Visibilizing Normative Regional Historical Multilingualism (ViNoRHM): Ideology, Policy, and Practice

The ViNoRHM project advances historical sociolinguistics by offering a comprehensive account of the languages used historically in the Duchy of Schleswig, an administratively and geographically bounded region of quintolingualism. This project combines micro-level case studies of language ideology, policy, and practice, using primary texts from official records and hitherto understudied archival data to arrive at a more cohesive and innovative account of the power dynamics in multilingual settings than has previously been attempted.

Where historiographies have historically been politically motivated, ViNoRHM crosses political and social borders to undertake the first linguistic historiography of the region based on practice and not relying on historical (ideological) or political (policy) claims. ViNoRHM not only addresses this gap by proposing new approaches to multilingual historiographies but sets a new standard for language historiographies by reframing the narrative around multilingual societies and language use, particularly as it relates to the three dimensions of this project: language ideology, language policy, and language practices.

By setting the language practices of individuals and communities as the foundation of ViNoRHM, both previously invisible or invisibilized languages and individuals (especially women and the un-/lesser educated) are brought to the forefront.