Youth languages
Keynote lecture by dr. Jacomine Nortier (Utrecht University), Friday April 21st 10:00 - 11:00

Jacomine Nortier is associate professor in sociolinguistics/multilingualism at Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, Utrecht University. After her PhD defense in 1989 (Code-Switching Dutch/Moroccan Arabic), and a short appointment at Radboud University (Nijmegen) she has held positions at Utrecht University, first as an assistant professor (until 2001) and currently as an associate. She has published on the topics of code-switching, multilingualism and the emergence of urban youth languages and ethnolects. She was the co-editor of 'Language, Youth and Identity in the 21st Century' (Cambridge, 2015).

In the first part of her lecture she will discuss some problems associated with the notion ‘youth languages’. Is there a common understanding of what a youth language is? Rampton (2015) proposes the term ‘contemporary urban vernaculars’ (without ‘youth’). What do the ‘youth’ languages, varieties, styles or practices share and where do they differ? Is it justified to use ‘youth languages’ as a cover term? Furthermore she will go into the question what ‘urban’ means and how we can use it in a context of language. The third topic that will be covered is Moroccan flavored Dutch, where elements from Moroccan languages (Arabic and Berber) are used by Moroccan heritage speakers but also by others. She will give illustrative examples of polylanguaging, from an ongoing small project on the role of Moroccan in virtual communicative exchanges between young people. It will be shown how elements that are originally part of Arabic or Berber are re-shaped and re-interpreted to serve identification purposes and communicative functions.