Multilingual Awareness in Tyrolean Material Culture

Or: Why a Tube of Toothpaste Can Split People’s Opinions
  • Ulrike JessnerEmail author
  • Dominik Unterthiner
  • Stephanie Topf
  • Manon Megens
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 36)


Over the last few years, multilingualism as a field of study has gained a great deal of interest and many linguists try to explore its effects and issues on human society and the individual. Not only do linguists discuss properties between language systems and language learning phenomena, they also examine languages out of social contexts and practice. Objects and artefacts have the potential to transport linguistic information in more than one language and may raise one’s awareness of multilingualism. Subsequently, multilingual objects and artefacts should be observed from a dynamic perspective recognized in their ability to offer possibilities for linguistic discussions. This chapter will outline concerns of multilingual material culture from an Austrian perspective, a country with a blossoming multilingual culture. Here, (culturally marked) objects and artefacts in the context of a Tyrolean exhibition are at this text’s centre of attention. Hence, it will examine effects of multilingual materials on the Tyrolean society and vice versa, with a foremost qualitative research approach. In addition, the concept of the uncanny by Sigmund Freud will be linked to multilingual material culture. Combining material culture with the uncanny is intended to contribute to an understanding of multilingual material culture and of people’s perception of materials. The last part will present ideas on the categorizations and visualisation of (multilingual) material culture.


Material culture Dynamic model of multilingualism Exhibition Visualisation Qualitative approach 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrike Jessner
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dominik Unterthiner
    • 1
  • Stephanie Topf
    • 1
  • Manon Megens
    • 1
  1. 1.University of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.University of PannoniaVeszprémHungary

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