and identity is created through these symbolic systems. Code-switching between Ngoni and Swahili may be seen both as a sign of language loss and as a communication strategy. An important issue therefore is whether code-switching shows that the Ngoni people no longer are able to express themselves in their mother tongue or it merely marks ethnic or individual identity. Do the Ngoni people lose their identity in this process or are possibly new identities developed?

In 2012, I was awarded a two-year postdoc within the TASENE programme, funded by COSTECH, SIDA and NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)/WOTRO Science for Global Development. The project, titled Ngoni – Language, Culture and Sociolinguistic Situation, had three parts and was conducted in cooperation with Dr Gastor Mapunda, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It explored the minority language Ngoni, spoken in the Ruvuma region in southern Tanzania. One part of the project involved a questionnaire survey of 800 pupils in grades 1 and 5–7 about their knowledge of and attitudes to Ngoni, the use of Ngoni in their local community and their parents’ language background. In the other two parts of the project, spoken Ngoni was documented and analysed. Informants of various age groups were recorded. The linguistic analysis focused in particular on the extent to which loanwords from Swahili are used, how they are integrated into Ngoni and whether code-switching occur. A high degree of borrowed items and code-switching may indicate that the language is endangered and that a language shift (to Swahili) may occur in the future.

I have also been involved in a research project funded by the Birgit and Gad Rausing Foundation, about the Cushitic language Somali and its use and position in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya, i.e. countries bordering Somalia and where Somali is spoken. By investigating the relationship between languages that are allowed and de facto are used in various functions in society, power structures are revealed. Which languages are given status by being appointed as official languages or medium of instruction, and that thus are known by the elite in a society, has implications for both democracy and socio-economic development.

Teaching

I have earlier been responsible for the net-based course AF1100, Language and Society in Africa and lectured within the new Internationella språkprogrammet. Earlier, I have even taught the net courses SO1101, Somali Society and Culture and SO1201, Language and Society. Together with Harbi Abdillahi Amir I have developed contract education about Somali culture (courses and lectures). For several years I also taught part of the course Afrikastudier at Global studies, University of Gothenburg.
 

Latest publications

Linguistic landscapes and the African perspective(s)
Karsten Legère, Tove Rosendal
Expanding the Linguistic Landscape: Linguistic Diversity, Multimodality and the Use of Space as a Semiotic Resource / edited by Martin Pütz and Neele Mundt., Bristol, Multilingual Matters, Chapter in book 2019
Chapter in book

Speaking of tradition: how the Ngoni talk about value maintenance and change
Tove Rosendal
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Journal article 2018
Journal article

Language transmission and use in a bilingual setting in rural Tanzania. Findings from an in-depth study of Ngoni.
Tove Rosendal
Endangered Languages and Languages in Danger. Issues of documentation, policy and language rights / eds. Luna Filipovic, Martin Putz, Amsterdam, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

National languages, English and social cohesion in East Africa.
Karsten Legère, Tove Rosendal
Hywel Coleman (ed.) Language and Social Cohesion in the Developing World, Colombo, Sri Lanka, British Council/Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Chapter in book 2015
Chapter in book

Showing 1 - 10 of 18

2019

Linguistic landscapes and the African perspective(s)
Karsten Legère, Tove Rosendal
Expanding the Linguistic Landscape: Linguistic Diversity, Multimodality and the Use of Space as a Semiotic Resource / edited by Martin Pütz and Neele Mundt., Bristol, Multilingual Matters, Chapter in book 2019
Chapter in book

2018

Speaking of tradition: how the Ngoni talk about value maintenance and change
Tove Rosendal
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Journal article 2018
Journal article

2017

2016

Language transmission and use in a bilingual setting in rural Tanzania. Findings from an in-depth study of Ngoni.
Tove Rosendal
Endangered Languages and Languages in Danger. Issues of documentation, policy and language rights / eds. Luna Filipovic, Martin Putz, Amsterdam, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

2015

National languages, English and social cohesion in East Africa.
Karsten Legère, Tove Rosendal
Hywel Coleman (ed.) Language and Social Cohesion in the Developing World, Colombo, Sri Lanka, British Council/Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Chapter in book 2015
Chapter in book

Showing 1 - 10 of 18

Page Manager: Annika Andersson|Last update: 1/18/2017
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