“Here come the clusters…”: Linguistic reconfigurations of the local in Luxembourgish hip hop


CALL: 2015

DOMAIN: ID - Humanities and Social Sciences


LAST NAME: Liddell



HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: Multilingualism; hip hop; performativity; biliteracy; stylistics; oral literature

START: 2015-07-15

END: 2019-05-31

WEBSITE: https://www.uni.lu

Submitted Abstract

Since the 1990s there has arisen a wealth of scholarship in sociolinguistics which takes hip hop music and culture as a locus of cutting-edge investigation into language contact, language variation and stylistics. This doctoral project will endeavour to problematize and build upon this existing body of literature by examining multilingualism within the contemporary hip hop community in Luxembourg. Luxembourg’s suitability as a case study in such a regard is evident in its linguistic profile, in which a uniquely asymmetrical institutional trilingualism prevails above a selection of other widely-heard languages such as Portuguese and English. Indeed, its current situation seems to possess an inherent affinity with 21st century developments in the study of multilingualism, which have seen code-switching, the dominant paradigm of multilingual behaviour since the 1970s, largely superceded by a wide array of alternative models including translanguaging, metrolingualism and crossing. Existing regional studies of hip hop communities, movements and artists which deploy or discuss these competing paradigms will thus provide this project with the backbone of its methodological approach, but it will also attempt to address possible blind spots in the existing body of scholarship by incorporating analytical techniques derived from the study of literature. The theoretical element of the project will properly situate Luxembourgish hip hop and culture in the literary and linguistic histories of Luxembourg, while the practical element will involve ethnographic fieldwork, as well as one-on-one interviews with community participants, to determine attitudes and behaviors regarding the scene’s linguistic pluralism (contact with the community will be made through the scene’s multilingual online community hubs, which will also be to some extent themselves the subject of analysis). The unifying force between the project’s theoretical and practical elements will be the need to draw upon sociolinguistics to fully situate the results.

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