Hintere Außenansicht des D2 Gebäudes

Lectures in Language, Culture and Communication 22.11.2022

22. November 2022

Di, 22. November 2022 Jiří Nekvapil and Tamah Sherman 18:00 – 19:30 D2.2.228 Seminarraum Titel: "How multinational corporations affect their local surroundings: Sociolinguistic insights from the Czech Republic"

Abstract:Sociolinguistic research on multinational corporations has focused above all on the communication taking place between different groups of employees inside the company and between the company employees and their customers – either representatives of other companies or end users. Our own previous studies aimed to describe the linguistic behavior within the boundaries of the companies – that is, communication between foreign delegates (the so-called expatriates) and the local workers, the languages that they use and the level of mutual understanding in interactions (see Nekvapil and Sherman 2013, 2018 for an overview)

It is well known that some multinationals are such massive economic units that their assets exceed the gross domestic product (GDP) of entire countries. It can thus be presumed that through their prestige and power, multinationals can relatively easily affect the social and communicative processes taking place not only within their branches but also in their geographical surroundings, and can act as an important diversifying element. This feature has been largely overlooked in the specialized sociolinguistics literature, and the aim of the current research is to remedy the situation. We therefore focus on multinationals based in two countries, German and South Korea, with branches or plants in the Czech Republic. We consider how the companies’ presence changes the surrounding social and linguistic life on various levels, as well as the appearance of the neighboring towns. This includes how the companies contribute to the establishment of new businesses such as restaurants and hotels (used by the expatriates, their relatives, and foreign visitors, but local inhabitants as well), how communication in such facilities takes place, how encounters between foreign small business owners and local people look, or to what extent the interest in languages used in multinationals emerges among local people. In this context, particular emphasis is placed on the linguistic landscape and the teaching and learning of languages.


Nekvapil, J. & Sherman, T. (2013). Language ideologies and linguistic practices: The case of multinational companies in Central Europe. In E. Barát, P. Studer & J. Nekvapil (Eds.), Ideological conceptualizations of language: Discourses of linguistic diversity. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 85-117.

Nekvapil, J. & Sherman, T. (2018). Managing superdiversity in multinational companies. In A. Creese & A. Blackledge (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of language and superdiversity. An interdisciplinary perspective. London, New York: Routledge, 329–344.

Jiří Nekvapil is an Associate Professor at Charles University, Prague. His specific research interests lie in the issues of language interaction, Language Management Theory, language diversity in multinational companies and the ethnomethodologically based analysis of media discourse.  Among his recent publications are Linguistic Choices in the Contemporary City (Routledge 2022, co-edited with D. Smakman and K. Fedorova) and Dialogical Networks (Routledge 2022, co-authored with I. Leudar).

Tamah Sherman is a researcher at the Czech Language Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences. Her work focuses on interaction and meta-linguistic behavior, using the framework of Language Management Theory, Ethnomethodology, and Conversation Analysis. The particular focus of her investigation is on situations of multiple language use in the Czech Republic after 1989.

zurück zur Übersicht