Research in Romance Languages

Research in Romance languages is carried out in both linguistics and literature. The department's research languages are French, Italian and Spanish. Comparative Romance lingustics is also part of the linguistic studies.

Romance linguistics

The linguistic research is devoted to how Romance languages are used, function and change. It has two profile areas:

  • Modality, evidentiality, conditionality, tense, mood, aspect
  • Argumentation, discourse and interaction

In these areas, primarily synchronic research is conducted (language use is studied for a limited period of time), but also diachronic research (language change is studied over a longer period of time). In synchronic research, not only standard languages are studied – several major Romance languages are pluricentric: they have several standard languages used in different parts of the world – but also other linguistic varieties.

This research is largely based on written and spoken language corpora, increasingly compiled with the help of large, digitized databases (so-called big data). The corpora are subject to statistical analysis to varying degrees.

The research usually deals with one Romance language, but not infrequently differences and similarities between different Romance languages or between a Romance language and Swedish are also examined. The approach is either contrastive (original texts and translated texts in different languages are compared) or comparative (only original texts in different languages are compared).

Cognitive linguistics, polyphony theory, grammaticalization theory, discourse analysis and various interactional theories are important frames of reference for much of this research.

Linguistic research is also conducted in language learning and language didactics, editorial philology and the history of Romance studies.

Romance literature

The Romance literary research focuses on theatre studies, French postcolonial literature, world literature, travel literatures and realism.

The theatre research focuses on the 19th century, with an emphasis on Romanticism. Particular attention is paid to theatre history and theatre poetics’ issues, e.g. the emergence and definition of notions like "mise en scène", drama and melodrama, stage directions, i.e. the relationship between text, stage and paratext.

Research in postcolonial studies and world literature focuses on literatures from regions like the Caribbean, Africa and South America. Issues in focus are multilingualism, literature, transcultural meetings and how the relation between man and nature is problematised in literature (ecocriticism). Travel literature is also a research field where early modern globalisation and transculturalism are central.

Another research area deals with how Italian authors in the late 19th century choose to problematise and represent the economic logic that characterises modernity.

Other themes for literary studies are translation, reception and circulation of literary texts, magazines edited by Latin Americans in Sweden and intermediality, i.e. literature that is based upon more than one medium.


Current projects

phd students

  • Pernille Berg Johnsson studies perception and pronunciation of French among students in French with Swedish/Danish/Norwegian as their mother tounge.
  • Per Eriksson is doing a discourse analysis of rape convictions in Chile.
  • Jenny Gustafsson is studying the use of subjunctive in French.
  • Fredrika Nyström studies how oral production and interaction are constructed in Spanish teaching in the last year of the secondary school.
  • Mónica Saldías' dissertation project in Spanish-language literature is about the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño's posthumous novel 2666. The project deals with the anamorphic / haptic (visual / tactile) representation of the Other in 2666 in dialogue with other of Bolaño's works.

Last modified: 2022-03-21