Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0272-2690
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9889
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This article presents a study of a multilingual research park at the University of Barcelona (Catalonia), where administrative staff, researchers and other members interact in a variety of languages. Focusing on the use of Catalan, Spanish, and English the study investigates whether all scientific tasks are carried out in English (the monoglot hypothesis regarding scientific language practices) or they are carried out in different languages depending on several variables (interlocutors, domains, etc.). An online questionnaire was sent to all members of the university research staff, and their responses provide evidence that English is the scientific of the scientific park, but this does not mean that English has become the default language of the institution, but rather that the institution functions essentially on the basis of trilingualism. Two main factors can be singled out when trying to explain the organization of this plurilingual practice: the professional role of the PCB (Parc Cientific de Barcelona) staff, and the type of communicative activity, the latter being strongly influenced by the intended addressee. A cluster analysis of the research staff at the institution shows that there are four sociolinguistic profiles of researchers depending on their proficiency in different languages and their geographic origin. The final section argues that the processes of language change do not occur in a compact but rather in a domain-by-domain manner, according to complex balances that depend on the composition of each linguistic ecosystem.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Ammon, U
    (2010) World languages: Trends and future. In N. Coupland (Ed.), The handbook of language and globalization (pp.101–122). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444324068.ch4
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444324068.ch4 [Google Scholar]
  2. Arzoz, X
    (Ed.) (2012) Bilingual higher education in the legal context: Group rights, state policies and globalisation. Leiden–Boston: Martinus Neijhoff. doi: 10.1163/9789004228061
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004228061 [Google Scholar]
  3. Aracil, L
    (2004) Do latim às línguas nacionais: Introdução à historia social das línguas europeias [From Latin to national languages: Introduction to the social history of European languages]. Santiago de Compostela: Associação de Amizade Galiza-Portugal.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Blommaert, J
    (2010) The sociolinguistics of globalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511845307
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511845307 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bourdieu, P
    (1982) Ce que parler veut dire. L’économie des échanges linguistiques [The meaning of speaking: The economy of language exchanges]. Poitiers: Fayard.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Café, L
    (2005) A língua portuguesa nas publicações científicas: o caso brasileiro.[Portuguese in scientific publications: The Brasilian case]. In Centro de Estudios linüísticos y Literarios , Congreso Internacional sobre Lenguas Neolatinas en la Comunicación Especializada (pp.141–147). México: Agence Intergouvernamentale de la Francophonie; El Colegio de México; Unión Latina.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Coupland, N
    (2010) Introduction: Sociolinguistics in the global eraIn N. Coupland (Ed.), The handbook of language and globalization (pp.1–27). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444324068.ch
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444324068.ch [Google Scholar]
  8. de Swaan, A
    (2001) Words of the world. The global language system. Malden: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. (2010) Language systems. In N. Coupland (Ed.), The handbook of language and globalization (pp.56–76). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444324068.ch2
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444324068.ch2 [Google Scholar]
  10. Eckert, P. , & McConnell-Ginet, S
    (1999) The community of practice: Theories and methodologies in language and gender research. Language in Society, 28, 185–201. doi: 10.1017/S0047404599002031
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404599002031 [Google Scholar]
  11. Fairclough, N
    (2006) Language and globalization. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Gal, S
    (1987) Linguistic repertoire. In U. Ammon , N. Dittmar , and K. Mattheier (Eds.), Sociolinguistics – Soziolinguistik, Vol. I (pp. 286–292). Berlin: De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Gordin, M.D
    (2015a) How did science come to speak only English?Aeon Magazine. aeon.co/magazine/science/how-did-science-come-to-speak-only-english/.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. (2015b) Scientific Babel: How science was done before and after global English. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. doi: 10.7208/chicago/9780226000329.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226000329.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  15. Graddol, D
    (2006) English next: Why Global English may mean the end of English as a Foreign Language. www.britishcouncil.org/learning-research-english-next.pdf .
  16. Haberland, H
    (2005) Domains and domain loss. In B. Preisler , A. Fabricius , H. Haberland , S. Kjæbeck , and K. Risager (Eds.), The consequences of mobility (pp.227–237). Roskilde: Roskilde University, Department of Language and Culture. rudar.ruc.dk//bitstream/1800/8701/1/Haberland.pdf.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Haberland, H. , & Preisler, B
    (2015) The position of Danish, English and other languages at Danish universities in the context of Danish society. In F. Xavier Vila and V. Bretxa (Eds.), Language policy in higher education: The case of medium-sized languages (pp. 15–42). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Hamel, R
    (2013) El campo de las ciencias y la educación superior entre el monopolio del inglés y el plurilingüismo: Elementos para una política del lenguaje en América Latina. [The field of science and higher education between the monopoly of English and plurilingualism: Elements for a language policy in Latin America]. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada, No 52-2, 321-384. Universidad de Campinas52, núm. 2: 321–84. doi: 10.1590/S0103‑18132013000200008
    https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-18132013000200008 [Google Scholar]
  19. Held, D. , McGrew, A. , Goldblatt, D. , & Perraton, J
    (1999) Global transformations: Politics, economics and culture. Cambridge: Polity.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Heller, M. , & Duchêne, A
    (2012) Pride and profit: Changing discourses of language, capital and nation-state. In A. Duchêne and M. Heller (Eds.), Language in late capitalism: Pride and profit (pp. 3–21). New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Kachru, B. , Kachru, Y. , & Nelson, C
    (2006) The handbook of World Englishes. Chichester: Wiley.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. López-Navarro, I. , Moreno, A. , Quintanilla, M. , & Rey-Rocha, J
    (2015) Why do I publish research articles in English instead of my own language? Differences in Spanish researchers’ motivations across scientific domains. Scientometrics, 22April. doi: 10.1007/s11192‑015‑1570‑1.
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-015-1570-1. [Google Scholar]
  23. Phillipson, R
    (1992) Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. (2003) English-only Europe? Challenging language policy. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. (2006) Language policy and linguistic imperialism. In T. Ricento (Ed.), An introduction to language policy: Theory and method (pp. 346–361). Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Pool, T
    (2010) Panlingual globalization. In N. Coupland (Ed.), The handbook of language and globalization (pp.142–161). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444324068.ch6
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444324068.ch6 [Google Scholar]
  27. Ram, D
    (2015) Challenges for Hebrew in higher education and research environments. In F. Xavier Vila and Vanessa Bretxa (Eds.), Language policy in higher education: The case of medium-sized languages (pp.103–131). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Renau, E
    (2004) Enquesta d’usos lingüístics a les institucions públiques catalanes [Language use survey at Catalan public institutions]. Unpublished manuscript.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Ricento, T
    (2010) Language policy and globalization. In N. Coupland (Ed.), The handbook of language and globalization (pp.123–141). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444324068.ch5
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444324068.ch5 [Google Scholar]
  30. Romaní, J
    (2005) La variabilitat en els usos lingüístics a les empreses catalanes: factors i tendències [Variability in language use in Catalan companies: Factors and trends]. In Generalitat de Catalunya , Els usos lingüístics a les empreses amb vocació internacional (pp.131–142). Barcelona: Secretaria de política lingüística.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Skutnabb-Kangas, T. , & Phillipson, R
    (2010) The global politics of language: Markets, maintenance, marginalization, or murder?In N. Coupland (Ed.), The handbook of language and globalization (pp.77–100). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444324068.ch3
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444324068.ch3 [Google Scholar]
  32. Strubell, M. , & Boix-Fuster, E
    (Eds.) (2011) Democratic policies for language revitalisation: The case of Catalan. London: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9780230302426
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230302426 [Google Scholar]
  33. Torres, J. Vila, F. Xavier , Fabà, A. , Brexta, V. , & Pradilla, M.A
    (2005) Enquesta dels Usos Linguïstics a Catalunya 2003. Llengua i societat a Catalunya en els inicis del segle XXI {Survey of linguistic uses in Catalonia 2005. Language and society in the early 21st century]. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya-Secretia de Política Linguïscita.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Vila, F. Xavier
    (2011) La recerca sociolingüística educativa escolar als països de llengua catalana: elements per a un balanç [Educational sociolinguistic research in the Catalan-sepaking areas: Elements for review]. Treballs de Sociolingüística Catalana, 21, 205–219.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. (Ed.) (2012) Survival and development of language communities: Prospects and challenges. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. (2014) Language policy, management and planning. In C. Fäcke (Ed.), Manual of language acquisition (pp. 50–68). Berlin: De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. (2015) Medium-sized languages as viable linguae academicae. In F. Xavier Vila and V. Bretxa (Eds.), Language policy in higher education: The case of medium-sized languages (pp. 181–210). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Vila, F. Xavier , & Bretxa, V
    (Eds.) (2015) Language policy in higher education: The case of medium-sized languages. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Vila, F. Xavier , Bretxa, V. , & Comajoan, L
    (2012) Llengües i globalització en el món de la recerca: els coneixements i els usos científics al Parc Científic de Barcelona [Language and globalization in the research world: Language knowledge and use at the Barcelona Science Park]. Caplletra, 52, 35–64.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Vila, F. Xavier , Comajoan, L. , Bretxa, V. , & Arroyo, L
    (2009) El multilingüisme al Parc Científic de Barcelona: Coneixements, usos i necessitats lingüístics [Multilingualism at the Barcelona Science Park: Language knowledge, use and needs]. Report by the Centre Universitari de Sociolingüística i Comunicació CUSC-PCB/UB, Barcelona.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Vila, F. Xavier , Bretxa, V. , & Comajoan, L (2014) ¿En qué lenguas se hace ciencia? La gestión del multilingüismo en el Parc Científic de Barcelona [In what languages is science dones? Management of multilingualism at the Barcelona Science Park]. International Journal of Organizations - Revista Internacional de Organizaciones, 13, 111–134.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Waquet, F
    (2001) Latin, or The empire of the sign: From the sixteenth to the twentieth century. London; New York: Verso.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error